The nutrition and sustainability seminars are the real draw at Food Matters Live. Many people in the UK food industry (e.g. manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers) come to the show to immerse themselves in the generous menu of seminars and presentations. The organisers focus particularly on getting influential speakers and panel members and are, by and large, very successful at it.
However, the show seemed to be losing a bit of traction in terms of exhibitor numbers. There were certainly less exhibitors than in 2017, and there were many empty spaces.
In our opinion, the exhibition is suffering from a lack of focus and declining numbers. The food and health ingredient players accounted for roughly 55% of exhibitors. We think this is because Food Matters Live is attracting mainly NPD, innovation and food technology visitors. There were also many smaller niche food manufacturers. There were a few conspicuous absentee including wholesaler Tree of Life, who last year had a large stand along with many of their suppliers.
Among these stands were a smattering of university programmes, food wholesalers, trade associations, food research organisations and certification companies.
Trade associations included the California Walnut Commission, the California Prune Board and the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association.
For more feedback about the show, please contact Ted Horton.