IFE is but one of a number of food and drink trade shows that buyers mark into their calendars. It’s a very varied mix of big and small brands, which can be interesting, because you sometimes find some very interesting things. And of course, being every two years, it’s worth a look, even if (like I did when I used to buy for Selfridges and Harrods) you just bomb down those aisles at break neck speed hoping to see a few gems to catch your eye.
Compared with two years ago, the show is bigger and more varied. There certainly seems to be a more upbeat air around, and it was nice to see smaller brands.
This is obviously the year for coconut water, tea and popcorn. SO many brands on show.
But anyway, on to the things that really caught my eye. I should state that I don’t PR any of them, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t!
As you know, I’m not a vegetarian, and sometimes I do wonder, if you choose not to eat meat, why would you necessarily want to buy things that are normally associated with it? I make an exception for sausages, mainly because historically there have been vegetarian ones (yes I’m looking at you Glamorgan Sausage), and who would want to shop for ‘a cylindrical vegetable casing’ anyway?
Secret Sausages just launched at the show today. Consisting of a range of 6 flavours, they are essentially fresh vegetables, smuggled inside a vegetarian casing. According to the blurb, they have 90% less fat, 50% few calories and 35% less salt than conventional sausages. What’s more 3 of them is the equivalent of one of your 5 a day.
The eye catching packaging is beautiful, and the flavours are:
Chilli and Coriander
Rosemary and Garlic
Cheese & Spring Onion
I tried the Honey Bee ones, and they were really good: moist, flavoursome and not claggy. They’re looking for distributors and would love to get into independents before supermarkets, so if you’re a buyer, snap them up!
Cho! is trying to break into a really interesting market: ready to drink SAVOURY drinks. Obviously you’ve got soups etc, but you’ve got to hand it to this intrepid team of 3 partners, who have decided to launch this idea on to the UK market.
Cho! is a range of premium gazpacho drinks, made exclusively in Andalucia by Chef Alejandro Sanchez. The flavours are blends of organic vegetables, fruit, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, garlic and spices with mountain spring water.
Clasico (Tomato & Peppers) – organic tomatoes, red and green peppers, blended with Sierra Nevada spring water plus extra virgin olive oil and a hint of garlic.
Almond & Raspberry – Almonds, raspberries and apples blended with spring water.
Beetroot & Apple – Beets, crisp apples blended with Greek yoghurt
Tomato & Strawberry – Ripe strawberries and organic tomatoes blended with red and green peppers.
I wouldn’t associate Belgium with marshmallows, but they are all chocolate coated, so clearly that’s alright then.