lunch! confirmed its position as the leading trade event for the UK’s food-to-go market last week, after its sixth, and biggest, edition attracted a record 5,929 industry professionals. Organised by Diversified Business Communications UK, the two-day show, which took place on 26-27 September at Business Design Centre, London, enjoyed an unparalleled 37% increase in unique attendees (excluding revisits) compared to 4,314 in 2012.
Renowned for attracting top buyers from across the retailing, hospitality, snacking and catering sectors, the show’s aisles were packed with a “who’s who” of the sector – including buyers from Waitrose, M&S, Asda, Tesco, EAT., Pret a Manger, Costa, Caffe Nero, Harrods, Debenhams, Superdrug, Gate Gourmet, Greggs, Network Rail, Thomson Airways, Brakes, Aramark, BaxterStorey, Hilton Worldwide, Compass, Sodexo, Selfridges, and Coffee Republic; plus thousands of independent retailers and foodservice operators.
The significant surge in visitor numbers has led many exhibiting companies to rightly hail the 2013 show as its most successful ever. And, as a result, a record number of exhibitors have already rebooked for next year – when lunch! returns to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 23-24 September 2014.
lunch!’s marketing manager Grace Allwright, who has worked on the award-winning show since 2009, is delighted with the phenomenal feedback it has inspired: “We talk about lunch!’s fantastic buzz and unique atmosphere every year but it really was incredible for 2013. Of course, lunch!’s 37% increase in attendees makes a great headline but it was the high quality of focussed buyers there that really grabbed everyone’s attention,” says Allwright.
She continues: “We are thrilled that so many exhibitors, and visitors, are calling lunch! 2013 their best trade show ever! – and we really couldn’t ask for a better testimonial than that! Thank you to all our valued exhibitors, visitors, supporters and partners who helped make lunch! 2013 such a great success!”
Renowned for its exceptional show content, it wasn’t just the show floor that was buzzing at lunch!. The show’s highly anticipated Keynotes were all well attended, with many enjoying standing room only crowds.
British Smoothie Championships
Notable highlights for 2013, included ShakeTastic winning the live finals of the British Smoothie Championships (sponsored by Magrini) for the third time – having triumphed in 2009 and 2010. Their winning smoothie – Pop Eye! (made with banana, baby spinach and freshly pressed apples), is now available to enjoy in all their stores.
Innovation Challenge Awards
Audience participation was also key to the prestigious, new-format Innovation Challenge Awards. For the first time ever this year, all products entered into the Innovation Challenge Showcase – including food, drink, packaging, equipment and technology – had to win over the show’s visitors before making it through to the live final.
Designed to promote and celebrate genuinely new ideas in the market place, including brand innovations and new twists on established concepts, the Innovation Challenge Awards attracted over 50 entrants this year. The 15 short-listed finalists (as voted for by lunch! visitors on the first day of the show) were invited to pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of industry judges (which included Faith MacArthur, founder of EAT., Simon Stenning, foodservice strategy director at Allegra Strategies, and Maria Bracken, editor of Lunch Business magazine).
lunch! 2014 – the UK’s leading, multi-award-winning, trade event for the food-to-go industry, will return to Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 23-24 September 2014.