Fresh perspectives in food and beverages – ‘Tastes of Better 2024’ round-up

We work with b2b clients in a variety of technical sectors, including the food and beverage industry, which we have been involved in for almost 30 years.

We’re always keeping an ear to the ground and staying up-to-date with trends in this sector, so we were thrilled to be invited to join the Insights Programme at this year’s Tastes of Better event in Manchester, hosted by Food Matters Live.

Setting out on the 22nd May for day 2 of the event, we attended a number of interesting insight panels, discussing all things food and beverage – from 2030 ‘megatrends’ and sustainability, to allergens and nutrition.

About Food Matters Live

Food Matters Live is an organisation that prides itself on connecting individuals across the food and beverage sector at events in Ascot, Dublin, and Manchester.

In addition to Tastes of Better, the organisation also hosts events with a more specific focus – Positive Nutrition, and Sustainable Sourcing.

The Tastes of Better event welcomed experts from a variety of organisations, from flavour specialists to FMCG manufacturers, to showcase their innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry. Alongside these showcases, the event also ran insight panels, where guests were invited to sit in on panel discussions with industry leaders on a range of topics impacting the sector.

Expert perspectives from the insights panels

Attendees of Tastes of Better receive a personalised itinerary on arrival, and as Insights Programme guests for day 2, our schedule covered the panel discussions taking place throughout the day.

Following the welcome panel, the discussions started strong with our first insights panel discussing the megatrends that are driving change and innovation across food and beverages. Key discussion here revolved around how megatrends don’t fully disappear, but rather fluctuate as a result of wider factors such as the cost of living crisis, or the spotlight on sustainability. The panellists also discussed the impact technology is having on the wider industry, the importance of community, and steps brands should consider taking to ensure their messaging is clear. The discussion also touched on the importance of maintaining transparency as far as ingredients lists, manufacturing, and provenance are concerned.

The closing comments around messaging, and how transparency in sustainability practices can mitigate accusations of greenwashing, led nicely into the second morning panel, focusing on emerging trends that are driving sustainable food and beverages. Discussions included the importance of ensuring that sustainability messages are clear, concise, and not confusing, and also touched on how sustainability is no longer a unique selling point for brands, but now a minimum requirement that consumers expect.

Three shorter sessions followed a lunch break, the first covering allergens and labelling initiatives, the second focusing on gastronomic trends, and the third focusing on positive nutrition and health and wellbeing.

Key takeaways

Covering a broad range of topics, the panel discussions touched on a number of trends impacting food and beverage manufacturers.

Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly) there was one key sentiment that was echoed in almost all the discussions – taste is still king. There is no denying that it’s increasingly important for brands to be transparent, more sustainable, more innovative, and on top of consumer trends, but taste will always be the key driver in consumer purchasing decisions. If a product doesn’t meet consumer expectations for taste, they simply won’t buy it again.

We thoroughly enjoyed the insights programme at Tastes of Better, and we look forward to seeing the event return to Manchester in 2025 to hear more about what trends are shaping the food and beverage industry!

For more information about how our team can support clients in the food and beverage sector, contact us as

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About the Author: Annie Ball