Gifts Today magazine

Hotelympia to focus on emerging drinks trends

The key business challenges facing the drinks industry - at a time of new consumer trends and changing leisure behaviour - will be tackled by a range of experts at Hotelympia 2016

The hospitality event, which takes place at ExCeL London from 29th February-3rd March, is staging two initiatives, held in conjunction with The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), specifically for those involved in the drinks business to enhance their understanding of the way in which the industry is moving.

The Drinks Innovation Theatre will stage lively debate, discussions and interactive seminars during the show providing a unique insight into business trends. The Drinks Cabinet will put the spotlight firmly on producers, brewers and distillers by featuring established names and some rising stars of the business.

Toby Wand, Managing Director at Fresh Montgomery comments: “The nature of the drinks industry, like hospitality as a whole, is changing rapidly and so it is important for operators to keep abreast of what is happening and seek solutions to stay in tune with developments.

“There are numerous trends coming through which are impacting on the nature of 21st Century drinking. For example, there is the emergence of ‘premiumisation’ as consumers trade up in terms of drinks quality, along with a growing demand for indulgence which has now become a mainstay of business for many operators.”

Drinks Innovation Theatre
There will be a full programme of talks throughout the four-day show from a range of drinks experts. Among the highlights on the first day is a talk by beer writer and author Pete Brown focusing on “Cream of the Hop” (14.00). He will take visitors “on an adventure with some epic craft beers that have tickled my fancy over the past 12 months”.

This will be followed (15.30) by master chef Tom Lewis “cooking up a storm” by blending some exceptional whiskies in harmony with dishes live on stage. Tom is from the award-winning Monychle Mhor Hotel / Farm in Perthshire and a top celebrity chef.
Another highlight of the Drinks Innovation Theatre takes place on 3rd March (13.30) when writer extraordinaire Mark Ridgewell from Taste and Flavour will take the burgeoning gin category to new levels with historical insights on the drink as well as hand picking six of his absolute favourites.

Drinks Cabinet
This section of the show will focus on cider, spirits and wine and will introduce visitors to a selection of producers that are making serious waves in the industry.

Toby adds: “At a time of change, companies have to develop a drinks offering that is right for their customer and their business needs. There’s certainly still money to be made with the right drinks offering but it is getting harder to know what exactly that is. We hope that the drinks-related part of the show will offer food for thought and provide some inspiration and fresh ideas for people attending.”

Hotelympia takes place at ExCeL London from 29th February-3rd March.

Registration is now live ( for the biennial four-day show, the home of hospitality innovation, which will see the unique needs of visitors from every sector of hospitality, from hotels and restaurants to pubs; cafes; contract catering; casual dining; the cost sector and beyond, catered for by almost 1000 of some of the world’s most pioneering exhibitors in Food & Drink; Catering Equipment; Technology; Interiors & Tableware; Careers and sustainability-focused Waste-Works.

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