lunch! attracts all the big names to ExCeL

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Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S Food, Pret A Manger, Greggs, Costa Coffee, Caffѐ Nero, Co-op, WH Smiths, Waitrose, Starbucks, EAT., LEON, McDonald’s, and Compass Group – some of the UK’s biggest food-to-go specialists, caterers, and retailers, are among thousands of companies preparing to visit lunch! 2017 later this month, on 21-22 September.

Trade visitor pre-registrations are tracking ahead for its 10th anniversary edition, with just over two weeks until doors open at the show’s new home of London ExCeL.

lunch! annually attracts over 6,000 attendees – all looking to satisfy the nation’s growing appetite for a high quality, and good value, food-to-go experience.  Seeing and sampling the latest new product innovations from 335 exhibiting companies is just part of the show’s long-standing appeal.  Visitors also benefit from expert insights, strategies and ideas (that can help build their own brands) from a host of senior industry figures – talking about everything from marketing and profitability to innovation, trends and procurement.

Confirmed speakers – many of whom won’t be appearing at any other UK show this year – include Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs; Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT.; Paul Ettinger, business development director at Caffè Nero; Rachel Chatterton, Starbucks’s senior innovation manager for EMEA; Josh Brown, head of commercial development at Harris + Hoole; Neil Littler, chief marketing officer at Tim Hortons; celebrity chef Theo Randall (hosted by the BSA); Louise Pilkington, consumer marketing director for the UK and Ireland at Compass Group; Will Cole, head of UK marketing at Pret A Manger; and Kirsty Saddler, brand & marketing director at LEON.

The latest names to be announced – completing the 2017 seminar line-up – will all be taking part in lunch!’s returning series of food-to-go panel sessions.

Guy Meakin, head of buying at Pret A Manger, will appearing in a dedicated ‘buyers masterclass’.  With over 15 years’ buying experience, including senior roles with Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and now Pret, he’ll be sharing a wealth of best practice and advice on innovative product sourcing.

‘Increasing profits in food-to-go’ – a hot topic for many café operators, is the focus for Benugo’s head of marketing Rory McEntee, Trade’s director Alex Stone, chef Jay Morjaria, and marketing specialist Mark McCulloch (founder of WE ARE Spectacular).

Three leading independent operators – Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters, Edward Parkes, director and co-founder of The Gentlemen Baristas, and Frank Boltman, director of Trade – will be discussing how ambitious challenger brands can build on their successes to become the ‘Food-to-go multiples of the future’.

Business growth – particularly within the independent coffee shop market – is also a key theme in lunch!’s ‘Ones to watch’ panel.  Chaired by Jim Wilkinson, MD of The Blend Magazine, it will feature some of the leaders behind the most admired coffee operators in the UK, including Henry Ayers, director and co-founder of The Gentleman Baristas; Fabio Ferreira, director of Notes; and Peter Dore-Smith, founder and director of Kaffeine.

“Running a hospitality (and especially a food-to-go) business is hard work.  Planning and preparing to open one, and actually doing it, is even harder.  Being able to go to lunch! is a superb opportunity for operators of all levels to access information, products, and samples, and listen to industry professionals speak about their experiences.  It is a must visit,” says Dore-Smith.

For further information (including session details and timings), please visit www.lunchshow.co.uk/education.

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