Answering the big questions: Food Matters Live

02 November 2018 by
Answering the big questions: Food Matters Live

Join the debate at the next Food Matters Live at London's Excel centre, with chef Tom Kerridge and Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby among the highlights. Lisa Jenkins reports

Can restaurants do more to encourage diners to eat more healthily? Are hotels meeting the demand for tasty and nutritious menus from transparent sources? And will people really eat insects in the name of sustainability?

The entrepreneurs and suppliers at Food Matters Live 2018, at London's Excel centre from 20-22 November, aim to debate this through live attractions, cooking demonstrations and a programme of seminars.

In the conference theatre, leading industry figures at the show will include McDonald's UK chief executive Paul Pomroy, Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie, campaigner Jack Monroe and The Guardian's health editor Sarah Boseley.

High-profile speakers

Amid controversial proposals to make menu calorie counts a legal requirement for all English restaurants, can Britain's public health measures battle obesity? Should TV advertising of junk food be banned or should restaurants be serving smaller portions? Can sustainable diets be better sold to the mainstream consumer or are they destined to remain a niche concern? And should cafés, restaurants and workplaces be doing more to help people control their calories when eating out?

TV presenter and Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will discuss his personal weight loss journey, which saw him lose 11 stone in three years, and consider how the food and drink industry can become ambassadors for changing dietary behaviour.

Marije Vogelzang, who has pioneered a design-led approach to food, including tackling over-eating by using tableware designed to make plates appear fuller, will examine the future of eating design, while Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and Gerard Bertholon, chief strategy officer of Cuisine Solutions, will look at how important transparency and sustainability are to diners when deciding where to eat.


Expert insight

Three hundred experts from across the food and drink industry will offer their insights into some of the latest innovations, influences and research in seminars examining health and wellbeing themes, such as retail trends, nutrition, tackling obesity and the future of the free-from market.

Among the topics to be investigated are whether ‘healthy' vending machines are making a comeback in the workplace? What does the future hold for ‘high-satiety' foods that help control appetites? How should chefs design vegan-friendly menus? How should operators meet the growing taste for alcohol-free drinks? And how should suppliers explore market readiness for eating insects as a sustainable protein source?

Speakers include Gather & Gather senior nutritionist Lucy Vickers on how the out-of-home-dining sector is meeting sugar reduction targets; Department of Health head of obesity policy Richard Sangster, on progress on the Childhood Obesity Plan; and Jenny Rosborough, head of nutrition at Jamie Oliver, on helping diners make healthier choices.

New to market

The Food Matters Live exhibition will be arranged in zones to reflect key growth areas, from better-for-you drinks and healthy snacks to free-from diets and sports nutrition.

More than 800 organisations, from the newest start-ups to household names, will be taking part, including alcohol-free craft lager FitBeer, Sweet Beet's oak smoked apple butter; and Churros Garcia's vegan pre-cooked churros.

For chefs looking to expand their vegan and free-from offerings, the exhibition hosts the largest gathering of ingredients companies in the UK, showcasing products including: ‘clean label' Exberry food colouring, made from fruits and vegetables; Novo Farina's British, gluten-free pea flour; high-fibre California prune powder, which can be substituted for fat in baked goods and sauces; and a line of dairy flavours from Butter Buds, which offer creamy flavour and a ‘fatty mouthfeel' without the fat.

With its focus on new and emerging ingredients, the Innovative Ingredients Live theatre will include a closer look at how vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian trends are evolving and the options for creating meat substitutes with natural ingredients.


Huw Griffiths, chief executive of Besmoke and PureSmoke, will demonstrate his company's new filtration technology to make smoked and grilled foods safer, while Danni Schroeter, research and development manager for Ulrick and Short, will demonstrate a range of ingredients that are gluten-free, vegan and ethically sourced with improved nutrition profiles.

Healthy focus

As trends for gut-healthy kombucha, health-boosting power shots, non-alcoholic and low-calorie spirits and beers continue to drive drinks sales, the Drink Well Zone will offer up LivOn, an antioxidant drink focused on liver health, and shots of Bumblezest, which is targeted at complexion, weight management and overall wellbeing.

The newest entrepreneurs will show off their new products at the Start-Up Zone, including ‘clean energy' drink Flyte, on show for the first time in the UK; Peruvian purple corn drinks; and Tibet-inspired Tsampa energy bars.

The International Showcase stages global food and drink innovation, with exhibitors from the Netherlands, Japan, Belgium, Peru, Denmark, Greece and Italy. And an international line-up of chefs will lead live cooking demonstrations of culinary cultures across the world in the International Innovations theatre, sponsored by California Prunes.

Technological advances

In the Research Hub, leading UK and international research organisations will offer insight into the impact of the latest science and technological advances on future food security, as well as disruptive ideas. And the Match Hub-Spot will enable exhibitors and visitors to identify potential business partners among manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, retailers, importers, exporters, business services and research centres.

Briony Mansell-Lewis, Food Matters Live director, says: "Food Matters Live is fast becoming an annual education and business opportunity for many in the industry.

"If you want to stay ahead of the competition with menus offering sustainable and nutritious food for health-conscious consumers, as well as meeting demands from Public Health England for less sugar and fewer calories, this is the place to come."

Click here to register for free entry to Food Matters Live 2018

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