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What does this year's London Food Tech Week have on the menu?

30th April 2019
Lanna Cooper


London Food Tech Week is week-long festival and showcase of the latest food trends and companies using technology to transform the food and drink ecosystem. It is returning to the capital from 20th-24th May 2019. 

Across London, London Food Tech Week will play host to a series of high energy and engaging events including investor, expert and industry drop-ins for startups, case studies profiling small and large businesses that worked together to solve real life challenges in the food industry, and community events and talks hosted by some of the world’s top Food Tech companies.

Confirmed speakers include Giuseppe Scionti, Founder & CEO of NovaMeat, which uses technology to fabricate and commercialise a new generation of plant-based fibrous meat substitutes, Isabel Hoffmann, Founder & CEO of Tellspec, an analytics company that offers real time non-destructive sensors for food and for human milk analysis and Ivan Farneti, Managing Partner at Five Seasons Ventures - the first European venture fund focused exclusively on Food Tech.

The week also has home-grown talent on the menu including hospitality power list Robin Clark, Business Partnerships Director at Just Eat UK, Heather Mills, Owner and Founder of VBites Foods and Lisa and Alana MacFarlane, Co-Founders of the Gut Stuff.

New for 2019
Each day has an overarching theme to be explored which helps visitors plan their experiences and drop in and out of sessions they want to attend throughout the week. Each day, YFood host their headline content at a different hero venue, chosen to match the theme of the day. There are also exciting fringe events, hosted by members of the YFood community which are open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The five themes for this year’s Food Tech Week are:

Monday: Home
Technology in the home is developing at a frenetic pace and people are seeking a more connected experience when cooking, meal-planning and minimising waste. Attendees to the Home sessions will have the opportunity to learn how technology, media and new business models are creating a rich food experience in the home.

This day’s headline event will be held in breathtaking art deco Banking Hall and hosted by Myles Hopper, Founder of healthy recipe box company, Mindful Chef. The day will feature YFood’s trademark short, thought-leading YFood Talks - The Disruptors - which will see innovators and startups share their trailblazing stories. Confirmed innovators include Jelly Drops - bite-sized edible pods of water to help dementia sufferers stay hydrated and Smarter.

In addition, delegates will have the opportunity to learn what makes investors support startups. Bringing tangible learnings will be A Marriage Made in Food Tech Heaven case study which explores how Diageo, social channel Twisted and dark kitchen network Lean are pushing the social commerce boundaries by getting products directly into consumers hands after consuming content.

Kicking off the day, Mindful Chef will be hosting an exciting community event starting with a yoga class with one of their ambassadors, followed by a discussion on how cooking & food in the home are changing and the innovations driving this space. In the evening, Business Sweden will be hosting an invite-only community event at the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence.

Tuesday: Food and Drink
Innovation in food and drink is happening at a significant rate: Earth is being explored for new ingredients, experts and consumers are recognising the planetary implications of past techniques and there is a much greater understanding of the human body.

Based at an east London venue, Oval Space is a warehouse-style venue where the  sessions will explore alterna-products and new ingredients, new manufacturing methods, such as nano-technology, fermentation and lab-grown meat, and also drinks: the rise of non-alcoholic, functional, supportive and new ingredients.

Headline speaker, Sam Conniff Allende, entrepreneur and author of Be More Pirate, will be challenging the audience to manifest their inner pirate in order to positively disrupt the food industry.

There will also be a focus on gut health in the morning session. The hosts of the day, The Gut Stuff, will lead a panel which will look at how the science of gut health - a hugely prominent wellbeing topic - can be brought to consumers by retailers and food producers.

Later in the day there will be more innovative disruptors, case-studies and investor pitching and community events.

Wednesday: Shop
Consumers now have much more defined expectations of supply chain transparency and sustainable packaging solutions. The day, based at the majestic, Grade II listed Dutch Hall, will look at new business models and channels that harness data and technology to deliver a personalised and efficient experience which keep the retail landscape relevant, exciting and thriving.

The day’s ‘Disruptors’ talk will include Isabel Hoffmann, Founder & CEO of Tellspec LTD. Isabell will inform us on the transparency of food fraud and how technology can help manufacturers and retailers future proof their business.

Thursday: Out
With increasingly hectic lifestyles, people are now looking for adaptable meal options to have at work, while travelling and when dining out. In addition, consumers expect good quality, great service and a memorable experience wherever they go - plus, they are braver and less loyal than ever before.

This day - based at Hawker House, an all-year-round street food warehouse in Canada Water - will explore how technology can help save this uncertain industry. From efficiency measures, to experience-enhancing tactics and new channel opportunities, talks and showcases will share leading innovations taking place across the globe, experts include Winnow and Vita Mojo.

An exclusive panel looking at the investor mindset called Can Tech Save Us? will be hosted by RSM and features hospitality entrepreneur and Million Pound Menu investor Charlie McVeigh who is the brains behind Draft House specialist beer pub chain which was recently sold to BrewDog.

The ‘A Marriage Made in Food Tech Heaven’ case study will look at a highly innovative collaboration between Just Eat and sustainable packaging startup, Skipping Rocks Lab. With over 11 billion plastic condiment sachets sold globally - and as part of its initiative to find alternatives to single use plastic packaging - Just Eat and Skipping Rocks Lab trialled the use of seaweed based sauce sachets.

Friday: Swap and Party
The week will culminate in an exciting series of expert, industry and investor drop-ins, at Grace Hall a 1920s building with stunning Art Deco heritage, which will give YFood startup passport holders the tools, motivation and inspiration to take their business to the next level. Harnessing everything they have learned throughout the week, passport holders will have an unrivalled and exclusive opportunity to elevate their businesses and grow their ideas including drop-in sessions with RSM, Mitchells & Butlers, Five Seasons Ventures, Jam Jar Investments, Bruntwood, AgriTech Hub and more.

A fun, experiential launch party of next year’s event will celebrate the end of a successful week.

Nadia El Hadery, Founder and CEO at YFood, which organises London Food Tech Week, said: “Food Tech Week is a fascinating industry festival which celebrates and connects the incredible people and innovations that are helping us make huge strides in Food Tech, revolutionising the way we buy and consume food. It’s a must-attend for startups, investors, brands, marketers and food manufacturers alike.”

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