Trends and our review of the most enjoyed exhibitors at the BBC Good Food Show NEC, Birmingham Saturday 30 November 2019

Trends and our review of the most enjoyed exhibitors at the BBC Good Food Show NEC, Birmingham Saturday 30 November 2019



As commented on in the EuroMonitor International Market Research report in November 2019, the commitment to make all packaging sustainable by 2030 will require innovation that needs to be performed in a relatively short period of time, bringing technical, inventive and financial challenges to businesses. The once ubiquitous plastic is losing its popularity due to increasing global awareness of its harmful environment effect, with consumers actively switching to recyclable, reusable and biodegradable alternatives (we are reviewing below a good example of this – reinvention through innovation).

Healthy ingredients, gifting

Mintel’s analysis also confirms consumers becoming more concerned with cocoa content, e.g., source of origin, uniqueness and authenticity and a quarter of chocolate buyers in the UK say they would pay more for a luxury brand, while 44% would do so as a gift.  Here again our review below applies).

Also in the same report, it states that health concerns are never far from public scrutiny, and more consumers are choosing Free From products for both health and lifestyle reasons – the commentator confirms seeing growth in this market and more demand for unprocessed, simple, healthy products made from just a few ingredients or ingredients which definitely benefit health (see our second review below).



We  were entranced by Jenny Wren’s unique, 3 tier original collection gift box containing 12 milk, dark and white hand finished Belgian truffles (as shown) – the white chocolate truffles were delicious – not too sweet with a lovely consistency.  We also tried the Strawberry Marc de Champagne Truffles – again delicious.  We were also impressed by the innovative approach to bags and packaging – the bags (as shown) have been innovatively made from potato starch and are certified ‘home disposable’ and the boxes are also recyclable.


Highly recommended



Our colleague, Claire, who is a part time senior nurse with an interest in health food products, visited the OHSO stand and was impressed by the  chocolate bars – Belgian chocolate and only 63 calories per bar! It was explained that each bar packs in over a billion probiotics so as well as being very low calorie they also are good for gut health.


Highly recommended




We were also completely sold on this fresh ‘food in a box’ service.  The Mindful Chef  delivers fresh, nutritionist designed recipes to the doorstep – perfect for busy health conscious professionals and those living alone who have little inspiration to prepare and cook for 1!  Gluten and dairy free, with good choices for Vegans, there is a great variety to choose from.  This worthy company even donates a meal to a child in poverty for every meal purchased so it delivers in terms of social conscience as well.


Highly recommended




As reported by the Guardian at the beginning of the year, the big trend over recent years has been gin. Annual sales have almost doubled over the past five years and in 2018 topped £2bn. The number of distilleries has more than doubled to more than 300 as artisan gin makers have sprung up all over the UK and pubs have even started offering gin menus.  In order to differentiate, gin distillers are continuing to introduce unusual ingredients.  Consumers are also increasingly concerned about provenance and authenticity, becoming more sophisticated in their choices.

Hybrid drinks

The report also states that younger drinkers have a thirst for novelty and drinks companies are scrambling to slake it. The result is a rise in so-called hybrid drinks, some of which make more sense than others.



This is a great invention – in our view a successful example of the hybrid drinks trend. We agree that the teas, which take only the highest quality tea leaves and spirits from across the globe, are wonderfully satisfying and unique.   We tried the Noveltea gift pack teas which feature Tale of Oolong, Tale of Earl Grey and Tale of Moroccan Mint and found them excellent.

Highly recommended




AGNES ARBER GIN (Signature Brands)

Founded in recognition of the first lady of botany, Agnes Arber, who won the Linnean Society’s highest accolade, the Linnean Gold Medal, this company’s range truly scores on the authenticity and provenance consumers increasingly demand as well as being beautifully packaged (the bottles are so stunning they would grace any presentation case or shelf).  We tried the true-gin pineapple flavoured spirit launching at the show – a real rarity as the majority of the few other pineapple gins in the market are only a liqueur-level ABV whereas the Arber Pineapple is 41.6%.  It has a delightful flavour, but with a strong kick, and we congratulate the company in achieving this strong yet subtle strong gin.

Try with any premium tonic, but a standout choice is Luscombes grapefruit tonic.

A great alternative for those non tonic lovers is a ginger ale.

Highly recommended




Also fitting in well with research trends, The English Drinks Company’s new Lime Gin is the only pure lime gin in the world.  We tried it and whilst we could really taste the lime it was not in the least overpowering – a triumph!  We also tried the unusual Cucumber Premium Dry Gin and this certainly lives up to its claims –  the cucumber’s sweetness subtly compliments the vibrant botanical ingredients resulting in a delicate and unique taste experience.

Highly recommended





We were also pleased to discover Tarsier Gin which is inspired by the cuisine of South East Asia. We tried the Oriental Pink Gin; it has the floral notes of the Thai red dragon fruit, sweetness from Vietnamese lychees and tartness from Oriental raspberries.   It should certainly appeal to adventurous gin lovers who are looking for something completely unusual – we loved it!  In addition we must also mention the appropriate use of the Tarsier itself in the branding – the little Tarsier is a unique type of primate that inhabits southern and eastern parts of Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines) and has the largest eyes of any mammal, making for an adorable image and one that makes the bottles extra appealing on a bar or shelf.

Highly recommended