There is no doubting Britain's culinary heritage. Despite what other nations may say, Britain is so much more than 'meat and two veg' and always has been. From cheesemakers who have been producing the same iconic product for centuries, tea makers who have harnessed Britons' love for a cuppa for generations and families who have brought their time-honoured skills to the mass market, the UK's food scene has a lot to be proud of. But the times are changing, with young entrepreneurs and new businesses bringing their fresh new ideas to sit alongside the country's traditional favourites.
The fine food scene in Britain is evolving at an impressive pace, with producers and their innovative new products popping up at a rate never seen before. No doubt this is bolstered by the UK's consumers' growing appreciation for food and drink with something different to shout about, whether that be unique health benefits or a new trend worth exploring.
It will come as a surprise to few that health and wellness is a hot topic at the moment, and therefore that a fair number of this year's crop of new producers are focused on the nutritional benefits of natural food and drink free of artificial additives, flavourings et al. Similarly, there's a visible appreciation of 'crafted' products, with buzzwords such as 'handmade', 'small-batch' and 'artisan' a valuable selling tool for both new and established brands. Equally, keep an eye out for trending topics like hygge – a Danish term which is all over the bloggersphere and sure to come to a shelf near you soon.
If you're on the lookout for the next big thing, be sure to check out these producers at IFE 2017:
Dalston's (Stand N2142)
This producer of craft soft drinks is a welcome alternative to the more conventional beverage brands seen on supermarket shelves across the country. This is a small-scale operation, which relies on hand-mashing rather than creating the drinks using mechanical methods, therefore producing truly unique tipples.
BEEFIT Snacks (Stand N1539)
Protein has been all over shelves and headlines recently as the latest health trend to take off in the UK. Beefit Snacks brand is one of a few in Britain producing biltong, a South African dried meat packed with protein, which is a satisfying way to re-energise after exercise (as well as a delicious on-the-go snack).
Hoogly Tea (Stand N2250)
If you haven't heard about 'hygge' – the Danish word for enjoying the cosier things in life – where have you been? This hot new term has been all over television, magazines and blogs recently, so it's worth popping by the Hygge Tea stand to see what all the fuss is about.
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