Feast your eyes: Forum revels in food and drink

27 : 11 : 2013 Gin : Tuck Box : Food And Drink Futures Forum

London – Leading figures from the food and drinks industry joined LS:N Global’s own experts at the Food and Drink Futures Forum yesterday for an extensive discussion of the hottest trends and the latest tastes and tipples on the scene.

The day began with a Global Market Overview presentation from The Future Laboratory co-founders Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond, which unpacked the economic slowdown that has challenged the industry while also identifying new consumer typologies and market opportunities. This was followed by a discussion between Hannah Stodell, LS:N Global insight editor, and Bruce Langlands, director of foods at Harrods. Langlands discussed the luxury food and drink consumer and how Harrods has maintained its heritage luxury status while also attracting younger shoppers. ‘Consumers want affordable luxury,’ said Langlands. ‘We offered Dior cupcakes for £45 – and they sold out.’

This was followed by a presentation by Peter Firth, LS:N Global senior journalist, on the latest food trends, including Hybrid Snacks, Waste Redux and New Foodscapes.

In the afternoon, guests took a break with Lab Talk Tea Time, during which they tried a range of teas and coffees paired with sweet treats by Tuck Box. After the refreshments, LS:N Global editor Lucie Greene explored the latest drinks trends, including the cool teetotaller (Neo-Detox ) and the healthy buzz that Millennials are finding from Clean Energy drinks.

Greene then led a discussion about gin, whisky and appealing to a new generation of spirit drinkers with head distiller Andrew MacLeod Smith and founder Darren Rook of The London Distillery Company. ‘Because of the distillery we built, it is so much more than just gin; our product is a window into a bespoke world,’ they said.

The group then split into two. Half stayed in the workshop with Martin Raymond, who presented Innovation Futures: case studies of top innovators in the field who are re-inventing the sector by taking risks, creating compelling experiences but always keeping the consumer in mind, such as Mr Fogg’s storytelling bar in Mayfair. Downstairs, the other half of the delegates enjoyed a food and champagne pairing presented by David Hesketh, managing director of Laurent-Perrier UK, and food designer Jacopo Sarzi.

The delegates then reconvened to watch the Food and Drink Interiors Showcase film, highlighting the best food and drink spaces around the globe. This was followed by a talk between Martin Raymond and Ryan Chetiyawardana, owner of White Lyan, where he has rewritten the rules of what you need to make a successful bar. ‘We like to buck the trends, no ice!’ he said.

The day ended with Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond presenting the Food and Drink Futures toolkits, leaving the delegates with a plan of attack on how to digest the trends discussed and use them for their own brands.

For more on the Food and Drink Futures Forum, look out for the Food and Drink report, coming soon to our shop.

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