The Food & Drink Trends & Innovations Conference Programme

08.30 Registration, Informal Networking & GIC Opening Remarks

09.00 Morning Co-Chair’s Opening Remarks

Sarah Bull, Head of Development, Bakkavor

Philip Quinn, Senior Director of QA (International), Papa Johns


Panel Q&A

09.10 Capitalise On Emerging Food & Drink Trends Disrupting The Market For 2025 For Trailblazing, Profitable & Industry Leading NPD & Campaign Success

  • High protein, low alcohol and more food-to-go… cherry-pick the hottest food and drink trends across the market and in your category for profitable, enduring product success and campaigns with lasting impact
  • Changing consumer priorities, changing shopping habits: the impact of cost-of-living, Net-Zero ambitions and the influence of social media
  • Adaptable and ready for anything? Make swift decisions in the face of rapidly-evolving trends to identify what will be popular and profitable in the current market
  • Trend forecasting for 2025 and beyond! Anticipate shifting market trends to cultivate collections that cater to the preferences of both consumers and retailers

Anna Fenten, Marketing Director, Searcys

Nicci Clark, CEO & Founder, RE:NOURISH

Jennifer Earle, Director Tours (& Editor & Host at ‘The Next Delicious Thing’), Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

Julianne Ponan, Founder, CEO, Creative Nature

Jo Taylor, Marketing Director, BOL Foods


Latest Insights

09.40 A Sustainable Future: Create Affordable Products Which Demonstrate A Tangible Commitment To Sustainability, Fulfil Eco-Initiatives & Respond To Increasing Consumer Expectations

  • Attain equilibrium among value, quality, and sustainability to offer innovative, on-brand products that remain affordable for your customers
  • From sell-by-dates to plastic shrink wrap to overproduction… how can manufacturers tackle the food waste hierarchy to get to the root cause, minimise waste and even create a secondary income source?
  • Regenerative agriculture, circular economy models, permaculture…explore groundbreaking initiatives aimed at minimising the environmental impact of the food and beverage industry
  • Unlocking insight into sustainability and greenwashing: top-notch solutions to reduce misleading green claims and demonstrate authentic commitment to sustainability through action

Hannah Carter, CEO & Founder, OGGS

New & Updated For 2024!


Double Perspective

10.00 Eat Well, Live Well! Refresh & Revitalise Your Product Offerings For 2024 & Beyond By Capitalising On The Latest Health & Wellbeing Trends That Capture Attention & Excite Consumers

  • The critical balancing act! Explore methods to provide healthy and nourishing product selections that are appealing, accessible, distinctive and responsibly sourced
  • Gut health, low sugar, and protein-rich diets… examine the changing health and wellness trends that are resonating with consumers’ claims for tailored and on-trend strategies
  • Delve into the influence of overall well-being and holistic health perspectives to craft products that target both physical and mental health categories

Perspective 1: David Begg, Founder, The Real Drinks Co

Perspective 2: Louise Pilkington, Head of Innovation, Domino’s

10.40 Bonus Session; Reserved For Exclusive Conference Partner

11.10 Morning Refreshment Break With Informal Networking


Panel Q&A

11.40 Power In The Plant! Leverage Data & Consumer Insights To Create Innovative, Clean & On-Trend Plant Products Certain To Boost Brand Loyalty & Blow Away The Competition

  • Utilise critical data and insights to comprehend the driving forces behind plant-based purchases for informed, innovative and profitable new product development
  • What are the goals of the plant-based purchaser? From ethics to sustainability to cost to health, how does our product and campaign strategy need to adapt to balance such varying purposes?
  • How are consumer attitudes evolving towards animal product alternatives? Weighing up the scientific beauty of highly engineered meat alternatives against other plant-based cuisines
  • As plant-based lifestyles and flexitarian diets gain growing traction, what steps can be taken to guarantee cutting-edge NPD, marketing and unbreakable brand loyalty?
  • Stay ahead of the curve with recent advancements in plant-based proteins encompassing texture, flavours and cost-related challenges

Art Sagiryan, CEO, Ping Pong Restaurants (AJT DimSum Ltd)

Lee Boakes, NPD Director, Huel

Stu Macdonald, Founder, ManiLife

Andy Shovel, Co-Founder, THIS™


12.10 Stand Out In 2024 & Beyond! Capitalise On The Freshest Taste, Texture & Ingredient Trends Set To Meet Consumer Needs & Drive Product Engagement

  • Generate innovative ingredient, taste and texture portfolio shifts that appeal to the health-conscious consumer and sustainability-minded customer
  • Tangy delights, nutty pallet profiles and nostalgic flavours… what global food and drink flavours and ingredients are tantalising taste buds in 2024? How can they integrate into your portfolio strategies?
  • Despite sourcing challenges amid a global cost-of-living crisis, discover inventive solutions for procurement and formulation, exploring alternative ingredients for resilience in today’s turbulent landscape

Mike Woods, Chief Executive, Just Love


12.40 Phil Gowland, Commercial Director, Whitworths

13.00 Lunch & Informal Networking For Speakers, Delegates & Partners

13.30 Peer-to-Peer Discussions:

           A. Gut Health

           B. Protein

           C. Low/No Alcohol

           D. Free From

14.00 Afternoon Co-Chair’s Opening Remarks

Julian Hunt, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, GB & Northern Europe, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Jennifer Earle, Director Tours (& Editor & Host at ‘The Next Delicious Thing’), Chocolate Ecstasy Tours


14.10 Translate Consumers’ Green Priorities Into Packaging Innovations That Drive Sales & Meet Sustainable Goals

  • The proof is in the pudding! Explore critical innovations in sustainable and intelligent packaging to create products that reflect customer priorities today
  • Putting yourself in the consumers shoes… what’s the current consumer stance on sustainability and how does a ‘sustainable’ label impact purchase behaviours?
  • What is fact and what is fiction? Industry insights on feasible recyclable and sustainable packaging materials for genuine commitment to environmental initiatives

Hugo Lynch, Sustainability Lead, Abel & Cole


Panel & Q&A

14.30 Freshest Chef Insights: Translating Cutting-Edge Ingredients, Enticing Flavours, & Innovative Texture & AI Trends Into Stand-Out NPD & Maximised Produce Appeal

  • Keep pace with the latest, eye-catching, and innovative flavour trends and texture profiles guaranteed to excite consumers and maximise menu engagement
  • The growth of the ‘mindful eating’ approach! Deep dive into changing consumer behaviour and its pivotal influence on menu and ingredient selection.
  • AI-assisted recipe development, smart kitchen appliances and personalised meal plans… explore the intersection of technology and the culinary arts to create consumer-driven, profitable products and ranges
  • What is on the horizon for 2025 and beyond? Which new flavours, ingredients, textures, and NPD trends will transition from plate to store?

Omkar Mestry, Head Chef, Novotel

Will Dean, Head Chef The Ox, Hyde & Co Group

Terry McDowell, Group Exec Chef, Away Resorts Ltd

Donal Lock, RDA Executive Chef, Kerry

Zoe Simons, Senior Brand & Innovation Development Chef, Waitrose & Partners

Cut Through The Noise!


15.00 Blow Away The Competition, Amplify Brand Value & Maximise Customer Loyalty & Retention With Impactful, Innovative & Creative Digital Marketing Campaigns

  • Cream of the crop! Advanced marketing tactics guaranteed to stand out from the crowd, grow brand value and increase average spend and customer loyalty
  • With budgets as tight as ever… how can brands create compelling, exciting and insight-led digital marketing campaigns with restricted funds and resources?
  • With the shift in marketing channels a constant battle, how can you craft an ideal strategy for consumer outreach and success?

Andy Shovel, Co-Founder, THIS™

Creating Edges with Insight: Using In the moment tech to get ahead in hyper optimised FMCG

15.20 Creating Edges with Insight: Using In the moment tech to get ahead in hyper optimised FMCG

  • – FMCG is hyper optimised. To stay ahead we need insights faster and closer to the moment of truth – consumption.

  • New agile methods can dramatically reduce innovation pipeline times.

  • In the moment tech can tell us what people are really doing and feeling when it comes to food and drink.

  • Sustainability has dropped down people’s mental agendas. But moments where Sustainability meets low cost can still create wins.

Richard Heath, Managing Director, Blue Yonder Research

15.40 Afternoon Refreshment Break With Informal Networking


16.10 Mastering Competitive & Profit-Boosting NPD That Leverages Critical Consumer Insights & Targets Top Food & Drink Trends

  • Become the apple of the consumers’ eye! Unveil consumer insights to differentiate passing trends from lasting movements for products that consumers will love
  • Examine strategies that enable brands to promptly, efficiently, and assuredly adapt to market dynamics and regulatory changes for guaranteed future NPD success
  • Top-notch NPD launch tips! Ensuring your brand and products cut through the noise, stand out from the competition and engages with all customers

Speaker Coming Soon!


Case Study

16.30 How Are Friary Mill Transforming Their Sales Approach, Generating Brand Value & Growing Innovative NPD?

  • Who is Friary Mill?
  • What are the top 3 challenges and opportunities faced by SMEs like ours?
  • Challenges: growing sales faster than cost, differentiating and engaging our brand, building and retaining our workforce
  • Opportunities: technological innovation and efficiency, new product development, growing channels
  • What does the future look like for SMEs like ours?

Steve Goswell, Chief Executive Officer, Friary Mill Bakery Limited


Panel Q&A

16.50 Integrate Retailer Visions & Business-Critical Customer Insights & Shopper Behaviours Into Each Stage Of Delivery To Guarantee Product Engagement & Overarching Commercial Success

  • What macro-trends do retailers think will endure in this constantly evolving market, and how can we leverage them to create lucrative products?
  • Regulation, regulation, regulation… what challenges do retailers face when launching products within the ever-changing regulatory landscape?
  • Omni-shopping, subscription models and cost consciousness… leverage the latest shopping behaviour data to decode present purchase decision-making and inform future strategies that drive positive shopper experiences
  • The retailer “must-haves”: what flavours, ingredients and textures will continue to captivate?

James Waterworth, Head of Trade Marketing, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Claire Martino, Head of Marketing, Bakkavor

Mike Woods, Chief Executive, Just Love

 Ed Ayton, Sustainability & Ethics Advisor, Abel & Cole

17.20 Afternoon Co-Chair’s Closing Remarks & Official Close of Conference

Julian Hunt, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, GB & Northern Europe, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Jennifer Earle, Director Tours (& Editor & Host at ‘The Next Delicious Thing’), Chocolate Ecstasy Tours