The Food Exchange: Start and grow a food & drink business

28th May 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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f you’re looking to start or grow a food or drink business, this online event is for you! Meet retail buyers to hear how to get your products stocked, hear tips from successful entrepreneurs in the industry and learn how to grow your business at this online extravaganza.
Exchange events put you in touch with brand buyers looking for products just like yours and provide dedicated advice from industry experts to help you grow your business. Apply to pitch your products to Selfridges or Planet Organic, live via webcam here.

Why attend?

Hear top tips for growing your business from inspirational entrepreneurs
Meet buyers from Planet Organic and Selfridges and hear how to get your products stocked
Pitch your products to retail buyers
Gain top tips for growing your brand on social media
Understand how to create a sustainable brand
12.30pm: How to pitch to retail buyers

Wizz Selvey is the founder of WIZZ&CO, where she champions brands and retailers to stand out from the noise to attract customers. Wizz was formerly Head of Beauty at Selfridges and Director at Cowshed Beauty and Soho Home. Wizz has been pitched to thousands of times, so she knows what works. Wizz will explain how you can successfully pitch your food and drink products to retail buyers.

1.00pm: Q&A with inspirational entrepreneurs: Gracie and Sophie Tyrell, founders, Squirrel Sisters

Squirrel Sisters is the UK’s only no added sugar, award-winning snacking brand, founded by sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrell, who are on a mission to revolutionise the snacking category. The sisters launched the business in 2015 after Sophie was diagnosed with a heart condition that needed surgery. After the surgery she started reacting really badly to sugars and processed foods so Gracie made it her mission to create delicious snacks that she could enjoy while recovering that also ticked all the health credentials that she needed.

Fast forward five years and their products are now stocked in over 2000 retailers including Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Waitrose and many more. They recently went global with a launch in the US and Middle East. In January 2021, the sisters launched the UK’s first NO ADDED SUGAR online shop for snacks and kitchen essentials. Hear the story and Gracie and Sophie’s top tips for growing a successful food business.

1.30pm: How to grow a sustainable food and drink business

In this session, a panel of experts will share tips for making steps to make your food or drink business more sustainable.

Deepak Ravindran, co-founder, Oddbox
Fflur Lawton, head of public affairs, Smart Energy GB
Nirali Mankodi, co-founder, Superfoodio
2.00pm: Finding your brand niche

Sparke Club love everything from that first spark of an idea through to creating a brilliant product concept. With over 35 years’ experience in the food and drink industry, products they’ve worked on have been listed in all the top grocers, on the high street and internationally. In this session at The Food Exchange, Hayley and Emma will go through some key steps to help you define or refine your brand niche. You’ll leave with an understanding of what a USP is and why it’s important, how this impacts your target market and, importantly how to exploit your niche for your brand.

2.30pm: Exploring your business growth journey

Hear from a panel of experts and entrepreneurs about the route to market strategy that helped them to grow their businesses, identify opportunities and enter new markets.

3.00pm: Instagram promotions in five steps

In this session, social media expert, Fin Wycherley, will provide training for food and drink business owners looking to create promotions on Instagram. Fin will share the value of advertising on Instagram and tips for promoting your posts and stories.

3.30pm: Meet the buyer: Planet Organic

Do you want your products stocked in Planet Organic? Al Overton, buying director at Planet Organic will join to share how you can get in touch with the buyers, what impresses them in a pitch and what they are looking for at the moment. Three attendees will have the opportunity to pitch to Al live ‘on stage’. You can apply here. Apply by Tuesday 25 May.

4.00pm: Meet the buyer: Selfridges

Adrian Boswell, food buyer at Selfridges will join the stage to share what he’s looking for in a brand and how you can get your products stocked on the shelves of Selfridges. Three attendees will have the opportunity to pitch to Adrian live on stage via webcam. You can apply to pitch here. Apply by Tuesday 25 May.

4.30pm: You’ve got the listing – now what?

Once you’ve got a listing with a retailer, how can you ensure you launch well and keep the listing? In the final session at The Food Exchange, Karen Green, the Food Mentor, will take you through how to make the most of your new listing. Karen enables food and drink businesses to achieve profitable sales growth, whether they are just starting out or well on their way to their first million. For the past five years, Karen has been working with food entrepreneurs helping them to gain and retain UK retailer listings including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Costco and Ocado.

5.00pm: Group networking

After a successful and well received session at The Fashion Exchange, GS1 UK will once again be powering a networking session for attendees. This is the chance to grab a drink, turn your camera on (if you like) and meet fellow food and drink entrepreneurs from the event, discuss ideas, learnings from the day and ask anymore questions. There will also be a fun giveaway during the session so make sure you come along and don’t miss out.

If you have any questions, please email


28th May 2021
12:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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