23 March 2021, 15:04 PM
  • The award will showcase innovative brands in the food and drink sector that launched during the Covid-19 pandemic
IFE and Mission Ventures launch award for lockdown start-ups

IFE has teamed up with challenger brand builder Mission Ventures to launch the Lockdown Pioneers in Food & Drink Awards, giving brands launched during the pandemic the chance to showcase their products.

Successful brands will have the chance to offer product samples to key buyers from retail and hospitality. IFE event manager Nicola Woods said, “The past year has seen countless creative and innovative new businesses launch in the food and drink sector, but lockdown combined with the lack of trade shows and in-person demos has meant they haven’t had the chance to get buyers physically experiencing their products.     

“The Lockdown Pioneers in Food & Drink Awards will make use of the strong buyer relationships both IFE and Mission Ventures have in the food and drink industry and will present suppliers with an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their products, organise product sampling and arrange virtual one-to-one meetings with engaged buyers,” Nicola continued.

“The UK is a hotbed of innovation and new brands rely heavily on shows and sampling to grab attention from the trade,” added Mission Ventures CEO Paddy Willis. “We’re excited to champion those entrepreneurs who pushed on in pursuit of their vision, despite the pandemic.”

Shortlisted products will be sampled and reviewed by a panel of judges, including the Mission Ventures team, as well as industry experts and retailers. Buyers will then browse a digital catalogue of award winners, where they can request samples and arrange one-to-one meetings.

Winners will also have the chance to be showcased on IFE’s social media and digital platform IFE Connects, in addition to receiving exclusive stand packages for the 2022 event.

Find out more about the awards, including how to apply, here.