‘Busiest Ever’ UK Food & Drink Shows Leaves Visitors and Exhibitors Wanting More

Three days of packed aisles, bustling stages and exhibitor stands inundated with interest typified the 2024 UK Food & Drink Shows experience, as visitors flocked to the Birmingham NEC in their droves to support the annual event, breaking all records in the process to make it the busiest ever.

Following an overwhelmingly positive wave of preregistration interest, the UK Food & Drink Shows, encompassing Farm Shop & Deli Show, Food & Drink Expo, The Restaurant Show, National Convenience Show and The Forecourt Show, lived up to their collective hype. A who’s who of over 1,200 innovative exhibitors from the worlds of grocery, specialist retail, wholesale, foodservice and hospitality, alongside a compelling programme of content set across five stages, provided the perfect draw for a record-breaking audience hungry for inspiration, big names, business building insight and new products.

Exhibitors were quick to express their collective delight at the event turnout, praising both the quality and quantity of visitor.
“The Farm Shop & Deli Show has been absolutely phenomenal, surpassing all of my expectations – it’s been busy and productive. I’ve got so many leads to follow up on, I’ve collected 12 months’ worth of business in just three days! I don’t have to go out and spend money finding customers, they’ve all come to me.”
Mike Simon, Founder, Granola Kitchen, Farm Shop & Deli Show

“The Restaurant Show has been absolutely amazing, with lots of footfall and people coming to see us. Great food, great people, lots of interacting and networking with fellow colleagues from the trade and industry.”
Christian Hampshire, Operations Director, Hobart Service, The Restaurant Show

“Food & Drink Expo has gone fantastically well. We officially launched on day one, so when the doors opened, Bizzi was open! It’s been wonderful. As someone who is very new and looking for buyers and distribution, we’ve met exactly the right people and I’m so pleased.”
Ashley Verma, CEO, Bizzi, Food & Drink Expo

“We’ve exhibited at the National Convenience Show for the past couple of years. It’s always a fantastic show for us, we get a lot of interest in our products and learning about our NPD. It’s been so successful yet again.”
Jena Allen, Brand Manager, Kind Snacks, National Convenience Show

“We’ve had a superb three days at The Forecourt Show. Every day we have been ram packed on the stand – we’ve met existing customers, new customers. The atmosphere has been superb. It’s just been absolutely, fantastically ace!”
Adrian Beeby, Sales Director, Madic UK, The Forecourt Show

Highlights across the three-day event included the culminations of The Farm Shop & Deli Show Product and Retailer of the Year Award and gongs for Britain’s Best Cake and Best Loaf, respectively. Elsewhere, industry heavyweights including Aktar Islam, Chef Patron at Opheem, Founder of VBites, Heather Mills, acclaimed actor James Cosmo who is also Company Director at Annandale Distilleries, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Retail Director of SPAR UK, Ian Taylor and Innocent Drinks UK&I Managing Director, Sam Akinluyi, were on hand to draw in the crowds and provide memorable moments.

Andrew Reed, Managing Director – Wine & Exhibitions, William Reed, said: “The UK Food & Drink Shows are completely unique in their proposition, covering so many sectors in such comprehensive fashion under one roof. We’re delighted, therefore, that visitors have responded so positively to our exhibitor base and world class programme of content, voting with their feet to make this a record-breaking year. It’s incredibly heartening to hear so many positive stories from exhibitors testifying to visitor quality. Proof that no other event in the calendar comes close to providing such a complete snapshot of these exciting, complementary, and ever evolving industries.”

The shows return to the NEC, Birmingham 13-15 April 2026, register your interest here.