Take your pick – planted highlights from IFE

After a long wait, IFE returned to the corridors of Excel on 21-23 March. Having visited IFE 2022, I thought I’d share a few of my highlights from this year’s exhibition.

Planet plant

The International Food and Drink Event promised a plant-based section as this year’s exhibition – and it did not disappoint. There was plenty on offer for those wanting to capitalise on the plant-based revolution, whether it be for people who limit meat consumption or to bring together meat lovers with people who don’t eat meat or don’t eat it anymore.

The event provided a considerable platform as a showcase of the latest products as well as tastings across numerous categories, including meat-free and fish alternatives, dairy replacements, snacks, and health-foods.

So, in no particular order, honourable mentions must go to…

  • La Vie Foods for mastering imitation pork fat.
  • Moving Mountains’ Southern Fried Nuggets and fish fingers – nice succulent, flaky texture, very similar in taste to the real thing.
  • Granarolo’s Unconventional Burger is juicy and a tasty eat truly similar to the taste of meat. 
  • Future Farm – the mince has a good texture and the flavour was great.
  • The Good Catch – plant-based seafood with a great texture. 
  • Plnt – plant-based stew gravy – an amazingly flavoured enjoyable dish.
  • Meatless Farm porkless gyoza, porkless wonton, duckless spring roll – great tasting. 
  • Rich’s selection of bakery products were some of the best sweet treats on offer.
  • Cheese O’s/Moorepark – great tasting cheesy snacks packed with flavour and very moreish.

I could go on, however we’ll have a different view in the May issue of the magazine. 

From conversations with plenty of the exhibitors, I learnt that many were eager to show how easily businesses can adapt plant-based food options into their already existing portfolios. The focus for the exhibition in the plant-based arena was on the versatility of the products, and how effectively they can mimic the originals without sacrificing flavour or nutritional value.

Political types often talk of ‘cut-through,’ referring to events in the political bubble that reach the consciousness of the wider public. Rarely can food deliver this kind of reach, but that is exactly what could happen with plant-based food, if the price is right and the taste and texture develops at the pace we are witnessing currently, many from the well-attended halls could find their ranges added to more diets this year.

Happy eating!

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