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

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General Assembly

The Relay Building

114 Whitechapel High St


E1 7PT

United Kingdom

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The Food Exchange

If you're looking to start or grow a food or drink business, this is the event for you!

Join inspiring retail buyers, entrepreneurs and experts from the food and drink industry for this one-day extravaganza.

How does the Food Exchange work?

Exchange events put in you in touch with large brand buyers looking for products just like yours. You'll hear advice from a variety of entrepreneurs who have been there and done it plus experts in topics such as sales, marketing and packaging for the food industry.

Feel free to bring samples of your products to the showcase, but please note there's limited space and it's on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees, buyers and journalists can view your products during the breaks. Please note Enterprise Nation is not liable for the safety and security of your products.

Pitch your products to buyers live on-stage

A great opportunity to meet buyers, pitch to them directly and showcase your products. Brands that have pitched at a Food Exchange event in past years have gone onto the shelves of Selfridges, Planet Organic, Ocado and more, so make sure you make the most of this opportunity! Applications will open soon.

What will I learn at the event?

  • How to prove there's a market for your product
  • Scaling up from kitchen table to professional manufacturing
  • Top branding and packaging advice
  • What margins you should be aiming for
  • How to avoid the most common mistakes food entrepreneurs make
  • How to approach buyers and get their attention
  • How to ensure your products are selling
  • Much more!

Get a feel for what our Exchange Events are like by watching this short video from the Beauty Exchange, the equivalent of this event for the beauty industry.

Your Event Agenda

9am: Registration and set up of the showcase area

9:25: Welcome by Enterprise Nation and General Assembly

9:30: Getting your products off the shelf, with Tessa Stuart
Now that you've managed to get a listing, how do you ensure your products are being sold and your Rate of Sale is increasing? Tessa has the answers!

10am: How I made it: Squirrel Sisters
Founded by two sisters, Squirrel Sisters is a health and wellness company with a range of award-winning healthy snacks that are now available in Waitrose, Ocado, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Holland & Barrett, and many more. Hear their story on how they launched and grew their business to £700k a year in sales!

10:30am: Driving sales through social media
A Facebook #SheMeansBusiness trainer will be providing tips on how you can build your business online, reach new audiences and generate more sales.

11am: Coffee break: Mingle with fellow entrepreneurs and look at the samples on display

11:30: How to pitch your products to buyers, with Karen Green.
The dream of all food and drink entrepreneurs is to meet buyers from their ideal supermarkets, but before you pitch you need to prepare! This session will help you define your pitching strategy and ensure you make a great first impression to any buyer.

12:15pm: Let your packaging do the talking, with White Bear Studio.
Kelly Mackenzie, from White Bear Studio, will share her special recipe for effective branding and packaging from her agency's proven creative process that has seen every brand that they have created get their investment, and share top tips to ensure that your product gets on the shelf, and flies off it too.

12:45pm: Lunch break
Lunch is on us! Enjoy a light lunch whilst networking with fellow event attendees as well as expert advisers. And don’t forget to have a look at the showcase area.

1:45pm: Top ten mistakes every food entrepreneur makes, with Claire Brumby.
Strategy, Clarity & Focus – how to have these and avoid the top 10 mistakes new entrepreneurs make when launching a food business. Leave with sound knowledge on what NOT to do, and a full understanding of what to do; so you have the best chance of launching and growing a successful business. Claire Brumby is an experienced and accredited business coach and advisor to new and established food & drink businesses internationally.

2:30: Business Essentials
A panel talk covering all the logistics and financial basics you need to know to ensure your brand is a total success.

3pm: Meet the Buyer
Listen to the top advice from buyers in the food & drink industry and learn how to get your products noticed. Buyers to be confirmed very shortly, watch this space!

3:30: Live Pitching to Buyers
We'll be opening applications to pitch live on stage very soon - stay tuned!

4pm: Bringing back the high street: How pop-up stores are tasty to the consumer!
Learn about the opportunities the high street has to offer for FMCG brands, including setting up your own pop-up shop, trading at markets and much more.

4:30pm: Celebratory drinks and networking

5pm: Close of event

About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is the UK's most active small business network and we have helped thousands of people turn their good idea into a great business.

Enterprise Nation membership gives you access to exclusive opportunities to grow your business and connects you with like-minded entrepreneurs and business experts who can help. Membership is just £10 a month and you can cancel at any time. By selecting the 'plus membership' ticket, you’ll automatically get 25% off this event too!

#wegrowthhub #foodentrepreneurs #people #strategy

General Assembly: Space Partner

Since 2011, General Assembly has transformed tens of thousands of careers through pioneering, experiential education in today’s most in-demand skills. Join them for their award-winning curriculum, a community of 40,000 members and expert instructors and mentors who can help you every step of the way.

Cancellation policy

For a full refund, cancellations must be made at least 48 hours prior to the event.

Please note, in the event you are unable to attend this event due to cancellation from yourself or Enterprise Nation, we are unable to refund any associated costs such as hotel or travel.

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General Assembly

The Relay Building

114 Whitechapel High St


E1 7PT

United Kingdom

View Map

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