Claire Phoenix is FoodBev Media managing editor – magazines. This is a personal blog and views expressed are her own.

14 Mar 2013

A launchpad for food and drink at IFE13

There’s always an air of excitement before a show, and I for one am excited about the new launches at next week’s IFE – the International Food Exhibition being held at London’s Excel.

We know that R&D teams and packaging designers are working up to the wire as IFE nears, as it’s a strong launchpad and the best way to reach buyers from supermarkets, online distributors and the growing sectors of convenience stores, garage forecourts and vending.

Running in conjunction with IFE is Pro2Pac, the packaging trade show for the food and drink industry.

It’s going to be a busy two days covering the stands, so we're taking along a full team from FoodBev Media and, plus our magazines Beverage Innovation, *Dairy Innovation* and Food & Beverage International and are planning videos, blogs and tweets to let you know about the most exciting launches and presentations.

We’ve already received a few tempting snacks in the office, such as Hoots from The Wise Owl Company and a new Iced Coffee launch called One Drop from Marley Soft Drinks.

I plan to attend some of the New Products Live seminars and look forward to hearing from top names in the food and drink industry, including Marks & Spencer as well as visiting the individual country pavilions where you often find something new. More than 1,100 food and drink suppliers, distributors and manufacturers are exhibiting, so the time will just fly by.

IFE is split into nine sections to make the event easier for visitors to navigate, including Speciality & Regional Food from Britain and Ireland, Cheese & Dairy, Meat & Seafood, Walk the World, Bakery & Confectionery, Ingredients, Health & Wellbeing, Drinks, and General Food.

I do know that it’s the attractive stands and the clarity of packaging that draws you in, and according to Greg Vallance, managing partner of creative at Holmes & Marchant, there are some cheap and easy wins in the area of packaging design.

"The look and feel of the pack can give health and natural cues, including muted colour palette, typography and imagery of the product,” he said. McDonalds being a case in point, having dropped the lurid red and yellow for a new dark green image to support this.

I may wish I had a logistics expert on hand to help me make best use of the time, but whatever the route I take, I’m sure it will be an inspiring event and you can be sure we’ll be bringing back reports and photos of all that’s new in food and drink products and packaging for you.

If you want to meet up while we’re there, just drop me a line.