“Unmissable, inspirational, exceptional” – lunch! 2016 wows food-to-go sector

UK’s only dedicated food-to-go show heads to ExCeL London for 10th anniversary in 2017

The UK’s appetite for food-to-go has never been bigger and it’s still growing.  That’s the message from lunch! 2016, which welcomed 6,204 key buyers and decision makers from across the food-to-go sector to its 9th annual edition last week, on 21-22 September.

The multi-award winning show bid farewell to its Business Design Centre venue in style, with its biggest event yet securing another record turnout.  Many of the UK’s biggest food-to-go operators, food retailers, and contract caterers, plus thousands of independent and multiple cafés, coffee shops and sandwich shops were in attendance.

Among them were well-known brands such as Abokado, AMT Coffee, Aramark, Asda, BaxterStorey, Boots, BP, Compass Group, Co-op, Costa Coffee, Debenhams, EAT, Elior UK, FCB – Artisan Espresso Bars, Gate Gourmet, Gate Retail Onboard, Greggs, Hilton, IKEA, ISS UK, itsu, KFC, Krispy Kreme, LEON, LSG Sky Chefs, Marks & Spencer, Merlin Entertainments, Morrisons, Norwegian Airlines, P&O Ferries, Patisserie Valerie, POD, Pret a Manger, Rail Gourmet, Sainsbury's, SPAR, SSP, Starbucks, Subway, Superdrug, Tesco, Tortilla, Tossed, Virgin Trains, Waitrose, Wasabi, and WH Smith.

“I find every visit to lunch! hugely valuable, as it really is the key event for our industry.  The special 10th anniversary lunch! at ExCeL London will be particularly exciting for buyers in the sector,” says Caroline Cromar, director of food at Pret a Manger.

“lunch! is the unmissable event for the food-to-go sector and the decision to move to ExCeL is incredibly exciting.  The move will give the show the chance to grow and for buyers to do business with even more innovative exhibitors,” says Angelina Harrisson, food & commercial director at Tossed.

“I definitely see lunch! as a must attend for those working in the FOTG sector.  We’ll be back next year and look forward to seeing how it grows and develops at ExCeL,” says David Ross, head of category at Greggs.

“lunch! is the one show not to be missed, with so many passionate and innovative exhibitors.  Moving to ExCeL London can only take the show to another level,” says Kevin Price, catering operations manager at Drayton Manor Park.

Save the date for ExCeL London

The move to ExCeL marks an exciting new development for the show, which is widely regarded as the premier event for the UK’s hugely competitive £20.2bn food-to-go market (across all day parts).  The only dedicated show for the sector, it has helped to launch thousands of new brands and products to market since 2008.  From cafés, coffee shops and sandwich shops to supermarket meal deals and travel catering, lunch! and its eclectic mix of exhibitors have been influencing ‘on the go’ menus across the UK for years.

“We are delighted to have just had our best ever lunch! show – with the highest number of visitors and exhibitors we’ve ever seen.  lunch! is the two days a year that the food-to-go sector gets together, and the support from the industry this year, as always, has been phenomenal,” says group event director Chris Brazier.

“It’s a testament to the show’s continuing success that we’ve seen unparalleled demand for exhibition space this year, with a record onsite rebook and many 2016 exhibitors preparing to take bigger stands.  The move to ExCeL – for lunch!’s tenth anniversary edition next year – has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm and is hugely encouraging for the future growth of this vibrant sector and, of course, lunch! itself – the only show targeted, focused and dedicated to serving it.

“Huge thanks, as always, must go to all our exhibitors, visitors, media and association partners, who we know are as excited about the move to our new home at ExCeL as we are,” he says.

Innovation Challenge Awards - results

Designed to promote and celebrate new ideas in the market place, the prestigious Innovation Challenge Awards, attracted over 60 entrants this year.  The 16 short-listed finalists, decided by popular vote at the Innovation Challenge Gallery on lunch!’s opening day, were invited to pitch their new innovations to a panel of industry judges on Wednesday 21 September.

This year’s five judges included Angelina Harrisson, food and commercial director at Tossed; Martin Hambleton, head of procurement at En Route International; Louise Direito, global senior food & beverage innovation manager at Costa Coffee; Sandy Anderson, senior buyer at Elior; and Neville Moon, owner of The Food Innovation Consultancy, who called lunch! 2016 an “excellent source of inspiration” and “genuine innovation”.

The following companies received Innovation Challenge Awards at lunch! 2016:


  • Freaks of Nature: Freaks of Nature
  • Karma Cola UK: Karma Cola
  • MOJU: MOJU Boosters
  • ZENDO Calm + Focus: ZENDO Calm + Focus

"To win Gold in the Innovation Challenge is huge for us, particularly as we are a small team trying to make big things happen.  The quality of exhibitors and the range of buyers you meet at lunch! is excellent.  As an emerging brand, investment in well-run and attended trade shows is critical – and lunch! didn’t let us down,” says Rich Goldsmith, co-founder of MOJU.

“lunch! 2016 was our first trade show and what a great way to launch the Freaks of Nature brand!  To win a coveted Innovation Challenge Gold Award was amazing.  Thanks to everyone who voted for us,” says Peter Ahye, founder of Freaks of Nature.

"It is an incredible honour and a real recognition to be named a Gold finalist among 64 innovative products.  The UK, and London in particular, is a market that has always attracted us and we hope that such award will open doors for ZENDO Calm + Focus.  We would also thank the lunch! team, who have done tremendous work for this successful 9th edition," says Laurent Karim, co-founder & COO of ZENDO Calm + Focus.

“We’re delighted that the judges and visitors share our belief that what you drink should not only taste and look good, but do good too,” says Samuel Chote, head of sales at Karma Cola UK.


  • Booja-Booja: Booja-Booja Dairy Free Ice Cream
  • Huggg: Huggg
  • MiiRO: MiiRO Chocolate Coated Ice Lolly
  • Mr Lee’s Noodles: Hong Kong Street Beef
  • Tri-Star Packaging Supplies: PortaTray™


  • ButterflyCup: ButterflyCup
  • Dragonfly Foods: Dragonfly Tofupot – Moroccan Tagine
  • eXpresso PLUS: LavAzza Eleganza
  • Florette UK & Ireland: Florette Tasty & Balanced
  • NutriPot: NutriPot
  • Upwards: Gluten Free Calzone
  • Whitworths Shots: Cayenne Chilli Flaxseed Crisps

Keynote highlights

Alongside the show’s bustling three-floor exhibition, the two lunch! Keynote Theatres were a hive of activity throughout.  Powerful Keynotes – led by a stellar line-up of innovative industry names, including Ian Cranna (Starbucks EMEA), Rod McKie (Welcome Break), Kirsty Saddler (LEON), Rory McEntee (Benugo), and Vincent McKevitt (Tossed), addressed key business opportunities (and challenges) for food-to-go operators.

As in previous years, Simon Stenning (MCA), Emma Read (Horizons), and Cyril Lavenant (NPD Group) delivered essential food-to-go market updates and overviews of the latest trends to watch.

While exclusive interview sessions with Wendy Bartlett MBE (bartlett mitchell), Luke Johnson (Risk Capital Partners), Steve Richards (The Casual Dining Group/Rapide by Café Rouge), and Caroline Cromar (Pret), hosted by CGA Peach’s Peter Martin and Propel’s Paul Charity, sparked plenty of insightful debate.

“lunch! 2016 was a hugely enjoyable show, packed with exciting products and seminars.  The 2017 show at ExCeL London is going to be fantastic!” says Rory McEntee, head of retail marketing at Benugo.

lunch! will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 21-22 September 2017.  For further information, please visit www.lunchshow.co.uk.

Booking for new exhibitors opens at 10am on Wednesday 17 October.  Please contact lunch! sales manager Nicola Cowles on 01273 645137 or ncowles@divcom.co.uk.


Media enquiries & photography requests to:

Emma–Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: ejones@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.divcom.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DiversifiedUK

Sharna Waid, PR Executive
t: +44 (0)1273 645144
e: swaid@divcom.co.uk

Group Event Director:

Chris Brazier
t: +44 (0)1273 645123
e: cbrazier@divcom.co.uk
Website: www.lunchshow.co.uk
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3143327
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lunchexhibition
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/lunch/106355532742317

Exhibitor enquiries to:

Nicola Cowles, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645137
e: ncowles@divcom.co.uk



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.

High res images are available on request:

Logo: www.lunchshow.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/lunch_2016_logo_black.jpg

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: www.divcom.co.uk.

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: www.divcom.com


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About Us

Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Leamington Spa, and Nailsworth, Glos. Its brand portfolio includes: • Casual Dining (24-25 February 2016, Business Design Centre, London) www.casualdiningshow.co.uk • British Tourism & Travel Show - Best of Britain & ireland (16-17 March 2016, NEC, Birmingham) www.tourismshow.co.uk • Ocean Business, Offshore Survey Conference & Ocean Careers (April 2017, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton) www.oceanbusiness.com • Natural & Organic Products Europe (17-18 April 2016, ExCeL, London) www.naturalproducts.co.uk • Geo Business (24-25 May 2016, Business Design Centre, London) www.geobusinessshow.com • SITS - The IT Service Management Show (8-9 June 2016, Olympia, London) www.servicedeskshow.com • MARELEC International Marine Electromagnetics conference www.marelec.co.uk • lunch! (24-25 September 2015, Business Design Centre, London) www.lunchshow.co.uk • camexpo (26-27 September 2015, Olympia National Hall, London) www.camexpo.co.uk • Coach & Bus Live (30 September - 1 October, 2015, NEC, Birmingham) www.coachandbuslive.com/ • office* (13-14 October 2015, Olympia National Hall, London) www.officeshow.co.uk • Natural Products Scandinavia & Nordic Organic Food Fair (1-2 November 2015, MalmöMassan, Sweden) www.naturalproductsscandinavia.com & www.nordicorganicexpo.com • Euro Bus Expo (1-3 November 2016, NEC, Birmingham) www.eurobusxpo.com • Natural Products is Britain’s leading trade magazine for the natural and organic products industry (www.naturalproductsonline.co.uk) • The Natural Beauty Yearbook is the UK’s only dedicated trade guide to the natural and organic beauty and personal care market (www.naturalbeautyyearbook.co.uk) • Ocean Buzz is the weekly ocean technology eNewsletter providing the latest news and information from the industry (www.oceanbuzz.co.uk) • ServiceDesk360.com is a news, comment and discussion site dedicated to connecting, informing and learning within the ITSM community (www.servicedesk360.com) • Route One is the market-leading coach and bus industry weekly magazine (www.route-one.net) • Coach Monthly is the leading magazine for the coach tourism community, read by coach operators, tour planners and industry professionals (www.route-one.net) • Route One is the market-leading coach and bus industry weekly magazine (www.route-one.net) 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, eMedia, 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 800 staff, with divisions in the Eastern United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

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