Breadth of UK food, drink and innovation set to shine at the 2020 China International Import Expo

  • Over 100 brands will be featured at UK’s 300sqm Food is GREAT pavilion, showcasing regions across the UK from 5 to 10 November 2020.

  • A cutting-edge digital offer will see offline and online activity integrate to provide both a physical and interactive experience for Chinese and international audiences, building on £100 billion of UK-China bilateral trade in 2019.

Through a series of online and offline experiences, Chinese and international audiences will experience some of the finest examples of UK goods, notably in the food, drink and innovation fields. There will be special exhibitions from various areas of the UK, including the Midlands and the North of England:

  • Midlands: The region will showcase expertise across food supply chains, from advanced crop raw materials to precise agricultural production. Attendees will be able to sample products from nine food and drink companies from the Midlands, including Chase Distillery gins and vodkas, Weetabix cereals, Thorntons Chocolate and Walkers-Nonsuch shortbread, who are well established in China.

  • North of England: The region has one of the highest concentrations of food manufacturing and processing businesses in the UK. This year, the Northern Powerhouse will bring 27 food and drink companies to showcase their products, including Seven Bro7hers beer, Spirit of Harrogate gins and vodkas, and Pimlico Confectioners sweets. As well as traditional specialisms like bakery, brewing, meat and dairy products, the Northern Powerhouse is at the forefront of innovations and new trends, such as gluten-free and other ‘free from’ products.    

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The UK pavilion will also showcase goods from Scotland and Northern Ireland as part of an HMG partnership with Scottish Development International and Invest Northern Ireland, respectively:

  • Scotland: 18 Scottish companies will exhibit products ranging from whisky to beer, ice-cream and shortbread. Additionally, robotics company Peacock Technology will introduce its new “Ai5” dairy farming robot, which helps achieve the highest quality milk production by automatically inspecting and disinfecting cows at milking time, giving protection against mastitis – one of the greatest animal health challenges in dairy farming.

  • Northern Ireland: Companies such as McCann Apples, Suki Tea, Pure Roast Coffee and Tayto crisps will showcase their products, which range from from ciders to whiskey to apple juice.

At the pavilion, there will be a chance to explore how the UK and China can develop their trade relationship, through expert lectures, business seminars, product demonstrations and business-matching activities.

The 100 brands showcasing their products at the UK pavilion are featured on a new, cutting-edge digital platform – – showcasing more than 300 British companies in total. The digital platform houses a business-matching function, enabling Chinese buyers and UK companies to connect virtually. Chinese business will be able to directly interact with UK companies both offline and online.

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Products featured at the UK pavilion can be purchased directly via the brand new Royal Mail cross-border e-commerce platform – The platform will host over 100 UK companies, many of whose products have never been on sale in China before.

Other companies that will be exhibiting include:

  • Diageo – with leading brands Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker and Pimm’s, who will share their respective company’s history and showcase a range of products.

  • Mintel, a world-leading market intelligence company, will present their 2030 Global Food and Drink Trends. The future-looking trends are designed to help companies prepare for, participate in, and prosper from the evolution in consumer behaviours and attitudes over the next decade.

On 7 November, Her Majesty’s Trade Commission for China and Hong Kong, John Edwards, will host a Net Zero Business Reception at the UK pavilion. The reception will bring together UK and Chinese business leaders to discuss their low carbon ambitions and share best practice from leading companies. It will also build connections with key Chinese business leaders that can be harnessed to drive forward ambitions in the build up to next year’s COP26 Summit.

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Industry leader Diageo is the UK’s Strategic Partner at the CIIE. Other Partners present at the UK pavilion include: Baijiu Society, Slimfast, Kendal Nutricare, Ahmad Tea, Wild Bean Café under BP, Mintel and Vitabiotics, as well as Scottish Development International, Invest Northern Ireland, Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

The UK pavilion pays tribute to the iconic Crystal Palace originally in Hyde Park, home of the Great Exhibition of 1851, which showcased innovation and technology from the Industrial Revolution.

Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Exports, said:

The China International Import Expo provides a unique opportunity to strengthen and deepen the UK’s commercial ties with China. Last year, for the first time, trade between our countries surpassed £100 billion.

The UK and China share a global outlook and, as we forge new relationships with countries across the world after leaving the EU, we want to increase our business with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.


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