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Best UK food events to visit in 2022

We’re becoming a nation of foodies! And that’s great news if you run a mobile catering van. There are few better ways to grab a slice of that business in 2022 than by taking your truck to one of the many inspiring and engaging UK food events on offer.

From the busy streets of London to the more relaxed pace of the West Country, mobile caterers are in the ideal position to bring their particular smells and tastes to a wide range of hungry punters. 

But we’re not just talking about grabbing customers. There are plenty of other reasons to go, both as a vendor and as an attendee. Food events are an ideal way to discover what’s new, network, meet new customers, understand consumer trends, and gain invaluable market insight.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on as we serve up a selection of the very best food festivals and events to attend in 2022.

Whatever the time of year and location, these food festivals can be great for business – provided you’ve got the appropriate catering van insurance arranged. Having the right cover means you’ll be able to truly focus on making your visit an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons.

As with any event, make sure you check with the organisers before you travel to make sure it’s still going ahead. In the mobile catering industry, there’s no time to waste!

Food van

Best UK food events worth visiting in 2022

The London Coffee Festival

Where: The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London

When: 31st March – 3rd April 2022

Join the biggest coffee party on earth at the perfect event for coffee addicts from all over the UK.  As well as non-stop coffee tasting, learn how to do latte art, make coffee-based cocktails and find out where to find the best artisan blends. For those who truly love their coffee business!

eat:Festivals

When: Various dates

Where: Various locations in the West Country

Locally focused food and drink festivals have been popping up all over the country in recent years.  Always free entrance for the public, eat:Festivals are a series of not-for-profit sustainable food and drink events based around top West Country locations that provide excellent opportunities for traders like you. At an eat:Festival you’ll find a great range of local food and drink producers, awesome street food and free entertainment like jugglers, DJs, and buskers.

Trading from 10am to 4pm usually on a Saturday, the events are always well laid out, accessible, and popular with the public. There are 27 events scheduled for this year from eat:Minehead on 2nd April to eat:Weston on 11th December.

Having the right liability cover is an important part of being accepted as a vendor at such events. When arranging catering van insurance, make sure to check this cover, too.

Natural Food Show, Natural & Organic Products Europe

When: 3rd-4th April 2022

Where: ExCeL London

Mobile caterers who spend the time to properly research natural, organic, Fairtrade, free-from, vegan, and vegetarian products could well be on to a winner in the modern marketplace. With over 700 exhibitors from all over the world, this event is Europe’s leading natural and organic show, and the perfect opportunity to network and find out more about the latest products.

Taste Cheshire Food & Drink Festival

Where: Chester Racecourse

When: 16th-18th April 2022

Taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, this food and drink festival is one of the best in the country. Typically offering over 150 food and drink exhibitors and drawing in crowds of around 30,000 people from all over.

The special guest list always features a roster of celebrity chefs who are there to show off their cooking knowhow. So, as well as enjoying the very best of local and regional ingredients, you might find you’ve picked up a couple of culinary tips by the end of the weekend. No doubt you’ll be racing back to your catering van to put all you’ve learned into practice!

Pub in the Park

Where: Various locations in the UK

When: May to September 2022

If you’re talking about headline acts then there are few more likely to pull in the crowds than Tom Kerridge and his chef mates. Last year over 130,000 people attended the UK’s biggest celebration of food and music. And this year looks set to surpass even that. Pub in the Park is all about bringing fantastic culinary experiences to different towns across the UK.

As well as tasting a range of award-winning food and meeting some of the UK’s finest chefs, you can also party to wicked performances from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Supergrass and Rag’n’Bone Man and many more.

The nine-stop nationwide tour kicks off in Marlow on 12th-15th May before finishing in Brighton on 16th-18th September. Other stops include Wimbledon, Warwick, Bath, Chiswick, Dulwich,Tunbridge Wells, and St Albans. Is there a better place to celebrate all that is glorious about the Great British Pub? We don’t think so!

Taste of London

Where: Regent’s Park, London

When: 15th-19th June 2022

Billed as the world’s greatest food festival, Taste of London is a veritable foodie wonderland promising to deliver delicious vibes over five days this summer. With live cooking demonstrations from some of the capital’s leading chefs there are few better ways to get an exclusive peek at some of the hottest dishes currently wowing the tastebuds of the hungry London cognoscenti.

Whether you’re exhibiting here or just visiting, it’s the ultimate foodie paradise and the perfect way to celebrate your love of food. Get ready to devour some of the best food and drink in the country. How does your catering van compare? Do you have what it takes to be up there with the best?

Street food

BBC Good Food Show Summer

Where: NEC Birmingham

When: 16th-19th June 2022

Undoubtedly one of the biggest, best and most well-established shows in the food and drink event calendar! From household names to unique artisans, whether you’re a vendor or one of the 70,000 visitors from across the UK you’ll be in for a treat. The event is filled to the rafters with chefs and food experts sharing their culinary skills and insight live on stage. A great day out and enough to whet even the most jaded of palettes.

If you’re looking for more festive inspiration to set your winter menu alight then check out the winter edition of the BBC Good Food Show from 24th-27th November 2022. While you’re at it, check out our guide to quick winter food wins for mobile caterers. From special promotions and menu tweaks to keeping staff and customers happy, we’ve got plenty of ideas to keep the cash rolling through the winter months.

Remember, from warm summer nights to cold winter days, all mobile catering vans need reliable catering van insurance to keep them running effectively. Call the Mobilers team today to discuss your plan for all seasons.

Bigfoot Festival

Where: Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire

When: 17th-19th June 2022

Bringing together the ultimate foodie trinity of craft beer, great music and even greater food is the Bigfoot Festival. This three-day celebration of music, entertainment, food and drink will see over 40 music acts belting out the tunes. Alongside an impressive selection of street food geniuses, chefs, and drinks producers from across the country.

If flame grilled food is your thing then you’ll find delicious meats being cooked on everything from BBQs and fire pits to Drum-BQs and grills. There’s also a fully meat-free fire pit, too!

The European Pizza & Pasta Show

Where: London Olympia

When: 22nd-23rd June 2022

The UK is a nation of pizza and pasta lovers, we just can’t get enough of these Italian imports. And the mobile catering market is no different. With over 1,000 brands on show, this event is the perfect opportunity to network with others in this £4 billion slice of the UK food and drink industry.

The Allergy & Free From Show

Where: ExCeL London

When: 1st-3rd July 2022

Staking its claim to be the world’s largest celebration of ‘free from’ food, drink and lifestyle products, this three-day event offers a fantastic opportunity, particularly if you’re looking to target this market as part of your mobile catering business. For those looking for ideas to help revolutionise their mobile catering offering this could be the place for you.

If you can’t attend the July show in London, then there’s also a slightly shorter event at the NEC Birmingham from 5th-6th November 2022.

The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival

Where: Funkirk Farm, Skipton

When: 23rd-24th July 2022

What a treat there is in store for you if you visit this Yorkshire festival this summer. As well as live celebrity chef demos from the likes of the Hairy Bikers and James Martin, there’s plenty more, too!

With hundreds of food and drink exhibitors, you’ll be in great company if you choose to take part in this lively three-day event. In 2021, 24,000 people attended ‘the Biggest and Best Food & Drink Festival in Yorkshire’ over the Saturday and Sunday.

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

Where: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

When: 2nd-5th June 2022

Could there be a more picturesque food festival in the UK? We don’t think so! This festival is located in the grounds of the stunning Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. So, if you think your mobile catering cuisine could be fit for high society then this could be the one for you.

Taking place over this year’s four-day Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, even if you feel like taking the time off then there’s still plenty of reason to come along. As well as all the yummy items on offer, there’s also an exciting calendar of entertainment, demonstrations, workshops and talks. Highlights include making pasta with Pasta Uliana’s Federico and Italian legend Gennaro Contaldo, concocting a delicious cocktail with Andy Clarke, and baking with Bake Off’s Karen Wright!

The Big Feastival

Where: Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds

When: 26th – 28th August 2022

Marrying great food with great music and great times is a popular idea for summer time festivals. But few do it as well as The Big Feastival on Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds. With headliners like The Human League, Anne-Marie and Stereophonics already announced, you can rest assured of plenty of footfall over the course of the three-day event.

Whitstable Oyster Festival

Where: Kent

When: 27th-30th August 2022

Oyster and seafood bars are a popular option for mobile catering. And if you’re obsessed with these tasty molluscs then a trip to the seaside town of Whitstable for this three-day celebration has to be on the cards. Kicking off with the ceremony of the ‘Landing of the Oysters’ at high tide, tradition and heritage run throughout the entire festival.

Caffe Culture Show

Where: Business Design Centre, London

When: 1st-2nd September 2022

If you specialise in selling coffee from your mobile catering van then this free event is truly unmissable. Featuring over 120 exhibitors showcasing a range of innovative products there could be something here that gives you the edge over the competition in 2022 and beyond. There’s also a full programme of industry talks and demonstrations, a Roaster’s Zone, barista competitions, a brew bar and a speciality tea hub. What a fantastic and fun way to set up your business ready for new challenges ahead.

Meatopia London

Where: Tobacco Dock, Shadwell, London

When: 2nd-4th September 2022

Now over 10 years old, if you’re looking for the next big thing in sustainable, live-fire cooking then Meatopia is the festival to visit. With over 60 of the world’s best live-fire chefs you’ll get to taste a vast array of exclusive dishes painstakingly put together over the course of the past year. A meat-lovers paradise!

Catering van

Ludlow Food Festival

Where: Ludlow Castle, Shropshire

When: 9th-11th September 2022

Described by many as the UK's second gourmet capital, Ludlow’s annual food festival has a large range of local producers and exhibitors on show. Not to mention lots of exciting activities such as trails, feasts, gin masterclasses, wine tastings, a pop-up cookery school, and food photography workshops. Simply oodles of inspiration in this stunning part of the world.

Seafeast The Dorset Seafood Festival

Where: Weymouth Peninsula, Dorset

When: 10th-11th September 2022

As an island nation, we take our seafood very seriously indeed. And there are few better places to celebrate our love of the sea than at this festival on the stunning Weymouth Peninsula.

By all means gorge on all the super fresh oysters and crab here, but don’t forget to try some of the different species of fish also on offer. A big part of sustainability is to use a wider range of seafood and more underutilised species in our dishes. Who knows, you could discover something amazing that your customers will simply adore!

Lunch!

Where: ExCeL London

When: 14th-15th September 2022

For anyone in the food-to-go business, this unique show is packed full of inspiration to take your mobile catering business to the next level. From delicious new ideas for food and drinks to innovative packaging solutions, there’s lots to take in at this buzzy event.

Street Food Live

Where: ExCel London

When: 19th-20th October 2022

Another excellent trade show that any street food and mobile catering professional will want to attend. If you’re looking for business growth in this industry then soaking up all this event has to offer is key! Innovative products, services and equipment and lots of secrets to maximise your profits.

How to get the best out of UK foodie events

So, you’ve followed our ultimate guide to starting a mobile catering business  and are now looking to take the next step by pitching up at one of these amazing food festivals. Follow some of our top tips to get you noticed and get the best out of a UK foodie event.

  • Think carefully about your menuFood festivals might need a different approach to what you usually offer. After all, foodies love something new and interesting. So, it could be a great opportunity to up your game and offer something a little bit different from your normal fare. That said, don’t over complicate matters. The more items on your menu the more likely it is to make a miscalculation.
  • What’s your branding like?
    You’re going to be competing for people’s attention. You’ll want to make sure your business stands out. Wondering whether a uniform could be in order? Here are just a few reasons why this could be a good investment.
  • Take plenty of change and pack your own lunch
    Don’t let the basics get in the way of a good day.
  • Keep smiling
    People at food festivals will be very interested in what you’re selling and will probably have lots of questions. So, make sure your people skills are up to scratch when it comes to representing your brand and selling your product.
  • Offer free samples
    One of the best marketing techniques around.
  • Don’t ignore the marketing opportunity
    People attending a food festival could well be in the market for more than the one-off plate of delicious food. Make sure your website and social media accounts are displayed prominently. If someone has the best meal of their life at your van, you’ll want to make sure they can contact you to repeat the experience and shout about it to their followers.
  • Make sure you’re adequately covered
    Having the right catering van insurance is a must in order to protect yourself from any accidents on the big day. With so many visitors and vehicles in such confined spaces, mishaps do happen.

5 ways trade shows can help boost your business

Attending a UK food event is a good way to boost profits, but it can also be great for your business even if you’re not on the clock. Here are five ways they could help.

  1. Source new products and services
    You might find something that could transform the way you run your food business.
  2. See keynote speakers
    Business people who’ve made it can be a source of invaluable wisdom on how to get to the top. They might also give you a key insight to the next big changes in the mobile catering industry.
  3. Attend seminars
    Whether you’re a veteran or a start-up, you never know when you might come across that piece of advice that will ensure business success.
  4. Conduct market research
    The food and drink industry is characterised by sometimes fierce competition. Speaking to the movers and shakers is one of the best ways to stay ahead.
  5. Make new contacts
    New business connections can be hard to come by. But such events present an invaluable opportunity to link up with proactive and like-minded individuals face to face.

Protect your foodie trip with catering van insurance

If you plan on serving up your foodie delights at any of these events then you may have to do a fair amount of driving with your catering van. From long motorway stretches to winding rural roads you might come across many new driving experiences. So always make sure you’ve got adequate catering van insurance cover for your journey.

The UK is one of the best places in the world to run a mobile catering business at any time of year, and there is a wealth of opportunities out there for you to take advantage of.

Using our years of experience in the catering van insurance industry, the friendly team at Mobilers searches for catering van insurance that is just right for you and your business.

Call Mobilers and get a quote for catering van insurance today.

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