Bidfood address ‘big topics’ at 2019 Food Festival

18/01/2019 - 06:00
Foodservice provider Bidfood recently held its annual ‘food festival’, inviting key industry players along to explore the ‘big topics’ of 2019.

With Brexit, allergens, food trends and sustainability expected to have the ‘greatest impact’ on foodservice businesses this year, the event sought to address on-going the issues and find practical solutions for each.

According to Bidfood, key insights from the day include:

Brexit

A panel debate saw ‘key’ industry players explore what Brexit could mean for foodservice and hospitality, with resounding agreement that business agility is of paramount importance in the approach to the 29 March.

Having looked in-depth at some of the challenges of Brexit, the panel said it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom, as Brexit may also present some opportunities (from growth in UK food and drink export, to post-Brexit innovation).

Allergens

With changing government legislation likely to be announced in July, the impact on the industry is set to be huge.

Bidfood called for a standardised approach to dealing with allergen information, stressing the need for wholesalers, retailers and other industries to work together to establish a best practice approach.

Angela O’Donovan, Bidfood director of technical Services, also predicted continued growth in the free-from market and increased focus on the use of probiotics and microbiotics, which are thought to play a role in allergy management and prevention.

Trends

The political environment, concerns around sustainability, food provenance and global food influences are set to fuel the major food trends of 2019. Bidfood’s insights team explored what this will look like across all sectors of the industry and gave suggestions for adopting new products and flavours onto menus. 

Advice included looking to foods like ‘trash fish’ and lesser-known cuts of meat; using vibrant flavours found in Afro-Caribbean food; and making vegetables the stars of our plates.

Sustainability

Pete Rayner (Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)) outlined sustainability topics that will ‘drive strategic workstreams’ at Bidfood throughout 2019, including food waste reduction, plastic packaging and a drive towards more sustainable business modelling.

As part of the conversation around food waste, WRAP introduced the concept of ‘Compleating’ - the process of eating the entire vegetable/food product. The charity said it wants to work with partners to change social norms, which have built around food consumption.

Tim Adams, Bidfood director of marketing and corporate sales, concluded: “Helping our customers remain future-proof and robust in the midst of social, economic and political uncertainty, is front of mind at Bidfood.

“We’re continually looking ahead and analysing what’s set to influence the supply chain, menu development, consumer expectations and loyalty.

“Our annual food festival is a great chance to share the expertise we’ve gained with our customers. With such a challenging yet exciting year ahead for the industry, discussing the biggest insights, obstacles and considerations was hugely valuable for all.”

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