Thousands of buyers from across the coffee shop and food-to-go sector will be heading to London for lunch! this week.  Doors open tomorrow at ExCeL (10am, Thursday 20 September) with 6,000+ attendees expected over two days.

The compelling line-up that awaits them includes 50 big name speakers appearing in 25 Keynote Theatre sessions, plus a record 370 exhibitors showcasing 1000s of food-to-go innovations – from ingredients to kitchen kit and counter displays, from the latest food and drink to packaging, payment solutions and business services.

“lunch! is the only UK event that annually attracts so many leading innovators, influencers, trailblazers and decision makers from across the food-to-go sector together in one place at one time,” explains Chris Brazier, group event director of lunch!.

“It’s proved itself year after year to be an essential visit to see what’s new and compare the latest innovations from emerging start-ups and speciality producers alongside some of the best known brands.  All while keeping up-to-date with the latest insights on trends, business strategies and success thanks to its an unrivalled speaker line-up.

“That’s why all the major food-to-go operators and retailers, contract and travel caterers, wholesalers, independent and multiple cafés, convenience stores, coffee houses, delis, and sandwich shops annually attend.  And they’ll be back packing the aisles and doing business at their industry show this week.  We’re looking forward to a very busy and productive two days,” he says.

6,000+ attendees

The show’s pre-registered visitor list already includes: Aldi, Alton Towers, AMT Coffee, Apex Hotels, Aramark, Arsenal Football Club, Asda, Bagel Factory, Barburrito, Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, Benitos Hat, Benugo, Bidfood, Booker Retail, Boots, Bourne Leisure Group, British Airways, BP, Budgens, Caffè Nero, Caterleisure Group, Center Parcs, Chartwells, Chilango, citizenM Hotels, Coco di Mama, Compass Group, Condor Ferries, Coffee#1, Co-op Food, Costa Coffee, Costco Wholesale, Crussh, Debenhams, Delaware North, Dobbie Garden Centres, EAT, Elior UK, En Route International, Esquires Coffee, etc.venues, FCB Artisan Espresso Bars, Eurostar (UK), Foodbuy, Fortnum and Mason, Gail’s Bakery, gategroup, Greggs, Harris + Hoole, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Holland & Barrett, Ikea, ISS Facility Services, itsu, John Lewis, LEON, Lidl UK, Londis, Krispy Kreme, Marks and Spencer, McColls Retail Group, Merlin Entertainments, Morrisons, Network Rail, Nisa, Ocado, Picturehouse Cinemas, Planet Organic, POD, Pret A Manger, Puccino’s Worldwide, Rail Gourmet, Roadchef , Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, Serco Leisure, Shell, Small Batch Coffee Co, Sodexo, SPAR, Starbucks, Tesco, Thorntons, Tortilla, Waitrose, Virgin Trains, Welcome Break, WH Smith, Whitbread, Wild Bean Café, Wyevale Garden Centres, Z Hotels and many more.

Keynote highlights

A raft of high-profile brands – including Pret, itsu, Greggs, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee, EAT, Taylor St Baristas, and Tortilla, are preparing to share their expertise at lunch! 2018.  There are 25 free sessions to enjoy – including exclusive Keynotes, interviews, research updates and panel discussions – in two dedicated Keynote theatres (see summary below for running order).

Thursday 20 September

Keynote Theatre 1

  • Hannah McKay, head of food and beverage, Caffè Nero: Keeping your core exceptional
  • Gavin Rothwell, head of food-to-go & retail safaris, IGD: The changing world of food-to-go
  • John Upton, chairman, The Naked Deli & Mother Clucker: Five things you can do to deliver sustainable growth
  • Mark McCulloch, founder & CEO, WE ARE Spectacular: The secrets of brand success
  • Growing coffee shops panel: featuring Henry Ayers, director of The Gentlemen Baristas; Prue Freeman, director of Daisy Green Collection; Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters; & chaired by Anya Marco, UK coffee market expert
  • Julian Metcalfe OBE, founder of Pret A Manger & itsu – an exclusive interview (with Mark Stretton, MD of Fleet Street Communications)

Keynote Theatre 2

  • Simon Stenning, strategic advisor of MCA: The sandwich & food-to-go market – The MCA Briefing
  • Angelina Harrisson, food & commercial director of Tossed: Trials and tribulations – the road to success as an innovation pioneer
  • Cyril Lavenant, executive director of foodservice UK at The NPD Group: Keys to surviving in challenging trading times
  • Richard Morris, MD of Tortilla: Staying authentic in a crowded market
  • Beth Taubner, founder of MercuryLab: Jumping the pond – expanding into the US market
  • The sandwich shop heroes panel: featuring Frank Boltman, director of Trade; Philip Brown, founder of Philpotts; Tristan Dooley, owner of Hells Kitchen; Max Halley, owner of Max’s Sandwich Shop; & chaired by Simon Ambrose, editor of Sandwich & Food To Go News
  • Anya Marco, UK coffee market expert: Coffee shops – is the panini dead?

Friday 21 September

Keynote Theatre 1

  • Clare Clough, food & coffee director of Pret A Manger – an exclusive interview (with Mark Stretton, MD of Fleet Street Communications)
  • David Ross, head of category of Greggs: Striking the right balance
  • Shereen Ritchie, operations director of LEON: Leading by example
  • The food-to-go marketers panel – a Spectacular Marketing podcast: hosted by Mark McCulloch, founder & CEO of WE ARE Spectacular, featuring Charlotte Adams, senior marketing manager at Krispy Kreme; & Romy Miller, marketing director at GAIL’s Bakery
  • The buying masterclass: featuring Guy Meakin, head of buying at Pret A Manger; & chaired by Martin Hambleton, head of procurement at En Route International
  • The head of food masterclass: featuring Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla; Arnaud Kaziewicz, director of food & beverage at EAT; Aggie Morrell, head of food at Pod; Aubrey Thomson, head of food at Taylor St Baristas; & chaired by Mark Stretton, MD of Fleet Street Communications

Keynote Theatre 2

  • Simon Stenning, strategic advisor at MCA: The coffee shop & food-to-go market – The MCA Briefing
  • The Innovation Challenge Live 2018 – The Pitches
  • Jack Hinchcliffe, innovation director at KFC UK&I: From fast food to fast good
  • The coffee cup debate: featuring Sam Roberts, CEO & co-owner of Boston Tea Party; Oliver Rosevear, head of environment at Costa Coffee; Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters; & chaired by Martin Kersh, director of Foodservice Packaging Association
  • The coffee shop legends panel: featuring Marco Arrigo, director of Bar Termini; Lynette de la Vega, director of Abuelo; Peter Dore-Smith, founder & director of Kaffeine; Paul Ettinger, business development director at Caffè Nero; Andrew Tolley, co-founder of Taylor St Baristas; & chaired by Clare Benfield, editor of Café Life Magazine
  • The Innovation Challenge Live 2018 – The Results

Fun, inspiring, informative, innovative, invaluable, exciting, busy, diverse, fantastic, and unmissable are just some of the words this year’s speakers have used to describe the show.

“I feel passionately about delicious, fresh, fast-food, so I’m delighted to be speaking at the only trade show devoted to the food-to-go sector.  See you at ExCeL for lunch!” says Julian Metcalfe, founder of itsu & Pret.

For further information about the free seminar line-up, full exhibitor listings, and the Innovation Challenge Awards entries, the 2018 Show Guide is now available to view online at

For the latest exhibitor news, please visit

Free trade registration ends soon

lunch! is free to attend for pre-registered trade visitors and relevant press representatives only.  Advance online registration closes at 9.30am tomorrow (Thursday 20 September), after which a £20 door charge may apply.

To register in advance for a free trade ticket to lunch!, please visit


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]

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:

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; 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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