Unmissable, inspiring, successful – these are just some of the words Judy Willis, co-founder of Salty Dog Brands, has used to describe lunch! in this exclusive Q&A. They’ve been exhibiting since the launch in 2008 and are looking forward to the show’s first edition at ExCeL next month.
Tell us about your company
Salty Dog was founded in 2003 by my husband and I. We were already running a London distribution company called Chiltern Snacks, supplying premium pubs and cafes with snacks. This company still exists, in fact not only exists but is thriving, mostly thanks to the brands that we created along the way. Salty Dog started as a premium hand cooked crisp and since then we have expanded the range to nuts and popcorn and have also created some other brands, Darling Spuds, coeliac licensed crisps and corn kernels, Gruntled, soft bite Pork Crackling, Cheggs, candy coated chocolate eggs and Nutbush, bulk nut mixes. We now have a great team who make sure everything runs smoothly each day.
Why was lunch! 2008 an unmissable opportunity for you?
We knew lunch! was going to be our sort of show from the beginning. The slick advertising and PR convinced us it was the show for us and we have been every year since.
What is it that brings you back to the show year after year?
Fantastic brand awareness and continued support from all the main buyers means, for us, its an unmissable show.
Tell us about your journey with lunch!
Walking around lunch! is a revelation as there are so many new ideas each and every year, which we find inspiring. We try to have something new to showcase there each year too.
How has the food-to-go market changed in the last ten years?
The food-to-go market is definitely changing towards a more health driven consumer. Also individual portion packs seem to be more popular than ever.
What do you think are the key opportunities for the industry in the years ahead?
Innovation is key both in packaging and product.
What’s your current bestseller?
Our faithful Salty Dog hand cooked crisps still outsell everything else we offer by a mile. I think we captured a design that was not only voted a CoolBrand for the last 5 years but also seems to resonate with people and has true personality. The crisps taste great too!
Do you have any new products that you’d like to highlight before the show?
We have refreshed our Salty Dog Popcorn ready for a September launch.
What are you looking forward to about lunch! 2017 at ExCeL?
We always feel excited about lunch!. You never know who is going to stop by and what business it will bring but one thing we always know is that lunch! will be a successful show for us.