UK Food and Drink Shows - FDE

The UK Food & Drink Shows are less than a month away with thousands of food and drink experts set to flock to the Birmingham NEC.

The shows, run by William Reed, take place from Monday 29 April to Wednesday 1 May and bring together the very best of the grocery, specialist retail, wholesale, foodservice, and hospitality sectors.

Business advice, networking opportunities, competitions and more are on the agenda. Ahead of the shows, British Baker has taken a closer look at what’s in store:

One ticket, five shows

The UK Food & Drink Shows comprise five individual events under one roof, all of which can be accessed with just a single visitor badge – completely free via registration here.

Across the Farm Shop & Deli Show, Food & Drink Expo, The Restaurant Show, National Convenience Show, and The Forecourt Show, there are countless opportunities to witness innovation and get networking, meaning valuable time spent offsite can have even more of an impact for visitors whose interests go beyond any individual show.

Britain's Best Loaf winners 2023

Britain’s Best Loaf winners 2023

Celebrate a new crop of winners

British Baker will be revealing the winners of Britain’s Best Cake and Britain’s Best Loaf at the shows, on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April, respectively.

Sponsored by Dawn Foods, Kluman & Balter, Sonneveld Group, and Walker Humphrey, Britain’s Best Cake aims to find the best sweet creations on offer from crowd-pleasing carrot cakes to luxurious loaf cakes, mind-blowing brownies, and fabulous fruit cakes. Our cake connoisseurs, also known as judges, include buyers and product developers for major retailers, technical managers for ingredients firms, and award-winning cake makers.

Britain’s Best Loaf, which has been running for more than a decade, is sponsored by ADM Milling, Bako Group, Brook Food & Bakery Equipment, and Lesaffre UK & Ireland this year. Judges for the competition will be looking for lovely loaves which display the skill of the bakers behind them, have a lovely aroma, and taste great.

Both events are judged live at the shows before the category winners and ultimate champions are revealed, so attendees can get a closer look at all the wonderful entrants.

UK Food & Drink Shows - 3

Exhibitor excellence on display

More than 1,200 exhibitors are set to come together across the five shows, giving visitors an abundance of choice whilst also providing brands with the most up-to-date look at innovation in their respective sectors.

When it comes to the baking industry, there are a host of companies from manufacturers to ingredients suppliers, equipment providers, and more. Here are a few of the bakery firms set to attend (and where you can find them):

Company nameStandCompany NameStand

Angel Refrigeration


Just Desserts Yorkshire


Blackfriars Bakery


La Lorraine Bakery Group


Brook Food & Bakery Equipment


Love Handmade Cakes




Original Biscuit Bakers


Carrs Pasties


Peter’s Yard


Craft Bakers Association




Crosta & Mollica


Shipton Mill




The Finest Cake Co


Delice de France


The Original Baker


Eurostar Commodities


Toppings Pies


Fiona Cairns




Hedonist Bakery


Walker’s Shortbread






Explore the exhibitors here.

UK Food and Drink Shows - 2

Business advice from industry experts

Five stages – The Grocer Stage, Farm Shop & Deli Stage, Chefs’ Stage, Restaurant Stage, Convenience Store & Forecourt Trader Stage – present a standout programme of seminars with industry experts offering their takes on the most pressing issues and thought-provoking topics.

Whether it’s questions around sustainability, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, improving diversity and inclusion, harnessing technology or trends for 2024 and beyond, sessions are designed to tackle the problems that the industry professionals continue to come up against, whilst also giving visitors an opportunity to ask their burning questions.

Sessions include:

Monday 29 April

10:30-11:00 – The Coronation Food Project: A King’s mission – The Grocer Stage

The project, in partnership with FareShare and The Felix Project, seeks to tackle food waste and food insecurity across the UK by rescuing surplus food and redistributing it to those needing it most while reducing carbon emissions. Join this session, to find out more about the project, the targets it has set and why it is imperative for businesses across the UK food and drink industry to get involved.

13:45-14:15 – Food to go: The trends to watch out for in 2024 – The Grocer Stage

The food to go landscape has changed considerably post-pandemic, with operators actively seeking sites in suburban areas and away from city and town centres. The fight for space between c-stores, supermarkets, bakeries, coffee shops and fast-food outlets is intensifying. Join food and drink insight experts, Lumina Intelligence, to understand the latest trends impacting the UK food to go market.

Tuesday 30 April

10:30-11:00 – A force for good: Why sustainability matters and how you can do your bit – Farm Shop & Deli Stage

The need for action in the fight against climate change is becoming increasingly urgent and we all have a responsibility, whether that be as businesses or consumers. Join our expert panel, as we discuss consumer expectations around sustainable practices and hear from leading retailers and manufacturers on how they are driving change and the impact it has had on their business.

12:00-13:00 – Dragons’ Pantry – Farm Shop & Deli Stage

Ready to witness the ultimate retail test? Watch and learn as brave entrepreneurs meet our fearsomely experienced industry ‘dragons’ to make their 15-minute pitch. Success could bring a new listing and coverage in The Grocer, while everyone gets invaluable insights into what works in-store.

14:45-15:15 – Social media food & drink trends: what’s hot now? – The Grocer Stage

Delve into the dynamic world of social media food and drink trends with restaurant TikTok strategist Melanie Todd. In this session you will gain insights on what’s capturing an audience’s appetite on social media and how to strategically allocate your resources for maximum impact. Learn how AI is being used and what you can do to get views.

Wednesday 1 May

10:30-11:00 – The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the specialist retail sector – Farm Shop & Deli Stage

Smaller baskets? Increased prices? Reduced footfall? There is no doubt that the inflationary pressures on both businesses and consumers have had an impact across the UK food and drink industry. But to what extent has it impacted specialist retail? In this session, a panel of experts unpick the consequences of the challenges the industry faces, how the industry is adapting and the outlook for the future.

See the full line up of speakers and panels here.

Will Shu Deliveroo Food Shows85

Source: William Reed

Industry heavyweights out in force

Five separate stages, set up across the different shows, include a panellist line up that reads like a who’s who of industry specialists. Just some of the names signed up to speak are:

  • Karen Dear, CEO at Craft Bakers Association
  • Kate Nicholls OBE, CEO, UKHospitality
  • Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, celebrity chef 
  • George Wright, CEO, FareShare
  • Karen Betts OBE, CEO, Food & Drink Federation
  • Nicola Karran, head of business development and hospitality, Booths
  • Rosemary Shrager, celebrity chef
  • Zain Hyde, head of coffee to go, Lavazza