Big names from Costa, Caffè Nero, Taylor St Baristas, Boston Tea Party, Daisy Green, Kaffeine, Abuelo, Small Batch & The Gentleman Baristas speaking at their industry show next month.

lunch! – the UK’s biggest trade event for coffee shop and food-to-go operators, is expecting to see a record number of attendees next month when doors open at London ExCeL on 20-21 September.

Already a magnet for top buyers: Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Coffee#1, AMT Coffee, Puccino’s, Esquires Coffee, Harris+Hoole, Cafe2U, Wild Bean Café, Greggs and Pret, are regular show visitors.  As are, of course, the hundreds of independents that pack the aisles every September.  This year there’ll be even more coffee shop focused Keynotes and panel sessions for them to enjoy, featuring some of the biggest names in the business.

Take the Coffee Shop Legends panel, hosted by Café Life Association and chaired by Clare Benfield, editor of Café Life Magazine on Friday 21 September.  It brings together no less than five coffee shop pioneers and innovators, including Marco Arrigo, director of Bar Termini; Paul Ettinger, Caffè Nero’s business development director; Lynette de la Vega, director of the recently-opened Abuelo café in London and a pioneer of Australian café culture and design; Peter Dore-Smith, founder and director of Kaffeine; and Andrew Tolley, co-founder of Taylor St Baristas (and Harris+Hoole).

Visitors can expect a lively debate as these industry ‘legends’ draw on their extensive knowledge and experience to discuss everything from the economics of running a café to multi-site roll-out, from current market conditions, business rates and Brexit to key future trends.

“lunch! is a superb opportunity for operators of all levels to access information, products and samples, and listen to industry professionals speak about their experiences.  It’s a must visit,” comments Kaffeine’s Peter Dore-Smith.

The Coffee Cup Debate

Another second day highlight, sees three industry leaders – Sam Roberts, CEO & co-owner of Boston Tea Party, Ollie Rosevear, head of environment at Costa Coffee, and Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters – tackling coffee cup waste and recycling.  With the use of single use coffee cups still on the rise (it’s estimated that around 7 million are thrown away in the UK each day), it’s one of the biggest issues currently facing the UK’s coffee shop and food-to-go sector.

Earlier this year, Costa Coffee, the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, announced its commitment to recycling the same volume of cups as it puts onto the market (up to 500 million takeaway coffee cups a year by 2020[1]).  It was also the first signatory of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG)’s Paper Cup Manifesto, in 2016.  Brighton’s Small Batch recently introduced in-store paper cup recycling and are launching a city-wide cup recycling initiative for independent coffee shops, while Bristol- based Boston Tea Party banned single use coffee cups from its cafes in June.

Head to Keynote Theatre 2 at 2.15pm (21 September) to find out more about their strategies for reducing single use disposable items from their businesses.  The session will be hosted by Martin Kersh, chairman of the Foodservice Packaging Association.

“Inspiring, informative, interactive”

Those are the three words that Anya Marco – one of the UK’s leading authorities on coffee trends and former executive director at Allegra World Coffee Portal – recently used to describe the show in an exclusive speaker Q&A (read more at:  She’ll be marking her lunch! debut, with two Keynote appearances on opening day (Thursday 20 September).

In ‘Coffee shops – is the panini dead?’, she’ll be providing visitors with an in-depth look at key food trends for coffee shop operators and how to use consumer insights to maintain competitive advantage.

She’ll also be chairing the Growing Coffee Shops panel discussing the pros and cons of brand expansion in 2018, alongside three leading, smaller multi-site coffee shop operators – Henry Ayers, director of The Gentlemen Baristas; Prue Freeman, director of Daisy Green Collection; and Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters.

Tomlins and Ayers, both familiar faces at the show, have been Keynote panel regulars for years.  Tomlins calls it a “great way to connect and learn”, while for Ayers it’s proven to be a highly effective way to stay bang on-trend.

Ayers explains: “Being an independent outlet has many advantages, not being part of a large company means you can make changes to your business quickly and effectively without ‘toeing the company line’.  The panel events at lunch! are a great way to keep in touch with the industry and to see what other operators are doing and understanding what works and what doesn’t, what can work and what can’t.”

50 speakers in 25 unmissable sessions

The full Keynote schedule is now available to view at Previously confirmed speakers include: Hannah McKay, head of food & beverage at Caffè Nero; Julian Metcalfe OBE, founder of itsu and co-founder of Pret A Manger; David Ross, head of category at Greggs; and Clare Clough, food & coffee director at Pret A Manger.

“lunch! is the number one place to meet up with people across the sector,” says Clough.  “[It’s] fun, inspiring, and unmissable!”

New names for 2018 also include Charlotte Adams, senior marketing manager at Krispy Kreme (taking part in the first ever live recording of Mark McCulloch’s hugely popular Spectacular Marketing Podcast); and Aubrey Thomson, head of food at Taylor Street Baristas (joining the Head of Food panel).  Plus, Tristan Dooley, owner of Hells Kitchen, Philip Brown, founder of Philpotts, and Max Halley, owner of Max’s Sandwich Shop, are now confirmed for The Sandwich Shop Heroes Panel (hosted by Simon Ambrose, editor of Sandwich & Food To Go News).

Who’s exhibiting?

With 370 exhibitors now confirmed, this is the UK’s biggest food-to-go showcase of the year.  Buyers looking to refresh their coffee menus will find a wealth of innovations down every aisle.  Including specialist Cold Brew companies – TrueStart Coffee, Sandows, Farside Coffee, Cool Cold Brew, Fitch Brew, Point Blank, Califia Farms, and Land & Tide, to big name artisan roasters and equipment suppliers, such as UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, Rombouts Coffee, Douwe Egberts, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, CoffeeBAY, Modern Standard Coffee, Tudor Tea & Coffee, Beanies Flavour Coffee, Single Source, Wessenan UK, My Coffee Station and Melitta UK.

For sustainable packaging, eco-friendly coffee cups and disposables, check out Papier-Mettler UK, Harfield Tableware, Pactiv, Pockito, Ecoffeecup, Huskup, Benders Paper Cups, ButterflyCup, Sabert Europe, and Biopac UK.

View and search the full exhibitor list at

Free trade registration

To register in advance for a free trade ticket to lunch!, please visit and quote priority code LU26 (


Media enquiries & press pass requests:
Please apply for press accreditation here:

Emma–Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: [email protected]

Nina Jones, Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645146
e: [email protected]

Katrina Randall, Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645139
e: [email protected]

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Chrissie Smedley, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645137
e: [email protected]

Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645123
e: [email protected]


[1] Source:

lunch! was shortlisted for Best UK Trade Show Exhibition (2,000-8,000 sqm) by the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards 2018.  It won the ‘under 2,000sqm’ category in both 2011 and 2012, and was also named Best Trade Show at the Exhibition News Awards in 2014.


lunch! show images are available to download here (more available on request):
Keynote Theatre:
Sam Roberts:
Paul Ettinger:
Prue Freeman:
Julian Metcalfe:
Anya Marco:
Henry Ayers:
Lynette de la Vega:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Nailsworth and London.  Diversified UK’s food portfolio includes lunch!; Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; Commercial Kitchen; GO! Organic Festival (new for 2018); Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden; Organic Food Iberia in Madrid, Spain (new for 2019); Natural Products Global; and Natural & Organic Awards.  For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications.  As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology.  Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business.  For more information, visit:

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