Award-winning lunch! show welcomes over 6,000 attendees
Food-to-go buyers from across the UK demonstrated their appetite for lunch! last month, with the multi-award winning trade event for the food-to-go sector enjoying another successful edition.
The 2015 show, which took place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 24-25 September, featured an unprecedented 350 exhibiting companies (up 25% for 2015) showcasing an eclectic mix of food, drink, packaging, catering equipment and technology.
As in previous years, queues of enthusiastic visitors marked the start of the show. By the time doors closed, it had welcomed over 6,000 attendees, including key buyers and decision makers from many of the UK’s biggest food-to-go operators, food retailers, contract and travel caterers, distributors, wholesalers, venues, attractions, plus thousands of independent and multiple cafés, coffee houses, tea rooms, and sandwich shops.
Among them were well-known brands such as Pret, EAT., Costa, Greggs, Starbucks, Subway, Boots, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, M&S Food, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Asda, SPAR, Carrefour, Harrods, Gate Gourmet, Road Chef, Elior, Baxterstorey, Sodexo, Brakes, Bidvest Foodservice, Compass Group, Booker Group, Eurostar, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways.
Vibrant, innovative, buzzing and enjoyable – are just some of the words attendees have used to describe lunch! 2015 so far.
“I’ve been attending for the last four years, and each year just gets better. Innovative exciting food, something you can really get your teeth into!” says Heerum Fleary, category manager – procurement at Gate Gourmet.
“The show just gets better every year. The number of suppliers at lunch! relevant to our sector is second to none, and it is great to see so much innovation and enthusiasm at one venue. This show is not to be missed,” says Sandy Anderson, senior buyer – food at Elior.
“This is by far my favourite show of the year and it just keeps getting bigger and better,” says Angelina Harrison, food & commercial director at Tossed.
“lunch! – a fantastic opportunity for innovation, sampling and networking. It’s a great event for all food innovators,” says Amanda Parker, food development manager at itsu.
“lunch! really is the only tradeshow I go to, as I find so many very interesting and relevant exhibitors,” says Alex Stone, director of TRADE, in London’s Commercial Street, which won ‘Best Independent Sandwich Bar in the UK’ at the BSA’s Sammies Awards earlier this year.
“We talk about lunch!’s fantastic buzz and unique atmosphere every year but it really was incredible for 2015,” says Chris Brazier, group event director of lunch!. “We are delighted that our eighth year of lunch! was our biggest and best show yet. The venue was full of senior decision makers and a record number of innovative exhibitors, and their feedback has been phenomenal. It really does cap a brilliant year for lunch! – thanks must go to all our visitors, exhibitors, media and association partners for helping us put on the best lunch! we’ve ever had.”
Getting “better” every year is exactly what lunch!’s organiser Diversified Communications UK has been achieving since the show launched in 2008. lunch! is frequently cited by food-to-go retailers and buyers as their key annual event for discovering innovative new ideas and concepts, and many are already looking forward to their next visit.
Show highlights for 2015
The Working lunch! Theatre and new Menu Innovation Theatre (sponsored by Magrini) enjoyed a host of standing-room only sessions – from powerful Keynotes and insightful panel discussions, to interactive demos – across the two days. The 2015 line-up included some of the most innovative names in food-to-go, such as Roger Whiteside, CEO of food-to-go giant Greggs; Helen Higgins, food ambassador at EAT.; Mark Palmer, group marketing director of Pret A Manger; Paul Ettinger, development director at Caffè Nero; Guy Meakin, trading manager – food on the move at Marks & Spencer; and Mark Lineham, managing director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The popular live finals of the annual British Smoothie Championships (sponsored by Magrini) was another big draw. Having built an exciting reputation for keeping lunch! show audiences firmly on the edge of their seats, this year’s nine competitors certainly didn’t disappoint. The 2015 champion – Alejandro Madrid from Funky Juice in Fulham Broadway station in London – won over the judges with his Fiber Boost creation (which combined avocado, lemon, apples and spinach); with Nicola Simons from Vital Ingredient and Martina Kurvcova from ShakeTastic runners-up.
“I really enjoyed every moment of it,” says Alejandro Madrid, the new British Smoothie Champion. “Winning this award means the world to me, and is what I’ve always wanted to achieve in my professional career. It gives me a great feeling of satisfaction, confidence, credibility and so much joy! Thank you to everyone who voted for me.”
Audience participation was also key to the results of the prestigious Innovation Challenge Awards. Designed to promote and celebrate new ideas in the market place, it attracted over 50 entrants this year. The 17 short-listed finalists, decided by popular vote at the Innovation Challenge Showcase on lunch!’s opening day, were invited to pitch their new innovations to a panel of industry judges in the Menu Innovation Theatre on Friday 25 September.
This year’s trio of buying experts – Sandy Tchilinguirian, head of innovation (Int) at Compass UK&I, Martin Hambleton, head of procurement at En Route International (and a former senior buyer from Elior UK and EAT.), and Angelina Harrison, food & commercial director at Tossed – applauded the high standard of entries, commenting on the “incredible range of food-to-go innovations” for 2015.
The following companies received Innovation Challenge Awards at lunch! 2015:
- Panvas: Eller foodPackaging
- Super Bites: Good4U
- Just Bee: Just Bee Drinks
- TAPPED Organic Birch Water: TAPPED Organic Birch Water
- Organic, Gluten-Free Pizza: The White Rabbit Pizza Co.
“For the third year in a row, the judges have awarded one of our products with the Innovation Challenge Gold Award. lunch! is the most important event of the year for anyone seeking innovation and new ideas – and it has been the perfect event for us to meet the right people for our business,” says Aylin Haas from ELLER foodPackaging GmbH.
“We are delighted and honoured to receive a Gold Innovation Award at lunch!. We have been developing the concept for nearly two years and receiving endorsements from such high calibre judges, reinforces our belief that we have a truly innovative product,” says Laura O’Sullivan, sales and marketing director at Good4U.
“We are extremely pleased to have won gold in the lunch! Innovation Challenge. Exhibiting in the Start Up Zone at lunch! was the perfect launch pad to introduce the Just Bee brand to the industry,” says Joe Harper, co-founder of Just Bee Drinks.
“The show was fantastic – winning Gold in the Innovation Challenge was a huge seal of approval for our drinks and their innovative packaging,” says Paul Lederer, founder of TAPPED Organic Birch Water.
“We are over the moon with our award. We have combined generations’ of traditional pizza making experience, with a host of new and innovative ideas. To have this recognised at our first ever trade show was truly special,” says Nick Croft-Simon, director at The White Rabbit Pizza Co.
- Love Bone Broth: Love Taste Co
- Merrychef eikon e2s: Manitowoc Foodservice UK
- Nana Nice Cream: Nana Nice Cream
- NIX&KIX: NIX&KIX
- Cold Pressed Birch Water: Sibberi Birch Water
- TreeVitalise Birch Waters: TreeVitalise Birch Water
- The Oval Eco Street Bowl: Tri-Star Packaging
- Sparkling Apple and Rhubarb: Cawston Press
- Chaat: Gourmosa
- Go Soup: Go Soup
- PERK!ER Quinoa Bar: PERKIER Foods
- URBAN eat Beach Hut Sandwiches: URBAN eat
Exhibitors celebrate successful show
It wasn’t just the lunch! award winners that were celebrating after the show. Looking ahead to 2016, lunch!’s organiser Diversified Communications UK says “rebooking for lunch! 2016 has smashed all previous records”.
“There has been substantial rebooking across every part of the show, including the A area and new F area, with the ground and mezzanine levels already sold out – that’s before booking has even opened to new companies for 2016,” explains group event director Chris Brazier. “Given the waiting list ready to book their stands, lunch! 2016 is already off to a fantastic start.”
Summing up their exhibitor experience Sarah Green, commercial director at Marston Foods, says: “We chose lunch! to be our very first trade show, and we’re really happy with our choice.”
“For launching new products, there is no better platform than lunch!” says Kevin Curran, owner of Tri-Star Packaging.
“We do lunch! because we can see nearly all our key customers in one destination. And, after eight shows, we still get great results!” says Gary Laird, sales director at Simple Simon Foods.
“Great show with great results – a must for all,” says Bradley Journet-Robins, regional manager at UCC Coffee UK.
“We chose lunch! to launch KIND in the UK, and it was a phenomenal success. We met excellent buyers, and left the show with a long list of leads. We already booked for next year,” says Kate Lucas, marketing director at KIND Snacks.
Save the date for lunch! 2016
“lunch! is fantastic for seeking out new suppliers and innovations – my favourite trade show for sure!” says Daniel Buckland, senior procurement manager – category management at ISS Facility Services UK.
lunch! will return to Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 22-23 September 2016. For further information, please visit www.lunchshow.co.uk.
Media enquiries & photography requests to:
Group Event Director:
t: +44 (0)1273 645123
e: [email protected]
Exhibitor enquiries to:
Derek MacHale, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645137
e: [email protected]
lunch! won Best Trade Show at the Exhibition News Awards in February 2014 (it was also shortlisted for Best Trade Show and Best Trade Show Marketing Campaign in 2015). lunch! won Best Marketing Campaign of the Year in 2012 and was named Best UK Trade Show Exhibition under 2,000sqm for two years running in 2010 and 2011 at the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards.
High res images are available on request:
Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth. In addition to lunch!, Diversified UK’s event portfolio includes Casual Dining; Commercial Kitchen (new for 2016); Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co–located with Natural Products Scandinavia); Natural and Organic Awards; camexpo; office*; Accountex; SITS – The IT Service Management Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus Live; British Tourism & Travel Show; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; and National Coach Tourism Awards. For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.
Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com