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IFE in London

UK: important domestic market and centre for food sector

From super foods to insect snacks, innovative food and trends are shaping the food market. From 19th March, visitors to the food and drink exhibition IFE (the international food & drink event) in London can learn about and taste which culinary trends are currently shaping the food market.

More than 1,350 companies from retail, food service, manufacturing, and wholesale and distribution will showcase everything related to food and drink at ExCeL (Exhibition Centre London) from 19 to 22 March 2017. With more than 29,000 international visitors, exhibitors from 57 different countries will be able to reach a wide audience. This is hardly surprising because the food sector is the most important industry on the island. It also provides a good opportunity to look at the current food market in the UK, regardless of the possible effects of Brexit. The market is under scrutiny due to the UK's decision to leave the EU and the overall global situation.

According to Eurostat, the annual turnover of the food sector in the UK is around 97.8 billion euros. However, more than 50 percent of Great Britain's food imports are from the European mainland according to British food safety watchdog, the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The Nagel-Group provides logistics services for international imports and exports to and from the United Kingdom.

Export and import in Great Britain - a general overview

According to Eurostat, Great Britain imported goods worth about 564.2 billion euros in 2015, thus recording more import expenditures than export earnings. The main suppliers are Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, in addition to the USA and China. Nevertheless, according to a ranking of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Great Britain is currently ranked ninth among the world's largest exporting countries.

Eurostat also reports that Great Britain exported goods worth around 184.3 billion euros within the European Union (EU) in 2015 and goods worth around 230.5 billion euros outside the European Union (EU). As a whole, exports were worth 414.8 billion euros. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the USA (14.6 per cent) and Germany (10.1 per cent) are among the main exporting countries.

British road network: beneficial for the logistics sector

Well-developed road networks are important for a thriving import and export business. The UK is well positioned for this. According to Eurostat, transport performance in road transport alone was 156.564 billion tonne-kilometres since 2003. As evidenced in the World Factbook published by the CIA, the UK is ranked 18th worldwide with a road network covering 394,428 kilometres.

The logistics sector benefits from Great Britain's transport network as it consists of a dense trunk road network and a well-developed railway transport. In comparison, a significant share of freight transport in the European international trade is transported by water. The opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 provided an alternative solution. Since then rail freight services and thousands of trucks have used the underground connection between Calais in France and the English city of Dover.

Food logistics is influenced by range, demand, and urbanisation

One of Nagel Langdons' sites is located in Dover. The UK subsidiary of the Nagel-Group provides logistics services for international imports and exports to and from the United Kingdom. Dover is one of the eight Nagel branches in Great Britain.

Even the employees of Nagel Langdons in the UK have realised that the dynamism in food logistics is increasing. Traditional factors such as a growing range of products, volatile demand patterns, scarcity in logistics and sales areas, and increasing urbanisation are influencing food logistics. Moreover, consumer behaviour has undergone some changes.

Culinary highlights in British food culture

The British food culture has continued to evolve over the last few years. The players in the food sector have discovered new trends and improved the reputation of British cuisine around the world. From classic to modern dishes, the country has many culinary highlights to offer. The traditional sumptuous breakfast; the daily tea ceremony in the afternoon; Haggis, the national dish of Scotland or fish and chips are very popular among locals. In recent years, some of the traditional dishes have been reinterpreted by top chefs like Jamie Oliver.

Logistics needs to be responsive to trends in digitalisation

The increasing digitalisation of supply and the logistical chain is changing market and consumer trends. E-commerce and home delivery are just a few examples. According to the website Lengow, the UK is the world's third biggest e-commerce market and the biggest in Europe.

The logistics concepts on the island are already well-established. Providers are currently getting ready for the constantly growing demand for delivery services due to continuing upturn in e-commerce.

IFE: the biggest food & drink trade show in Great Britain

There are many exciting developments that the specialist audience will be able to discuss at the IFE, the international food & drink event, one of the UK's biggest and most important food & drink trade shows. The trade show provides companies the opportunity to obtain the latest information, presents trends in the food sector, and in turn shows future changes in food logistics. Juliet Cook, Food Technologist who visited IFE in 2016 has this to say, "Very interesting, great to see lots of new products and trends. I work in confectionery so it is interesting to see what’s going on." More impressions from trade show attendees and information about IFE can be found here.

Headerimage: © Photocreo Bednarek - Fotolia.com

Would you like to get to know Nagel Langdons?

Our British subsidiary will be exhibiting at IFE on stand N2000. You can make an appointment in advance with one of our specialists to discuss your requirements on our website nagel-langdons.co.uk.

We look forward to meeting you!

IFE 2017, the international food & drink event

  • the biggest and most important food & drink trade show in the UK
  • taking place in London from 19 to 22 March
  • over 1,350 exhibitors from 57 countries
  • 29,000 attendees from 108 countries, comprising 19% retail, 32% food service, 24% manufacturing, and 25% wholesale & distribution

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