Paul headshot

We spoke to Paul Hargreaves, Chief Executive of Cotswold Fayre about the trends and products he thinks will be prominent for our industry in 2021and why he's looking forward to sourcing again at Speciality & Fine Food Fair this year.

What trends AND PRODUCTS do you see being prominent in the fine food and drink industry for 2021? What's in and what’s out for 2021? 

Local and British remain key with or without a ‘no deal’ Brexit – these are what we are focussing on for our first retail site opening in April 2021. Products that are better for the planet are starting to come through more and more. In fact, I would go as far to say that brands starting now without a significant positive environmental aspect will not survive. It was noticeable that virtually all our new brands at our launch event in December 2020 mentioned an aspect of being good for the planet in their presentation. It is now not a ‘nice to have’ but essential as that is what customers are looking for. It is not just about plastic which has been a focus of 2020, but brands now need to be looking to be carbon neutral or negative.

In terms of products, healthy snacking remains strong, food to go continues to decrease as people stay working at home, gut health products will continue to grow as will home delivery meal solutions and conversely so will ingredients for cooking restaurant quality food at home.

New Year tends to be a time for health and detoxing. What’s your top ‘no and low alcohol’ pick and what‘s your top healthy snack choice? 

There is a new adult non-alcoholic spirit called “Sprigster” we are launching this year which I am excited about. In terms of snacking roasted corn snacks have taken market share from popcorn.

Have you got any New Year resolutions?

Get back to learning Spanish and playing the piano again!

What are your hopes for 2021 for our industry?

Apart from the return of trade shows, I hope that the trend in shopping more locally and supporting independent food retailers who have had an astonishing year continues.

Where do you think the industry needs to improve in 2021?

This is an easy one – existing brands of all sizes need to put people and planet ahead of profits. That’s what we have done for many years and our profits have followed our high ethical and environmental standards.

We are excited to bring the community back together at Olympia in 2021. Do tell us what you love most about sourcing products from Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2021?

The quantity of relevant brands for our customers would be at the top of the list – its’ an easy place to find our winning brands for the following year.

Why is Speciality & Fine Food Fair important for your business?

Cotswold Fayre has exhibited at every Speciality & Food Fair since the show was founded over 20 years ago. It is the main 'go-to' show which has helped to fuel the growth in the sector over the last two decades.