If you want to discover what the latest food trends and food and drink products are in the UK out of home lunch market, then visit lunch! With hundreds of totally on-trend products to see and a packed seminar programme offering insight into the sector, you are guaranteed to go back to the office with ideas, and samples.
Over 6,200 industry buyers are expected to attend lunch! over two days. This year there will be a record 335 exhibitors showcasing everything from food and drink to packaging, technology and equipment.
That’s thanks to the show’s new home, ExCeL in London’s Docklands, increasing stand space by 23%. And showing just how popular lunch! has become, the show sold out over two months in advance of its doors opening, despite the additional stands. Companies exhibiting for the first time include Nibble Group, Big Boss Palm, Thai Delicious, Shibui Tea, and Deli Lites Ireland, who will showcase their products alongside 12 of lunch!’s founding exhibitors. The British Sandwich Association, Kavis, Teapigs, The Handmade Cake Company and Tri-Star Packaging have been to every
lunch! show since it launched.
Even if you only have time for one speaker during the show, this year’s line-up promises to offer unique insight into the sector, looking at the trends of today and the near future, specifically with UK consumers. Will Cole, head of UK marketing at Pret A Manger, and Neil Littler, chief marketing officer at Tim Hortons – Canada’s biggest coffee chain – are among the speakers confirmed at this year’s lunch!
Cole will be sharing insight into Pret’s ‘veggie journey’ so far – revealing how a market-leading approach to vegetarian food has continued to drive innovation for one of the UK’s biggest coffee brands. Meanwhile Littler, who joined Tim Hortons earlier this year, has been charged with the task of landing and growing the brand in the UK. He’ll be discussing their first UK store in Glasgow, and Tim Hortons’ plans to introduce British consumers to its signature Timbits bite-sized doughnuts, ‘Double-Double’ coffee, and many other Canadian delights.
Other speakers at the show will be Josh Brown, head of commercial development at Harris + Hoole, which has a new home with Caffè Nero; Richard Morris, managing director of Tortilla, outlining their strategies for staying ‘authentic’ in a competitive market; Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs; Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT; Rachel Chatterton, Starbucks’ senior innovation manager for EMEA, on the importance of leading in food and drink innovation to ‘continue to surprise’ customers and respond to changing consumer trends; and celebrity chef Theo Randall, who will be sharing his love for sandwiches.
As well as the keynote speakers talking about their own journeys to a successful business, the lunch! show will include essential market updates from MCA, The NPD Group, CGA Peach, Lucid Perspectives and IGD, providing useful data for caterers to bear in mind for the year ahead.
Big Al’s Foodservice is launching its latest innovation, the Chuck & Brisket Prime Burger, made with 100% grass-fed beef, which is fully traceable from farm to fork. Country Choice is introducing its new Ja’ Patties at the show. Baked straight from frozen and available in three varieties – Sweet Potato & Coconut, Curried Lamb, and Jerk Chicken, they’re made in crisp golden ‘Caribbean Crust’ pastry.
Frima will be showcasing how its VarioCooking Center can boil, fry, deep fry and confit, replacing griddles, kettles, bratt pans, large pots and fryers. On its stand will be the compact model 112T and visitors can learn all the finer details of cooking with the kit, including how to get the best results and achieve energy savings.
Great British Biscotti Co is introducing five new additions to its ‘twice baked’ biscuit range, including Belgian Chocolate Orange, White Chocolate with Cranberries & Pistachios, Sundried Tomato & Olive, Wild Garlic & Rosemary, and a Jalapeño with Cheddar.
Major will be giving live demos, recipes and inspiration on how to create quality, natural and authentic flavour with stock. Its development chefs will be at the show to explain how Major’s gluten-free, aromatic pan-Asian broths and succulent Hickory and Applewood liquid seasoning, as well as the Mari Base range, will transform lunch menus.
MightyBee is previewing its ‘Bananito’ solar-dried banana bar (launching this December). Flavours include: Original & Chewy, Dark Chocolate Dipped, and Dark Chocolate & Almond Crush. These vegan treats are all-natural, gluten-free, high in fibre, and classified as one of your five-a-day.
Ninkee is launching its steamed bread bun, filled with a range of savoury fillings including: Chilli, Fruity Chicken Curry, Bolognaise, Veggie, and Cheesy. The Ninkee is supplied frozen and comes in a steam valve wrapper package. Just microwave and serve.
Orbis Tech will be showcasing the flexibility of the Orbis Software system at lunch! where they will be displaying their approach to offering key integration with a number of leading mobile app providers, including Yoyo Wallet, Airship and Como Sense. Orbis Tech will also be showcasing a host of features available alongside mobile app integration, as well as the latest in PoS hardware.
Phrooti is launching its new range of fruit waters, made with real fruit and spring water (with no added sugar or sweeteners), available in Apricots & Mangoes, Blackcurrants & Blueberries, and Raspberries
Rational will be showcasing its new generation SelfCookingCenter, available as an XS version, holding six 2/3GN pans. Also on show are the familiar 6 × 1/1 GN and 20 × 2/1 GN models. The XS model offers
the same functionality and performance as larger models, but on a compact footprint.
Rebel Kitchen’s new milk alternative, Mylk, tastes and looks just like dairy milk but is made from simple plant-based ingredients. Mylk is available in whole, semi skimmed, and skimmed variants, allowing consumers the freedom to choose their preferred fat content.
Tri-Star Packaging is to have seven new products on display, including the new JARR, Tri-Green and Gourmet 24.7 packaging solutions. JARR brings the jam jar presentation format to grab and go, Tri-Green is a stackable deli pot in eco-friendly rPET, and Gourmet 24.7 features a multifunctional design that enables operators to pack multiple takeaway dishes, both wet and dry, hot and cold, in a single container without the different foods mixing.
Virtue Drinks is showcasing its new Virtue Energy Water, which contains the same amount of natural caffeine as a cup of coffee (80mg). Energy comes from natural sources including yerba mate, guarana and ginseng.
The Soho Sandwich Company is previewing its Autumn Winter retail range, including a Beetroot Chutney and Feta Panini, Spiced Chickpea and Falafel Flatbread, and Apple and Pear Bircher.
Northern Bloc is previewing its new ice-cream for kids, Little Bloc. The range (launching in November) is available in a Crazy Chocolate and Super Strawberry twin pack (120ml per tub).
Koepala is introducing its flexible food packaging, which conveniently transforms into a bowl or a can. After a meal it can be neatly folded back to its flat form for easy disposal, minimising waste and the need for storage space.
Aqua Esse is launching its new range of botanical waters in 330ml bottles. Fennel + Mint and Damask Rose Petal are both part of the pure activated, naturally alkaline spring water range.
Europastry is launching its clean-label, sourdough range, made with extra virgin olive oil and high hydration. The soft sub rolls, round buns, baguettes and large ciabatta-style loaves are available sliced or unsliced. Bespoke development is also available.
Indie Bay Snacks is launching its new pretzel bites in three flavours: Spelt Pretzel Bites with Rock Salt, Quinoa Pretzel Bites with Cracked Pepper, and Sunflower Pretzel Bites with Superseeds. They are available in 26g single-serve and 160g sharing packs.
Kumar’s Curries and Bumbu’s is launching its range of pastes. Based on herbs and spices, the sauces boast a complex blend of aromas. Rich in plant-based nutrition, flavours include Bali, Vietnam, Szechuan, and Sweet and Sour.
C’go Drinks is introducing C’go, an entire bowl of wholegrain cereal, milk, and essential vitamins in just one 250ml bottled drink. It’s made with British wholegrain wheat, barley and oats and comes in Vanilla, Banana, and Chocolate.
Rombouts Coffee is launching its new Organic Expresso. Sourced from farms in Laos, Honduras and Congo, it blends 100% Arabica, organic and Fairtrade beans. It also works well in cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and other milk drinks.
NutriPot is launching Numai noodles (Japanese ramen) and gluten-free Vietnamese pho. Inspired by the fusion and flavours found in the street markets of Asia, they are low in salt, sugar and fat, and are made with natural ingredients. They are presented in a convenient pot with steam lid.
ButterflyCup is introducing its ButterflyCup Bio. This 100% compostable and biodegradable cup prevents splashes, leaks and drips. It costs less, reduces storage space and speeds the serving process, eliminating the need for plastic lids.
Urban eat is launching its new food-to-go portfolio. The latest sandwich range includes The Beet Goes On, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Chicken Mayonnaise, All Day Breakfast, and more.
Snact is showcasing its new range of sustainable banana bars in Apple and Cinnamon Kick, Beetroot and Cacao Blast, and Carrot and Spice Boost. Each bar saves one banana from going to waste and is packed with fruit, veg, oats and superfoods. It also comes with home compostable packaging.
Karma Cola is promoting its Sugar Free Karma Cola. The cola uses organic and ethical ingredients and, instead of sugar, is made with the organically grown plant stevia, which is sweet without the calories.
True Nopal Cactus Water is showcasing the UK’s first cactus water. Made with the purée of the prickly pear fruit, which grows on the nopal cactus, True Nopal has a fruity taste with no added sugar and half the calories of coconut water.
Mackie’s Crisps has added to its range with a new offering – fully toffee coated popcorn. It’s made using corn and is gently popped before being coated with a toffee shell. It is suitable for vegetarians and is free from gluten.
Cornware UK is launching its Rose Red 100% Biodegradable Clamshell range. Perfect for multipurpose use, the burger and lunchbox is oil and water proof, microwavable and freezable.
teatime is exhibiting its new tea baskets. The baskets are inside tea sachets, which contain the loose-leaf blends, and the shape allows the blends to expand when the water is added. It makes drinking loose tea convenient (through not needing a tea strainer) for blends on the go.
Pelican Rouge UK is promoting its Schaerer Barista. This hybrid combines the principles of a portafilter machine and barista skills, with easy operation and the reliability of a fully automatic coffee machine. Quality-related parameters like grind level, dosing and tamping are calibrated on installation.
Order on Chef is launching its online ordering system. The system doesn’t charge commission on orders or hold onto order payments. It provides a business with a fully branded online ordering system on a website, Facebook page and mobile apps.
Wat Kitchen is launching new Chicken Tikka with Rice to its street food snack box collection. Boasting authenticity with fragrant notes, it contains less than 290 calories, is low in fat and can be heated in two minutes.
Tigg’s – Saucy Dressings is showcasing its Tiny Tigg’s – 25g tear and squeeze ‘tiny bottles’. Flavours include Sweet Original, Bold Beetroot, Subtle Pepper and Mustard, Cool Basil and Pea, and Smokin’ Tomato.
Whitworths is exhibiting its Shots Nuts, the newest addition to the Shots range. Shots Nuts are 25g, single-serve combinations of natural nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds), which come in Salted Caramel, Chilli, Salsa, and Smoke variants.
The Innovation Challenge Gallery is also a great place to see what’s new, showcasing over 70 of the best food-to-go innovations from the last 12 months. Companies hoping their products will come away with a coveted Gold Award include Florette UK and Ireland, Mr Lee’s Noodles, The Tofurky Company, Jake and Nayns, Kepak (Rustlers), Pip and Nut, Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company, Karma Cola UK, RAP, Coveris, and rexmartins.
Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite innovations on the opening day, as they will be the ones to decide the final shortlist of exhibitors who will go on to live pitch their products to this year’s expert judges. These include top buyers from Starbucks, Tossed, Small Batch Coffee Company, Krispy Kreme, En Route International, Pret A Manger, and Elior UK.