The event featured 24 business vying to get their products into UK stores by showcasing a mix of innovative flavours, heritage production methods and ingenious design coming out of Flanders.
Driving the event was a need to prove that Belgium is more than just a producer of beer and chocolate. The event served as a porthole into the myriad products coming out of the country.
Trends and innovations
Highlights included: brewer Eylenbosch’s Oude Kriek 2 de batch, a slowly fermented beer allowed to take on natural bacteria from the countryside that tastes like a fusion between beer and wine; rectangular quiches from Maître André offering an easier way to eat the product on the go; and ‘green’ wine from Hoenshof with its aromatic flavour unlike other white wines.
Food Manufacture spoke to Dirk Verlee, trade and investment commissioner at Flanders Investment & Trade, to learn more about the trends on display at Flanders’ Finest Flavours.
“The trends in Belgium and in Flanders are pretty much the same as in the UK,” said Verlee. “People are looking to diversify and products that are good for their health, so there's a trend of non-alcoholic drinks, there's a trend for low sugar or no sugar.
‘Back in time’
“There's a trend also to go back in time – retro products and originality in general is very important. It remains important to look beyond the borders for us and for UK companies to get inspired, to get new ingredients and create new products.”
“Because youngsters are far from traditional – they want new things, they want new experiences – and I think that we can mutually inspire ourselves by the products that we offer both in the UK and in Flanders.”
Meanwhile, last month, Food Manufacture travelled to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair to discover some of the latest trends and innovations coming out of the UK’s artisan producers.