13th Sept: National Food & Drink Conference

The National Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition takes place on the 13th September in the Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin.

The annual event will welcome 3,000 food industry professionals, 200 speakers and 170 exhibitors to discuss the key issues facing the food industry.

The drinks sector will be a major focus at this year’s event with the Craft Beer and Spirits Expo, Pub and Off-Licence Expo, the Food & Drink NPD and Innovation Expo all taking place there.


Brexit, Craft Beer, Tourism and more…

Against the backdrop of Brexit this year there will also be a Brexit Food Summit taking place at the event to discuss the wide-ranging impact of the ongoing Brexit negotiation and what a ‘Hard Brexit’ could mean for food and drink producers across Ireland.

Speakers this year include:

  • Mella Frewen, Director General, FoodDrinkEurope
  • Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association
  • Paul Kelly, Director, Food & Drink, IBEC
  • David Thompson, Director, Food and Drink Federation Scotland
  • Tim Casey, Country Manager, Innocent Drinks


In the shadow of Brexit, the UK will be a hot topic at this year’s conference. The drink industry contributes €2bn to the Irish economy and employs over 92,000 people in Ireland while the UK remains the largest destination for drink exports accounting for 27% of all drink exports from the country – but there has been a decline in exports in recent months.

“This is an important event for the drinks industry in Ireland,” commented Colin Murphy, National Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition Organiser, “It’s taking place at a time when there is a significant amount of apprehension ahead of Brexit.

“Drink exports to Britain have seen a slide in recent months but thankfully the sector has seen growth in other markets. That being said, at the moment it’s not business as usual as businesses on both sides of the border are left in limbo until we know what happens next.

“Brexit will be a dominant theme at the conference this year. We’ll be bringing together the largest gathering of food and drink industry professionals including senior executives of Ireland and the UK’s major food and drinks companies to outline what they think is the best case and worst case scenarios for the Irish and UK industry post Brexit.”



Attendees and Exhibitors

The 3,000 attendees expected at this year’s conference will include senior executives from across the food and drink industry who will also be treated to a showcase of the latest innovations in the Irish drink sector along with new products, services and the latest drinks on their way to becoming stock on supermarket shelves from over 170 exhibitors.

The challenges facing the Irish craft beer and spirits sector will feature at this year’s conference with the inclusion of the Craft Beer and Spirits Expo.

With over 50 whiskey distillers and 120 brewers across Ireland, the domestic market has become highly competitive while selling internationally remains an issue for many companies. The CBS Expo will bring together some of the leading brewers and distillers in Ireland to discuss what happens next in the industry.


Lions Den Competition

For the second year running, the event will also host the Lions Den competition for Irish food startups.

The competition is open to all export ready food startups in Ireland where entrants are expected to pitch to a judging panel of four which so far includes Joe Green, Co-Founder of Applegreen; Alison Cowzer, Investor, Dragons Den; Colum O’Sullivan, Co-Founder, Cully & Sully and Brian Lee, Co-Founder of Choppe.

This year’s winner will receive a free stand at the International Food Exhibition in London including expenses and exposure to Ireland’s largest stockists.

Noreen Doyle of The Irish Biltong Company won the Lion’s Den competition last year.

”Winning first prize has totally transformed our business by gaining placements in some of Europe’s largest retailers in Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Germany,” said Noreen, “I would highly recommend any startup food business to participate.”

Entry to the Lions Den is free and interested companies can sign up at


Tickets and entry

This is a free-to-attend event for industry professionals and you can register online at


For further enquires contact

Premier Publishing & Events Ltd.

Ph: 01 612 0880. Email:



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