The annual National Convenience Show and Farm Shop and Deli Show have just taken place at the NEC in Birmingham. Around 600 food and drink brands across a huge variety of different categories were there in all their glory, trying to capture the attention of what was a record attendance of retailers and operators this year. As you’d expect from a leading integrated agency that specialises in all things food and drink, we were there taking in everything that these great shows have to offer.

Over the three days we kept a close eye on social media feeds, striking up conversations and commenting on what was taking place. We hung out with retailers and operators at the various hubs and live debates. We engaged with our retailer and trade media networks face to face and on WhatsApp. And we visited as many suppliers and brands as we possibly could on their stands.

From the hundreds of food and drink brands on show, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 brands that were really getting noticed and talked about. These brands have the potential for big things and are certainly ones to watch.

1. Savse – smoothies

Inspired by mum Nina, Savse was created. With unique flavours and processes the company is proud to be made differently. Their smoothies are not heat pasteurised. Heating is cheating. Instead high pressure is used, which is equivalent of 6 times the pressure found at the deepest part of the ocean. Doing this keeps the nutritious ingredients raw and tasty. We think HPP is pretty cool and the drinks are very definitely tasty.

2. Grenade – sports nutrition

Grenade is positioning itself as a true innovator in the on-trend “better for you” health and wellness space. With a focus on sports nutrition the brand has brought great tasting and nutritionally beneficial products to market using high quality ingredients. Their healthy snack products include high protein low sugar drinks and bars. As a bunch of foodies who love to keep fit and healthy, we do admire their innovation and we love the taste.

3. Moose Juice – energy drinks

Moose Juice Extreme Energy is a sparkling energy drink with added BCAAs and B-Vitamins. Low calorie, zero fat and zero sugar – Moose Juice wants to be your new best friend. Whenever you need an energy pick-me up, you can just get a boost from the Moose. Certainly one of the most eye-catching stands at the show, complete with a roaring log fire. Moose Juice gave us a great boost after a long day at the show.

4. Planters – nuts

There was a big buzz around the Planters stand with hundreds of samples being handed-out over the 3 days. An impressive nuts dispenser centrepiece showcased the protein packed nut varieties which included cashews, peanuts and dried fruit. Only a few of the samples we were given made it back to Jellybean head quarters, so it shows they were pretty tasty indeed.

5. Tasty Tubs – confectionery

These tasty re-sealable confectionery tubs can be perfectly placed in convenience and forecourt stores for irresistible impulse buys. The company supplies wholesale sweets as well as a huge range of other exciting and different snacks and confectionery including imported American candies such as Hershey and Reese’s.  They do some pretty tasty Jellybeans too!

6. Pipers – crisps

We pulled up a Pipers deck chair, opened a packet of crisps and chatted to the team at Pipers about their sponsorship of The Cricketer Village Cup. The idea is to help teams in villages and towns across the country to get together and play cricket, which is of course very British sport. The competition has been around since 1972 and plays its final at Lords, the ‘home of cricket’. They’re celebrating with a new on-pack promotion with the chance to win 1 of 100 Pipers deckchairs. All you need to do is find one of the 100 winning cards inside promotional packs and you’ve won. We think consumers are going to love this promotion, so it’s definitely worth stocking up.

7. Snowshock – frozen drinks

Sales of slush drinks are flying with retailers and operators cashing in, particularly during the summer months. Snowshock claims to be the most profitable slush with retailers looking at profit of between £5k to £20k per year. Snowshock is a premium slush and those of us with kids here at Jellybean know it’s a real favourite and very on-trend.

8. Butcher’s – pet care

By no means the new kid on the block, Butcher’s have been in business for just as long as we have, that’s nearly 30 years. But with new formats and innovation, Butchers continues to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with its high quality dog foods.  Dogs love meat, it’s what they thrive on, and Butchers offer complete, balanced meals in both traditional and new recipes. We asked the authority on dog food, our very own mini Golden Doodle, Whisky for his views on Butchers and he cleared his bowl, which is a sure sign of a best-seller.

9. FruityPot – jelly desserts/snacks

Fruitypot and Jellysqueeze offer a selection of innovative, healthy fruit based products which are a great alternative to sweets, chocolate or crisps and are easy to eat on the go. They’re ideal for a packed lunch, or just as a refreshing snack. Mums in the Jellybean office gave these a big thumbs-up and we’re pretty sure other mums around the UK will too.

10. Zeo – soft drinks

Zeo are delicious, all natural, low calorie soft drinks blended with natural fruit juices, exotic botanicals and a splash of spring water. They’re big on flavour without the guilt. We popped by the stand which was as impressive as the drinks themselves.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our highlights of the food and drink brands most talked about at the shows this year. If you are a brand owner and you need help to hit the sweet spot with your marketing, PR, social and digital then we’d love to talk. Or if you are a retailer or an operator and you’d like more details about any of the brands featured then please get in touch and we can happily share details with you.

*We work with a wide range of leading food and drink brands delivering integrated PR, marketing, social and digital to B2B and B2C audiences. The brands featured above are not current clients of Jellybean Creative Solutions.

Jellybean Creative is a leading food and drink agency. We help top brands with food service pr, food service marketing, digital and design. If you feel we could help you with your marcomms, strategy, public relations, creative or digital then drop us a line today.

Keep reading! Why not read our blog on The Future of Convenience 2019 – 5 key take-outs