Olympia London played host last week to the only dedicated show for the pub industry, PUB20. The two days of the event brought together more than 200 innovative suppliers; 60 experts of the industry speaking across 30 talks and the latest food, drink and technology trends.
The first day of PUB20 saw a number of talks, all pertinent to the future of the pub industry. There were talks on the design of pubs, how to entice customers in and make them comfortable. This included an exclusive look at Harp Interiors’ at-show design masterpiece, the PUB Theatre, which demonstrated the top design trends to engage the next generation. The talks reflected the industry’s determination to combat the problems it faces and present positive solutions.
Social Media and Experiential Drinks
Social media was another subject covered; with a debate about the advantages of social media, asking questions such as whether Instagram or Facebook are the best platform for pubs. The session provided inspiration and a clear understanding of how to create effective content, grow brand awareness and engage customers. Similar talks included advice on photographing drinks and placing them on the right media to attract customers.
Much was made of the dichotomy between alcohol and non alcohol drinkers. Club Soda DrinkX offered solutions for appropriate products to bring people together socially, rather than separate them based on alcohol. Experiential beverages are one of the key drivers behind the growth of the low and no market. The advice here is on “immersive, multi-sensory, premium, customisable serves which bring theatre and new rituals to excite modern consumers”.
Food in Pubs
RATIONAL contributed with a talk about the right equipment and how it can play a key role in delivering delicious pub grub in a timely manner to maximise any chef’s multitasking ability. Food featured strongly at the show, with the rise of the meat-free cuisine a hot topic. In a cooking demonstration, chef Neil Rankin showed how plant-based burgers can showcase the same skill and attention to detail as those containing meat; whilst being kinder on the profit margins as well as the environment.
There was a big focus on catering in pubs for flexitarians, those who do eat meat but are looking to reduce their consumption of meat. This group now make up 68% of UK diners, leading to diners looking to try something new while eating out. 78% of consumers think food quality contributes the most to the dining experience. And expectations of food quality has again risen in 2019. The show suggested Grilling Cheese as a solution to help address the balance between profitability and quality.
Of course, no PUB20 show would be complete without the great Sausage Roll Off. Here past winners returned to compete, create, roll and bake their own take on the sausage roll. The show returns in 2021 promising to be even bigger and better.