Europe’s first-ever dedicated plant-based trade event, Plant Based World Expo, celebrated the very best of the industry when it opened its doors at London’s Business Design Centre last week.
The show welcomed 2,063 attendees from across the food service, retail, distribution, and investment sectors, including senior decision-makers from the likes of Tesco, Deliveroo, and Ocado.
Innovation was the star of the show as the industry came together to highlight the incredible advancements being made within the plant-based space. The show floor was a hub of activity as attendees discussed how plant-based diets can answer questions about public health and sustainability. Experts from some of the biggest food brands in the world, including Nestlé, Tesco, Sodexo, and Quorn, also took to the stage to offer the latest thinking on how plant-based foods can be integrated into the mainstream.
With a unique take on the topic, Emma Keller, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK, joined the ‘growing the entire category of plant-based’ panel: “Our current food system is broken and it’s degrading the planet. With 70 percent of human diets coming from just five animal species and 12 crop types, it’s clear that we need to focus on diversity and regenerative agriculture. We’re at an amazing tipping point where consumers are seeing the health and sustainability benefits of plant-based foods and want to make a change. Although there is no silver bullet to fix these crises, plant-based products play a key role, and we want to grow the category as a whole to make them mainstream.”
The Culinary Theatre
Elsewhere, the event hosted the first ever World Plant-Based Taste Awards. One of the first of its kind, the awards focussed solely on the taste of a product and gave established brands and innovative start-ups the opportunity to be officially recognised as a taste sensation.
Six of the award’s categories were judged live on the show floor by celebrities including Heather Mills. Some of the winners included:
- Best faux meat sausage – Verdino, Vegan Merguez Sausage
- Best faux meat burger – Beyond Meat, Beyond Burger
- Best faux chicken product – Planted, Planted.Chicken
- Best faux bacon product – La Vie, Plant-Based Bacon
- Best faux fish/seafood product – Seabloom, Tuna Free Flakes Lemon
- Best cheese alternative – Honestly Tasty, Veganzola
The interactive features
One visitor who enjoyed the show was Elena Devis, Vegan Category Manager at Deliveroo, who commented: “The Plant Based World Expo was an all-round fantastic event: from insightful round tables with leading brands to industry experts, inspiring conversations, and connections to the most innovative – and delicious! – vegan food manufacturers around.”
Jonathan Morley, Managing Director of Plant Based World Expo, concludes: “As consumer interest in plant-based diets continues to rise, our show provided the perfect platform for the food industry to come together to discuss how plant-based foods can be integrated into the mainstream to improve both our wellbeing and the environment. It has been fantastic to see the industry come together under one roof for the first time in Europe, and we are excited to continue this momentum into our 2022 show.”
To be the first to hear about Plant Based World Europe 2022 at Olympia London, please visit https://www.plantbasedworldeurope.com/attend.asp
Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Technology is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com. Twitter: @Innovfoodtech. Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology. Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52