Manx produce showcased at IFE, London: the UK’s biggest Food & Drink Event

04 April 2024

Producers from the Isle of Man, supported by Business Isle of Man, proudly raised awareness of our unique food and drink offering at the UK’s biggest International Food & Drink Event (IFE, London) from 25th to 27th March 2024.

In an initiative joint-funded by Business Isle of Man, four of the Island’s renowned food and drink producers exhibited at IFE London, with award winning distilleries Fynoderee and Outlier exhibiting alongside Okell’s Brewery on a shared ‘Isle of Man Drinks’ stand and Isle of Man Creamery within the Cheese Pavilion. They attracted interest and held productive conversations with many of the international buyers and thought-leaders who were amongst IFE’s 27,000 visitors.

In addition to attending IFE, Business Isle of Man hosted an evening reception for a group of over 80 highly regarded buyers, journalists, chefs, and influencers to showcase food & drink from the Isle of Man, the world’s only entire nation biosphere.

Island Seafare, Isle of Man Meats, Davison’s Ice Cream, and Isle of Man Salt Co joined the four exhibitors to talk about their product range, values, and USPs. The highlight of the evening was a bespoke Manx food & drink menu created by using quality ingredients from local producers to bring a taste of our Island to London.

Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, who delivered a welcome address to the attendees and visited our producers at IFE, commented:

‘The Isle of Man’s representation at IFE and the Evening Showcase provided a great platform for Manx food and drink exporters. We were extremely pleased to welcome so many notable guests to our Evening Showcase and the level of interest in the Isle of Man and Manx produce was both heartening and motivational for the businesses involved.’

Ollie Neale, Business Isle of Man Board Member and Managing Director, Okell’s Brewery and H&B Wholesale Ltd commented:

‘The Food & Drink Export Development group has taken the first step towards increasing our exports by attending IFE. Coming together, we have pooled our resources to create a presence that would not have been possible for an individual exhibitor. Our strength as a sector lies in being able to share costs, ideas, and platforms. I am pleased to say that IFE was an excellent exhibition of the unique community spirit all Isle of Man businesses have in supporting each other.

‘For Okell’s Brewery, it was also a proud moment, as our alcohol free pale ale, Zero, won the award for the Best Low/No Product in the World Food Innovation Award 2024 announced on 25th March at IFE, London.’

Findlay Macleod, Business Isle of Man Board Member and Managing Director, Isle of Man Creamery commented:

‘Off-Island sales continue to be a crucial element of Isle of Man Creamery’s annual revenue and growing these sales is strategically important. As the largest event of its kind in the UK, IFE provided us with the opportunity to raise awareness of the distinctive and quality range of products we offer and to establish relationships that could become highly rewarding.

‘We are aiming to grow our Food & Drink exports and the extensive feedback our businesses have received as a result of these two initiatives, as well as the relationships established, will contribute considerably towards catalysing this growth.’

Tuesday (26th March) also saw the opening of the new Tesco store on Victoria Road where a wide range of locally produced goods are available. Working closely with the Department for Environment, Food, and Agriculture, Business Isle of Man has assisted in ensuring that financial support schemes are in place for producers seeking to gain the health and safety accreditations Tesco and similar large retailers require. We are confident that the variety of locally produced food and drink on sale in local Tesco stores will continue to grow over the coming months.

The exhibition, along with the conclusion of the successful Manx Menu contest, of which the winners will be announced next week, contributed to an encouraging month for the sector.