The past few days have seen visitors flock to the Business Design Centre in London for the annual lunch! exhibition, now in its eighth year.
Following its exceptional success last year, the show has returned with all things new and interesting for those involved in the food-to-go sector.
In 2014, lunch! won Best Trade Show at the Exhibition News Awards. 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. So it’s certainly one to keep tabs on.
Over 6,000 attendees were expected from some of the UK’s biggest food-to-go operators, caterers, food retailers, and representative in their thousands from independent and multiple cafés, coffee houses and sandwich shops. Because of prior demand, a new hall was allocated for use, with an unprecedented 350 exhibiting companies, up by 25% from last year.
Talks and Product Launches
Numerous seminars took place including The Buying Masterclass: Top Tips For Food-To-Go Buyers, Indulgence Is The New Health and most interestingly, Bringing Potbelly To The UK. In addition there were useful tips on how to build a brand, marketing, advertising and designing food-to-go successfully. These sessions however, were overshadowed by what some deemed as the highlight of the entire event, the eagerly awaited and hard fought battle of the British Smoothie Championships Finals 2015.
There were also several new products making their debut at the lunch! show, including The Real Soup Co’s new single serve pots of fresh, ready to heat and serve soup for the food-to-go sector. Available in five popular flavours. Jax Coco is launching its new Coconut Chips Available with sea salt, wasabi or chilli & lime, and vegan, gluten and trans-fat free.
Mom’s Fabulous Hot Dogs launched a skinless quarter pounder made from prime cuts of beef with a firm, smooth texture and a meaty flavour and Ingenious Foods introduced Gourmosa, a range from the sub-continent with a modern twist, including Samosa Pie, Samosa Pot and Oven Bake Samosa. (Bit unfortunate if you don’t like samosas).
Additionally, Proper Pudding launched five premium, sugar or refined sugar free, chilled puddings: Lemon Jelly with Lime & Coconut Pudding; Orange & Honey Posset and Strawberries & Cream.
Fresh Mediterranean delicacies came from new exhibitor the Pietercil Group Beliès including unpasteurised olives, antipasti and tapenades and its new ‘on the go’ Greek olives snack pack.
Perhaps taking inspiration from the Great British Bake-off, Cakesmiths introduced a new Artisan Loaf Range (including Smashing Pumpkin, Banana and Chocolate Bread, Poached Pear and Ginger, and Lemon & Courgette) and finally, Calbee UK showcased its savoury snacks – Yushoi Snapea rice sticks. Baked and made using green peas, they are inspired by Japan and available in four flavours: Lightly Salted, Smoked Salt & Szechuan Pepper, Sweet Chilli & Lemon and Soy & Balsamic Vinegar.
Space constraints prevent us from listing more delightful and innovative products. But as we always say here at AC Services (Southern), to make a good product, you need a good oven, so any catering company or restaurant or café intending to stock and serve these new products, please ensure that your oven is capable of cooking them to the standards required to bring out the tastes and flavours.