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28 February 2014

Top food and drink brands team up to make the biggest bang ever!

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Six leading food and drink manufacturers have teamed up to offer a plethora of exciting engineering activities to the 75,000 visitors attending this year's Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham (13-16 March).

For the first time ever, the industry's careers campaign Taste Success – A Future in Food will be accompanied at the event by a stellar line up of brands: Coca-Cola Enterprises, Mars Chocolate UK, Mondelez International, Nestlé UK, PepsiCo UK and Premier Foods. Top industry automation supplier Festo will also be on the stand showcasing its award-winning Bionic Handling Assistant - a new, cutting-edge lightweight technology designed to imitate the movement of an elephant's trunk.

Visitors to the Taste Success stand at the Big Bang Fair 2014 will get the chance to take part in a wide array of activities, some of these are:

  • Speak to food and drink engineers, graduates and apprentices about what they get up to in their jobs and what it's like to be an engineer working in some of the UK's top companies.
  • Find out why covering Maltesers in chocolate is so tricky.
  • See a giant Cadbury's Chocolate Easter Egg with a chocolate model of Cadbury's Bournville factory at its centre.
  • Find out how Coca-Cola ensures its production line is always in tip top shape.
  • See how quick you are at grabbing food on the Taste Success MunchBot app
  • Find out how corn is turned into Monster Munch feet.
  • Discover how a cocoa bean becomes a chocolate bar
  • Have a go on the Kit Kat production game to see how quickly you can fix machinery breakdowns and keep the chocolate flowing.

Food and drink engineering will be the key theme of this year's stand, reflecting the industry's top ambition to recruit more engineers. Not only will visitors have the chance to see high-tech industry automation in action, they will also be able to find out more about the industry's new degree course for its engineers of the future - MEng Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.

Hanne Christensen, Taste Success campaign manager at the Food and Drink Federation said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have so many great food and drink manufacturers joining us to promote our industry at this year's Big Bang Fair. We have a fantastic range of exciting activities and demonstrations for young people to enjoy, as well as engineers, apprentices and graduates on the stand every day to answer questions.

“Skills in engineering are in huge demand in the food and drink industry – they are vital to helping us increase efficiency and productivity. This September marks the first intake of students on to the industry's MEng Food Engineering course at Sheffield Hallam University. This new degree will create a pool of specialist engineers equipped to help us meet future challenges. It is also essential that we tell the next generation about the exciting opportunities available.”

“Attending events such as the Big Bang Fair is a fantastic way to engage with young people and to give them 'hands-on' experience of some of the many exciting things we do in our industry. We hope that being at this event with so many great employers will inspire more young people to consider a future career in our industry.”

Notes for editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit: www.fdf.org.uk
  2. Further information on FDF's involvement with Big Bang can be found here
  3. Follow our plans for this year's Big Bang Fair at: @FDFTasteSuccess, #tastesuccess and on our facebook page here
  4. The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Find out more at: www.thebigbangfair.co.uk
  5. Food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector employing around 400,000 people in a huge variety of roles. By 2020 the industry anticipates that it will need over 170,300 new recruits to help it meet growing demand and skills shortages in areas such as engineering. The industry is addressing this through its careers campaign Taste Success and through raising food and drink's profile at events such as the Big Bang Fair.
  6. The Big Bang Fair is free to attend and is targeted primarily at young people aged 7-19. It is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. To register, go to The Big Bang Fair's website.
  7. Taste Success- A Future in Food is an industry-led campaign to engage with young people, parents, teachers and careers advisors to highlight the wide range of exciting job opportunities available in highly skilled and well-paid professions such as engineering. For further information please visit: www.tastesuccess.co.uk
  8. Link to MEng Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University course page

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