Competition hots up at Casual Dining 2016

McCain Foodservice, Nestlé Professional, New York Bakery Company, Southern Wine Roads, The FoodFellas, Twinings, UCC Coffee, and Young’s Seafood are just some of exhibitors competing for Innovation Challenge Awards at this year’s sold out Casual Dining show, which returns to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 24-25 February.

All products and services entered into the 2016 Innovation Challenge – designed to promote the best new casual dining innovations over the last twelve months – will have to win over the show’s visitors (including key buyers and decision makers from across the casual dining restaurant and pub sector) before making it through to the exciting live final.

Voting opens from 10am on Wednesday 24 February (the first day of the show) at the Innovation Challenge Gallery on the upper feature level.  Entrants securing the most votes before 4pm that day (one per visitor) will then be invited to ‘pitch’ their new innovations to a panel of industry judges in the Keynote Theatre the following day (at 12.30pm on Thursday 25 February, with the results to be announced at 2.45pm).

Returning judges include leading pub and restaurant entrepreneur Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive at Oakman Inns & Restaurants; Brian Whiting, owner of Whiting & Hammond; and Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

“Casual Dining is a hotbed of innovation…the most focused, most relevant, the best show of the year,” says GBK’s Keith Bird.

Casual Dining Innovation Challenge entries include:

  • Prep Premium FireHouse – AAK Foodservice
  • Marinated Potatoes – Aviko UK
  • Gentleman’s Platter – Bar Foods
  • Future of Dispense – Brewfitt
  • Fat Free Frozen Yogurt Smoothie Base – Coolicious Frozen Yogurt
  • Dairy Free Coconut & Mango Ice Cream – DiSotto Foods
  • Just Add – JDM Food Group
  • Chef’s Pass Liquid Onion Reduction – Kerry Chef’s Pass
  • Sorriso Roasted Tomato Pesto – L'Aquila London
  • Coconut LOVO – LOVO
  • McCain Signatures Skin-on Fries – McCain Foodservice
  • British Chicken Ballotine – Moy Park Foodservice
  • Nestlé®Coolpro™ CTS230 – Nestlé Professional
  • Bagel Sandwich Thins – New York Bakery Company
  • Gluten Free Pastry Cases – Pidy
  • Bee Me – rexmartins
  • Monovarietal Grape Marc Distillates – Southern Wine Roads
  • Frozen Individual Avocado Halves – The FoodFellas
  • The Oval Eco Street Bowl – Tri-Star Packaging
  • Twinings Chocolate Cookie Tea Shake – Twinings
  • Ueshima’s Double Expresso Coffee – UCC Coffee UK & Ireland
  • Young’s Premium Scottish Salmon Fillet in a Sweet Chilli & Ginger Butter Sauce – Young’s Seafood

Innovation Challenge Awards aside, the multi–award winning trade event for casual dining restaurant, pub and bar operators, will see 170 leading suppliers – including food and drink, catering equipment, interior design, furniture, table top, POS technology and services – vying for business across three floors of exhibition space.

“Innovation is the life blood of the casual dining market.  We can all benefit from the huge advances in innovation, product development and technology.  Casual Dining has a great number of these suppliers on offer and is definitely worth the journey,” says Tim Foster, head of being awesome at The Yummy Pub Co.

The full exhibitor list is available to view at

This year’s free seminar line-up includes Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group; Simon Kossoff, co-founder and chairman of Carluccio’s; Luke Johnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners; David Campbell, chief executive of Wagamama; Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen; Paul Pavli, operations director of Punch Taverns; Mark McQuater, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group; Martin Morales, founder of Ceviche; and Mark Linehan, managing director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association.  For full timings and seminar summaries, please visit

For more information, and to register for a free trade only ticket to Casual Dining, please visit and quote priority code PR1 (alternatively, use direct link:


Media enquiries & press pass requests to:

Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
Editorial representatives of relevant trade and consumer media (including freelancers) are invited to apply for press passes to Casual Dining via email to  (Please note, additional details may be requested to verify journalistic activity and all press passes are issued at the management’s discretion.)
t: +44 (0)1273 645134

Exhibitor enquiries to:

Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645123


Casual Dining was the first launch show (UK and international) in over five years to win ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ at the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards 2014.  In 2015, it won the same award for the second consecutive year.  It was also named a finalist in the ‘Show Rising Star’ category at the Exhibition News Awards in 2015.

High res images from Casual Dining 2015 are available upon request:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  In addition to Casual Dining!, Diversified UK’s event portfolio includes Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; lunch!; 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 Service Desk & IT Support 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:

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:




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