lunch! reveals speakers & launches Coffee Shop Keynotes

Visitor registration has opened for lunch! 2019. Back at London ExCeL on 19-20 September, the UK’s biggest annual trade showcase for the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector is preparing to host a record 400 exhibitors and welcome around 7,000 attendees.

This year’s compelling line-up includes two action-packed days of business and networking, product launches, demos and tastings, innovation and insights, and 35+ Keynotes, interviews and panels featuring some of the biggest names in the business speaking exclusively at their industry show.

The first wave of speakers to be announced today include:
> Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT
> Alex Young, CEO of pod food
> Marta Pogroszewska, MD of GAIL’s Bakery
> Hannah Squirrel, customer and marketing director at Greggs
> Arnaud Kaziewicz, director of food & beverage at EAT
> Shereen Ritchie, operations director at LEON
> Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla
> James Kidman, head of food at Crussh
> Said Takhamt, CEO of Parisian brand Cojean
> Aggie Morrell, head of food at pod food
> James Larkins, group executive chef at Oxford University for Compass Group UK & Ireland – who was recently named best Contract Catering Chef at the Craft Guild of Chef Awards 2019

Thanks to the addition of a third theatre this year – dedicated solely to serving up world-class ‘Coffee Shop Keynotes’, there’s even more great content for its visitors to enjoy.

Among those presenting on this new stage are Penny Manuel, MD of SOHO Coffee Co; Henry Ayers and Edward Parkes, founders of Gentleman Baristas; Alan Tomlins, co-founder and head of coffee at Small Batch Coffee Roasters; Anya Marco – one of the UK’s leading authorities on coffee shop trends; and Hannah McKay, head of food & beverages UK & Ireland at Caffé Nero, who highly recommends lunch! as a key “date for the diary every year!”.

Event organiser Diversified Communications UK says to expect more headline reveals in the coming weeks.

Tesco, McDonald’s, Subway, Sainsbury’s, Greggs, M&S Food, KFC, Boots, Costa and Waitrose – the top ten food-to-go brands in the UK (according to MCA[1]) were all at the show doing business last year.

Summing up her visitor experience, Cathy Port, head of category – sweet & impulse at Costa Coffee, says: “It’s great to meet with new and old suppliers at lunch!. I visit every year and always get to see new and different innovations – it has a brilliant vibe at ExCeL too!”

It’s a sentiment echoed by many of the show’s repeat visitors. Among them: AMT Coffee, Aramark, Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, Benugo, Bidfood, Booker Retail, Bosworths, Bourne Leisure Group, BP, Budgens, Cafe2U, Caffè Nero, Caterleisure Group, Center Parcs, Chartwells, CH&Co Group, Compass Group, Condor Ferries, Co-op Food, Debenhams, Dobbies Garden Centres, EAT., Elior UK, Eurostar, FCB Artisan Espresso Bars, Fortnum & Mason, GAIL's Bakery, Gather & Gather, Harris + Hoole, Harrods, Holland & Barrett, ISS Facility Services, itsu, LEON, Klondyke, Krispy Kreme, McColl’s Retail Group, Merlin Entertainments, Morrison’s, MRH Retail, Nisa, Ocado, Picturehouse Cinemas, Planet Organic, POD, Pret A Manger, Puccino's, Rail Gourmet, Roadchef, Selfridges, Serco Leisure, Shell, Small Batch Coffee Co, Sodexo, SPAR, SSP, Starbucks, Tortilla, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Whole Foods Market, WH Smith, Wild Bean Café, Wyevale Garden Centres, and more.

They’re sure to be back at the show again this autumn, joined by thousands of other multiple and independent cafés, coffee shops, sandwich shops, tea rooms, bakeries, delis, contract and travel caterers, distributors, wholesalers, venues, attractions, and universities.

“It’s so important that we support the only trade show dedicated to our vibrant sector. lunch! gets better every year…it’s the best show around and puts innovation right at the heart of our sector,” says Julian Metcalfe, founder of itsu & Pret A Manger.

2018 was a big year for lunch!. It’s second year at ExCeL (and eleventh edition overall) saw record attendance of 6,882 and led to a record number of exhibitors rebooking onsite for another helping of the show’s much talked of ‘buzz’. Now, looking ahead to September, it’s well on track to sell out of all its (already expanded) exhibition space.

New exhibitors (there are over 70 to choose from) include HUEL, Chapter Coffee Co, Soreen, Barebells, Bol Foods, Cup & Cino, Frubaca, Ikoyi Chapmans, Rubies in the Rubble, Qwrkee Foods, Tony's Chocolonely, and Willys ACV. While returning include Handmade Cake Company, Kind Snacks, Moju Drinks, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, LBP UK, Proper (formerly Propercorn), Ecoffee Cup, Rombouts Coffee, Shur Star Systems, RAP, Magrini, Deli Lites Gourmet Sandwiches, Premier Foods (Ambient Food to Go Solution), Douwe Egberts, Norseland, Hippeas, Minor Figures, NIX & KIX, Meridian Foods, Vita Coco and Friesland Campina UK.

And that’s just a small snapshot of lunch!’s eclectic exhibitor list, which is renowned for promoting emerging start-ups and speciality producers alongside some of the industry’s best known suppliers.

Chris Brazier, lunch!’s group event director, said, “lunch! has proved itself year after year to be an essential visit to see what’s new and compare the latest innovative products from leading and emerging brands.

“lunch! 2019 will be our biggest event yet in every way. More speakers, more free business seminars, more essential insights, more exciting brands, and, importantly, more fantastic innovations to discover.

'Every new product launch that food-to-go buyers need to know about – from ingredients to kitchen equipment and counter displays, from food and drink to packaging, payment solutions and business services – will be on show this September. We look forward to seeing you there.”