lunch! is pleased to announce a record 40% increase in attendance for the fourth edition of the food-to-go trade show; which took place on 29-30 September. Over 4310 industry professionals from the UK’s £11.3bn out of home food and drinks sector packed the aisles at London’s Old Billingsgate to do business with 200 of the industry’s most innovative manufacturers and suppliers.
The record-breaking attendance was complemented by a 76% rise in international visitors, plus a 40% rise in exhibitor numbers compared to 2010. Whilst the show’s on-site exhibitor rebookings were equally impressive, with around 70% of exhibitors demonstrating their continued support for the growth of the show by reserving stand space for lunch! 2012, which is set be held at the new venue of the Business Design Centre, Islington.
Chris Brazier, event manager of lunch!, is delighted by the “phenomenal” feedback received from visitors and exhibitors: “We have just had our best lunch! ever. Within the first two hours of opening on Thursday, we had over 1000 visitors through the doors! The aisles were packed with a who’s who of the food industry doing genuine business with delighted exhibitors, who were showcasing the best in quality and innovation that this industry has to offer.”
“With a record 40% increase in visitor attendance and a record 70% of exhibitors already rebooked for our 2012 show, lunch! couldn’t be in a better position as we move to our new home of the Business Design Centre,” continued Brazier. “I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our visitors, exhibitors, associations, media partners and the team at lunch! for their continuing support.”
Exhibitor Mark Stack, chief executive of Yum Yum Food Bros Company, was equally upbeat in hailing the show a huge success: “We have done over 15 shows in the last year and lunch! has been by far the most successful for quality of leads and results.”
Renowned for its exceptional show content, it wasn’t just the show floor that was buzzing at lunch!. The show’s highly anticipated Keynotes and lively, topic-focused, panel discussions were all well attended, with many enjoying standing room only crowds. Indeed, audience participation was key to two of the show’s biggest draws – the prestigious British Smoothie Championships and the new-format Innovation Challenge Live!.
“lunch! continues to be our number one platform for launching innovative new products to the grab-and-go sector. Tri-Star had a great show – lots of genuine interest and serious leads. Winning Gold in the Innovation Challenge for PortaTray™ was the icing on the cake! We’re already looking forward to exhibiting at the new venue next year,” says Kevin Curran, managing director of Tri-Star Packaging.
The show’s many first-time exhibitors also expressed their satisfaction. “lunch! was a great arena for Pidy to launch its second major wave of 14 lines into the market,” says the company’s UK general manager, Robert Whittle. “Coupled with our Innovation Challenge Gold Award for our recently launched flagship product Meringue Crumble, we were even more pleased with the interest it generated.”
Hundreds of surveyed visitors also sang the show’s praises. “lunch! 2011 enabled me to see some fantastic innovation first hand as well as a unique opportunity to meet a number of high quality food and beverage suppliers” commented Neville Moon, Head of Food & Beverage at Caffe Nero.