How Three Brands Cracked IFE 2024

With over 200 companies exhibiting, how does a brand successfully stand out from the crowd?

April 12, 2024
Taryn Connolly
April 12, 2024
Taryn Connolly

Every March, the food industry descends on Excel London for the annual International Food and Drink Exhibition (IFE), where brands, trade boards and industry services from around the globe come together, to both network and showcase their latest offerings – as well as attend a host of seminars, which we were also lucky enough to attend and can be read about in the first of our seminar series here.  

But with over 200 companies exhibiting, how does a brand successfully stand out from the crowd?  
The question of “who’s doing it best” was one asked several times throughout the day, both by attendees and on discussion panels. 

It was an especially prevalent topic at the “The Four Killer Components to Making Your Brand A Success” talk, hosted by a panel of experts across design, marketing, and PR, as they delved into what makes a good brand – and how many of the brands exhibiting on the day were getting it completely wrong!  
One key insight was how many brands use its USP as the brand story but, what some brands miss is differentiating, the brand story from the USP. 

A product should ideally have its own USP, to help build the ‘why’ for why consumers, while the brand story should stand strong on its own. 

It was also stressed that for a brand to be taken seriously, they need to fully commit to exhibitions. IFE presents real opportunities which need to be maximised. It’s not enough to simply ‘rock up’ with some leaflets and a few samples. It’s about thinking ‘outside the box’ and how you can draw people in to tell that brand story and bring to life the products’ USPs. 

So, who did do it well?  

From sampling, to educating, to simply having the right people on the stand, here’s our top 3 brands that we believe absolutely cracked IFE this year… 

Two Farmers Hand-Cooked Crisps 

Sometimes, the reason why you initially book to exhibit at IFE can often get lost amongst the noise and excitement of securing sales and creating leads.  

Brands who clearly had a goal to showcase the brand ethos, with key messages visible at every point, seemed to lose their way when it came to telling the brand story; however, Two Farmers mastered it perfectly. 

For Two Farmers, it was all about having the right people on the stand. People came for the crisps, but stayed for the conversation, as they were immediately drawn into the Two Farmers story – from the people to the products, to the ethics and more.  

No question was too trivial for the Two Farmers team, and you could instantly feel the passion radiating off the team. Every person bought into their story… and of course, it helped that the product was pretty tasty too! 

MOI by Mademoiselle Desserts 

The saying goes “the way to the heart, is through the stomach” and when it comes to IFE, this is completely the case.  

There’s no better way to get people excited about your product than to have them sample it in style… and MOI by Mademoiselle Desserts was a great example of how to do this really well!  

It was a stand that buzzed with energy. The team were attentive and energised, using each other as support to engage those passing by. The aroma of the beignets filled the air as they provided beignets upon beignets for people to enjoy – and there was no ‘one small mouthful’ here! 

They knew the way to win people over was to provide full-sized samples, and it worked. There were many “mmm’s” and “yum’s” heard across the stand (including from myself who, sorry Mademoiselle Desserts, did go back for seconds!). You were also encouraged to takeaway a beignet in a branded container to help spread the message and the aroma further! 

They also urged people to try the different flavours and once they had them hooked, they teased the opportunity to win beignets for a year by entering a competition – a competition which was snapped up by many but won by none other than our very own Naomi!   

Overall, a great brand who knew their product stood up against their competitors, and simply let the tasting do the talking.  

We can’t wait to get stuck into our years’ worth of beignets! 

The Garlic Farm 

Often, when exhibiting at an industry show, you can assume that people will automatically understand your product or have come across it before. 

The food industry is one full of constant innovation, development, and big ideas… so much so, that even those that live and breathe it every day, still have learning to do. 

This was exactly what The Garlic Farm knew, so used their platform to educate about their black garlic. 
From the history to the trends, to how actually black garlic is being used industry wide (who knew people were using it in beer and sweets!?), The Garlic Farm team didn’t assume anything, and it worked in their favour, as people queued to find out more. 

So, in summary… when conquered correctly, IFE can be a place to thrive, which in turn, will lead to those all-important conversations and leads. The key takeaway for brands is to remember that education is key, should be presented by people that care, all while drawing people in with substantial samples that will have them saying “wow”.  

We look forward to visiting again next year!