Their annual conference for challenger brands pulls together the biggest names in food and drink, from successful entrepreneurs to high-street retailers and industry investors. And, in spite of the turmoil caused by COVID-19, this year will be no different.

Founders Festival Goes virtual

“We’ve been running a physical, real-life annual conference, and lots of smaller events throughout the year, for many years now but following lock-down we had to quickly pivot to providing all of our support online. The industry has needed our support more than ever and so since late March we have run over 100 online workshops and panels, many of the free to join. And they’ve been attended by over 7,000 food & drink brand owners and industry experts from across the UK, Europe, USA, Asia, Australia and South America” according to Bread & Jam Co-founder Jason Gibb.

“I’m delighted to be involved in Bread & Jam again especially given this year’s unique challenges faced by the industry, particularly challenger and insurgent brands. It’s been incredibly energising and inspiring to meet so many amazing businesses & entrepreneurs at Bread & Jam and no doubt 2020 will bring to the fore the next set of industry stars.” – Giles Brook - Vita Coco, Entrepreneur & Investor

Clearly lockdown has not slowed the enthusiasm for starting a food business, and so Bread & Jam’s annual conference will now be run virtually, on a cutting-edge digital platform, on the 19th to the 22nd October 2020.

This 4-day event will bring the usual mix of capability training, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and networking to the next generation of food & drink challenger brands. At it’s heart will be keynote talks from some of the biggest names in food and drink, workshops run by industry experts, and founder and retailer panels covering every aspect of building a food business. So whether you are right at the start or your journey or already have a few years under your belt there will be lots of great content to help you launch or grow your business. Entrance to the event includes over £3,000 worth of business resources & templates for each and every delegate.

On top of the educational program there are also pitching opportunities with the top retailers, Dragon’s Dens style investor pitching and the opportunity to interact and network with any other delegate or speaker in private 1:1 meetings.

“‘Our platform will recreate many of the networking aspects of real life events and going virtual is an incredible opportunity to extend our support to a much wider audience across the UK and Europe” says Bread & Jam Co-founder Tara Mei

One of the biggest challenges that emerging brands face is how to get their foot in the door of the retailers and access buyers who are bombarded daily with new products. “With the cancellation of many trade shows such as Speciality Fine Food Fair and Lunch! the opportunity to meet buyers is now much more limited now – even though they are desperate for new innovative products. So it’s even more important that we go ahead and provide young brands with the opportunity to meet and pitch to retail buyers” adds Jason Gibb.

All ticket holder can apply to pitch to the dozens of retailers who come to Bread & Jam – and if chosen they get a 10-minute private Zoom session with the buyer. Each year dozens of brands get listed following their pitches at Bread & Jam, and this year will be no exception. “Bread & Jam is one of my favourite events of the year. We are often the launchpad retailer for UK start-ups or brands entering the UK for the first time, so I go anywhere that I am likely to find new, innovative food and wellness brands. There is nowhere better than Bread & Jam for that” says Al Overton who is Head of Buying at Planet Organic

“I’ve heard such great things about bread and jam, particularly how thorough the event is and how much people truly get out of it. I’m so looking forward to speaking and I believe the event will give people the boost they need to either start their business or simply learn how to tackle some hurdles. Exciting times ahead!“ – Jimmy Cregan - Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Producers love it too. “We didn’t expect things to move so quickly after Bread & Jam, but Planet Organic liked the product so just two weeks after the festival we were supplying the market” says founder Alexandria Davies.

E-commerce has been an increasing important revenue stream for many food and drink brands and so there will be focus on selling direct-to-consumer across the conference. From setting up online shops to driving traffic to your website. There will even be a panel of investors keen to find the next D2C food and drink phenomenon.

Bread & Jam 2.0 Highlights:

  • Keynote speeches from the industry’s leading icons
  • Retail pitching to national grocery, speciality and iconic food hall buyers
  • Opportunities to pitch for investment
  • Lively panel discussions with the fastest growing challenger brands
  • Workshops & classes focused specifically on the growth of food and drink FMCG product businesses
  • Networking opportunities with food founders and key service providers specialising in emerging brands

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Giles Brook  - Vita Coco, Entrepreneur & Investor
  • Hugh Thomas - Ugly Drinks
  • Jimmy Cregan  - Jimmy’s Iced Coffee
  • Natasha Bowes  - BIOTIFUL Dairy
  • Ben Greensmith  - Tony’s Chocolonely
  • Al Overton  - Planet Organic

When is the event and how can I attend?

Mon, 19 Oct 2020, 9am - Thu, 22 Oct 2020, 5pm

Tickets can be purchased here: