Food-to-go industry prepares for lunch! 2016

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lunch! Innovation Challenge entries announced

With visitor pre-registrations tracking well ahead, and over 350 companies preparing to exhibit, this month’s lunch! trade show, taking place on 21-22 September at the Business Design Centre in London, is set for its biggest food-to-go showcase yet.

Food-to-go has never been more popular.  £16.1bn is the value IGD retail analysts say the UK’s food to go market is set to reach by the end of 2016, with sales up nearly 7% from 2015.  In their most recent survey, around 70% of shoppers had purchased their lunch ‘to go’ in the preceding month, whilst almost a third (28%) had ‘bought something on-the-go for breakfast’.

Such numbers make it a hugely competitive marketplace.  To keep customers interested, operators have to identify key trends and keep their menus ahead of the curve.  Innovative sourcing at lunch! is one proven way to do just that.  It’s been helping to launch new products to market since 2008.  From supermarket meal deals to travel catering, from attraction cafés to local sandwich shops, lunch! and its eclectic mix of exhibitors have been influencing ‘on the go’ menus across the UK for years.

“lunch! continues to truly amaze and inspire a generation of food-to-go buyers,” says Martin Hambleton, head of procurement at Enroute International.

“lunch! is a key event for our buying team.  The quality of suppliers makes it the destination show for our industry,” says Helen Higgins, head of food at EAT.

“lunch! is a fantastic show and great way to discover new innovations.  I would recommend it to anyone in this sector,” says Andy Crowle, product research manager at Tesco.

It’s thanks to glowing testimonials like these that lunch!’s current visitor list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the industry.  Representatives from Abel & Cole, ABM Catering, Aldi, Alexandra Palace, Alpha LSG, AMT Coffee, Aramark, Barburrito, BaxterStorey, Bidvest 3663, Bill’s Restaurants, Boots, Bourne Leisure Group, British Airways, Caffe Nero Group, Caterleisure Group, CH&CO, Chilango, Coffee#1, Compass Group, Costa, Costco Wholesale, Costcutter, Crussh, Debenhams, EAT., Eden Project, En Route International, Etihad Airways, Gategroup, Glendola Leisure, Greencore, Greggs, Harrods, IKEA, ISS, itsu, John Lewis, KFC, Krispy Kreme, LEON, Le Pain Quotidien, Lidl UK, M&S, McColl's Retail Group, Merlin Entertainments, Morrisons, Ocado, P&O Ferries, Paul UK, Pod Food, Pret A Manger, Rail Gourmet, Roadchef, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo, Spar UK, SSP, Starbucks, Superdrug, Supplair UK, Tesco, Virgin Trains, Waitrose, and WHSmith Travel, plus hundreds of independent and multiple cafés, coffee shops, tea rooms, bakeries, delis, and sandwich shops, are among them.

Innovation Challenge Gallery & Awards 2016

New show features for 2016 include the launch of the Innovation Challenge Gallery.  Located on the Upper Feature Level, it’s a good vantage point for visitors to see what’s new.  Designed to promote the best food-to-go innovations over the last twelve months – it boasts a record 64 entries this year.

Visiting buyers get their chance to decide this year’s awards shortlist by casting a vote for their favourite innovations on the show’s opening day.  Finalists will then go on to live pitch their products (in 90 seconds or less) to this year’s judges, including top buyers from Tossed, Costa Coffee, En Route International, and Elior UK (pitches start at 11.45am in Keynote Theatre 1 on Thursday 22 September, with the results at 2.45pm).

Companies hoping their products will come away with a coveted ‘Gold Award’ include:

  • Ape Snacks: Ape Crunchy Coconut Bites
  • Bam Life: Bam
  • Barracudos: Barracudos
  • BioglanSuperfoods: Raw Bites Cacao + Coffee + Coconut
  • Booja-Booja: Booja-Booja Dairy Free Ice Cream
  • ButterflyCup: ButterflyCup
  • Champion & Reeves: Champion & Reeves Dessert Nougat
  • The Collective: The Collective Blueberry Yoghurt
  • Cone Bakes: Cone Bakes
  • Dragonfly Foods: Dragonfly Tofupot – Moroccan Tagine
  • Europastry: Cheesecake Roulet
  • Excelsior Technologies: Snack & Go
  • eXpresso PLUS: LavAzza Eleganza
  • EZDO (UK): BAKEHELLAS Feta Twist with Sesame
  • EZDO (UK): THE PERLA COMPANY ™ Vegan Slices
  • Florette UK & Ireland: Florette Tasty & Balanced
  • Freaks of Nature: Freaks of Nature
  • Gococo Drinks / Nudie Snacks: GoBirch Water
  • Gococo Drinks / Nudie Snacks: Nudie Snacks Coconut Chips
  • Huggg: Huggg
  • Huskara: Huskara
  • I Love Snacks: I Love Snacks Almonds
  • I Love Snacks: I Love Snacks Mango
  • I Love Snacks: I Love Snacks Olives
  • Joe & Seph's Popcorn: Marmite Popcorn
  • Karma Cola UK: Karma Cola
  • Kind Snacks: Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond
  • Kind Snacks: Madagascan Vanilla Almond
  • The London Tea Company: Winter Wondermint
  • MiiRO: MiiRO Chocolate Coated Ice Lolly
  • MOJU: MOJU Boosters
  • Mr Lee's Noodles: Hong Kong Street Beef
  • Nashville Food Group: Nashville Fruit Co Honey Sticks
  • Nina Bakery: Nina Breadstick
  • Nina Bakery: Nina Sub
  • Nutmeg and Hive: Nutmeg and Hive Super Yogurt
  • NutriPot: NutriPot
  • PACK'D: PACK'D Energy Smoothie
  • Perkier Foods: Perkier Coconut & Chia Quinoa Bar
  • Pocket Enterprises: Pokito Cup
  • PRESS: Impact Health Tonics
  • R H Hall Foodservice Solutions: New Covent Garden Soup Server
  • RAP: HandRap Range
  • Rejuvenation Water: Rejuvenation Water
  • Roberts Bakery: Bakery Thins
  • Salty Dog Brands: Gruntled Pork Crackling
  • SFD: Seared and Stone Baked Burger Bun
  • Silvina's Nature: Crowns
  • Simplee Aloe Drinks: Simplee Aloe with Superberries
  • Taim Taim (Hamim Vetaim): Falafel Vegan Croutons
  • Taim Taim (Hamim Vetaim): Green Lentil Vegan Croutons
  • Taim Taim (Hamim Vetaim): Quinoa & Cranberry Vegan Croutons
  • Tao Family: Tao Pure Infusion
  • Taste of India: Chana Dhal by Taste of India
  • The Tofurky Company: Tofurky Lightly Seasoned Chick'n
  • The Tofurky Company: Tofurky Smoked Ham Deli Slices
  • The Tofurky Company: Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon
  • Tri-Star Packaging Supplies: PortaTray™
  • Twinings: Twinings Bollywood Chai Latte
  • Up & Go: UP&GO
  • Upwards: Gluten Free Calzone
  • Whitworths Shots: Cayenne Chilli Flaxseed Crisps
  • ZENDO Calm + Focus: ZENDO Calm + Focus

lunch! returns to Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on Wednesday and Thursday, 21-22 September 2016.  To register for a free trade pass, please visit and quote priority code LUN10 (direct link:


Media enquiries & press pass requests to:

Emma–Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134

Sharna Waid, PR Executive
t: +44 (0)1273 645144

Group Event Director:

Chris Brazier
t: +44 (0)1273 645123

Exhibitor enquiries to:

Nicola Cowles, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645137}



lunch! was shortlisted for Best UK Trade Show Exhibition over 2,000sqm by the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards 2016.  It 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.

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; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; 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; British Tourism & Travel Show; camexpo; Accountex; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus Live; 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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