NRF event to shine light on food and beverage industry technology

More of a focus will be placed on the retail technology impacting the food and beverage sector at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show in New York in January.

NRF has partnered with the International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) to create the event’s inaugural food and beverage technology workshop to be held on Monday 14 January at the Javits Centre in the Big Apple. 

Participants will include senior food, beverage, and retail executives who will delve into the latest trends in foodservice technologies and discuss the challenges and successes they've encountered, as well as potential crossovers with traditional retail.

With all the big grocers in the UK ramping up their foodservice offerings in recent years, and the likes of John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Next all operating cafes or hospitality concessions, there is a move towards the merging of retail and foodservice.

IFBTA CEO Rob Grimes said: "Although foodservice and retail are different but within similar industry segments, there's a fine line that deserves to be crossed when discussing technology.

"We are thrilled to partner with the NRF and bring a taste of food and beverage technology to the retail segment that likely has similar challenges and opportunities that technology can support across the industries."

The focus of the workshop is technology used across various industry segments, including artificial intelligence, loyalty, digital platforms, cybersecurity, and the ever-emerging conversation on blockchain. Speakers from Inspire Brands, Red Lobster, TGI Friday's, Intercontinental Hotel Group, and Compass Group, will be among those at the event.

Essential Retail’s sister events, RBTE, RDE and RDSE – which as of this month have been rebranded under one umbrella brand known as the RetailEXPO – have been placing the focus on food and beverage as part of the wider retail technology ecosystem for several years now. This year's event alone included speakers from Caffe Nero, KFC, McDonald's, and Pizza Express.

NRF senior vice president, Susan Newman, commented: “Our goal at NRF 2019 is simple. Provide the content and tools necessary to help retailers of all categories succeed with consumers year-round.

"By partnering with IFBTA, we're able to bring a new layer of content to the show that we haven't been able to deliver before. We're excited to see what attendees will achieve when they implement some of the key learnings, they will obtain during these workshops curated by IFBTA."

Essential Retail will be in New York once again for NRF’s annual event in January. Drop us a line if you’d like to catch up.