Record number of new product innovations on show at lunch! next week

Thousands of food-to-go operators and retailers from across the UK will be in London next week, over 20-21 September – as lunch! returns to ExCeL to showcase the best new products, solutions, insights, and innovations of the year.

The UK’s biggest food-to-go trade event, featuring an unprecedented 370 exhibiting companies, lunch! has also now confirmed a record number of entries for its prestigious annual Innovation Challenge Awards.

Nearly 100 manufacturers and suppliers will be fielding new products/entries for 2018 – many of which will be launching at the show.  (That’s a 44% increase in new food, drink, foodservice equipment and tech innovations this year, up from 69 entries in 2017.)  They’ll be looking to win over visiting buyers to secure their votes – and places – in the show’s lively Innovation Challenge final.

“lunch! is inspiring, energetic and delicious…it’s a brilliant place to catch up with suppliers and meet new ones.  I always come away from lunch! amazed at the level of creativity in NPD,” says Aggie Morrell, head of food at Pod.

In addition to speaking at this year’s show, Ms Morrell is also set to make her debut on the Innovation Challenge’s illustrious judging panel.  Other new judges include: Jack Hinchcliffe, innovation director for KFC UK&I; Ed Parkes, founder & director of The Gentlemen Baristas; Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla; Frank Boltman, founder & director of Trade; Shane Kavanagh, CEO of Crussh; and Arnaud Kaziewicz, director of food & beverage at EAT.

They join seven returning judges – Sandy Anderson (Elior), Louise Direito (Krispy Krème), Paul Ettinger (Caffè Nero), Martin Hambleton (En Route International), Guy Meakin (Pret A Manger), chef/restaurant consultant Jay Morjaria (who recently appeared on the BBC’s Million Pound Menu, where his innovative East Asian restaurant concept ‘Dynasty’ landed an investment offer of £500,000), and Alan Tomlins (Small Batch Coffee Roasters) – who together will decide which products will come away with a coveted gold, silver or bronze innovation award.

“lunch! is a must for anyone involved in the food-to-go industry.  Every year, there are more exhibitors showing new innovative products in a great atmosphere of passion and fun,” says founding judge Sandy Anderson, senior buyer – fresh & frozen food at Elior.

Voting opens for visitors at the lunch! Innovation Challenge Gallery from 10am on Thursday 20 September and will run until 4pm.  The exhibitors who have secured the most votes will then be invited to ‘pitch’ their new innovations to the judges (and an audience full of top buyers) the following day.  Pitches start at 11.15am in Keynote Theatre 2, with the results to be announced just a few hours later at 4.15pm, on Friday 21 September.

Innovation Challenge entries, which are up 44% this year, include:

  • Adonis Smart Foods: Low Sugar Turmeric Nut Bar
  • Agriculture-Ein Harod Co-ope : Silan – Date Syrup
  • Alara: Fruits and Seeds Muesli
  • AliveBiome: AliveBiome Raspberry
  • Ambient Food to Go Solution: Peckish Rice Crackers – Impulse Bag
  • Ape Snacks: Coconut & Rice Puffs Thai Chilli
  • AQUA Carpatica: AQUA Carpatica Kids Still Natural Mineral Water
  • Arteta Sp. z o. o: DayUp Pearls
  • Bio-tiful Dairy: Bio-tiful Dairy Kefir-Quark
  • BitesWeLove: BitesWeLove Healthy Bites
  • Born Tasty: Snackamolé™ Avocado Dip
  • Bounce Foods: Bounce Breakfast High Fibre Protein Bar – Peanut Butter
  • BRAVE: BRAVE Roasted Peas – Salted Caramel & Chocolate
  • Bravura Foods: Free From Fellows Gummy Bears
  • Burts Potato Chips: Burts Jim Beam Original BBQ Chips
  • ButterflyCup: ButterflyCup
  • The Cake Crew: Beautifully Crafted Vegan Cupcakes
  • The Collective: Collective Mango & Turmeric Kefir
  • Cool Cold Brew : Cool Cold Brew
  • Coveris: Coveris Plastic-Free Food-to-Go Packaging
  • Crealine UK: GAZPACHO TO GO
  • The Curators: The Curators Sweet Sriracha Beef Jerky
  • Dash Water: Dash Water Raspberry
  • Deli Lites Gourmet Sandwiches: DELI LITES Asian Bespoke Bowl
  • Döhler GmbH: Cold Brew Coffee
  • Doughlicious: CRAVE
  • Eat Natural: Eat Natural Salted Caramel
  • Feel Good Company ApS: RATION Food Bars (6 Flavours)
  • Fire Grain: Fire Grain’s Freekeh
  • Flower & White: Flower&White Raspberry Meringue Bar
  • Flyte: Flyte – Green Mango
  • For Goodness Shakes: For Goodness Shakes Plant Protein Smooth Chocolate
  • Freaks Of Nature: Sticky Toffee Hot Pudding
  • Galliance UK: Gastronome Professionnels ‘Tasty and Trusted’ Roast Chicken Slices
  • generationJuice: T300 juice dispenser from generationJuice
  • Get More Vits: Get More Recovery
  • Go Faster Food: Go Bites Raspberry & Cacao
  • Green Sisters: Choco’Licious Samosa
  • Indie Bay Snacks: Indie Bay Snacks Easy Cheesy Pretzel Bites
  • Indie Bay Snacks: Indie Bay Snacks Smokin’ BBQ Pretzel Bites
  • Instinct Bites: Instinct Bites – Sour Cherry Strawberry
  • JEKL Steak On The Go!: JEKL Steak On The Go!
  • Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn: Joe & Seph’s Simply Range
  • KALEIDO: Kaleidoscope Salad Rolls
  • Kavli Food Solutions: Primula Jalapeno Cheese Dipper
  • Kestrel Foods: Forest Feast Mango & Coconut Fruit Balls
  • Kestrel Foods: Forest Feast Pineapple, Mango & Lime Fruit Balls
  • Kestrel Foods: Forest Feast Milk Chocolate Mango & Coconut Fruit Balls
  • KIND Protein: KIND Protein Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Livia’s Kitchen: Raw Cookie Dough Nugglets
  • Lo Bros Kombucha & Living Drinks: Lo Bros Organic Cola Kombucha
  • Love Taste Co: Avo Go-Go
  • Luv Sum PTY: BODIE’z Protein Water Powder Sachet – Unflavoured
  • Magrini: Magrini Life Coffee Machine
  • ManiLife: ManiLife Deep Roast Snack Pots
  • Michel et Augustin: Cheese & butter crispy bites from France
  • Michel et Augustin: French savory shortbreads with cheese
  • Mighty Sesame (Rushdi): Mighty Sesame Tahini
  • Natural Balance Foods: Nakd Blueberry Muffin
  • Natural Fitness t/a Getbuzzing: Nut Free Wowbutter Getbuzzing bar
  • Nina Bakery: Nina Bakery Bite Size Pitta
  • Ninkee: Ninkee
  • Nugo Nutrition/Koochikoo: Koochikoo Lollipop
  • Nugo Nutrition/Koochikoo: Nugo Protein Cookies
  • Ollys Olives: Olly’s Olives: Lemon & Thyme
  • Ombar Chocolate: Ombar Centres Pistachio
  • The One Brand: One Less Bottle
  • One Earth Organics: One Earth Jackfruit Crisps
  • Organix: Organix Goodies Cheesy Pea Snaps
  • Organix: Organix Goodies Fruit & Seed Bites
  • Pastorfrigor GB: Filip with Aircell
  • Paterson Arran: Paterson’s Jammy Shortbread
  • Perkier Foods: PERK!ER Bites
  • Pocket Enterprises: pokito pop up cup
  • Point Blank Cold Brew: Point Blank Cold Brew
  • POPS: Premium Popsicles: House Press POPS
  • Pots & Co: Pots & Co 70% Chocolate Ganache
  • The Protein Ball Co: Apple + Blueberry Breakfast Balls
  • Quibbles: Quibbles Salt & Vinegar Almonds
  • Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company: Radnor Plus Energy
  • Raw & Wild: Pili Nuts with Turmeric & Ginger
  • Roqberry: Sushi & Spice – Green Tea
  • Sandows: Sandows Citrus Cold Brew Soda
  • Savsé: Savse Protein Rise
  • Simplee Aloe: Aloe Vera Water With Pulp
  • Something & Nothing: Something & Nothing
  • St Pierre Bakery: St Pierre Bakery On the Go Range
  • Thirst Quenchers UK: Vegeway Raw Vegan Protein Powder
  • Trangs Group: Bao Bun
  • TRIBE: TRIBE – Infinity Choc Salt Caramel
  • Union Hand-Roasted Coffee: Union Brew Lab double strength cold brew
  • UPBEAT Drinks: UPBEAT Protein and Vitamin Waters
  • Vieve Protein Water: Vieve Protein Water
  • Wallaroo: Toasted Organic Coconut Chips
  • Well&Truly: Well&Truly Smokey Paprika Snacks
  • Wholesums: Wholesums
  • WILD FIZZ KOMBUCHA: Wild Fizz Gingers Rule Kombucha
  • Yoyo Wallet: Yoyo Wallet

For further information about the products up for Innovation Challenge Awards, the 2018 online Show Guide is now available to view online at


Big name buyers prepare to visit

Key buyers and decision makers from many of the UK’s leading food-to-go operators and retailers, contract and travel caterers, wholesalers, independent and multiple cafés, convenience stores, coffee houses, delis, and sandwich shops will be packing the aisles next week.  Among them will be representatives from M&S, Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op Food, Aldi, SPAR, Nisa, Subway, WHSmith, Pret, Greggs, BP, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Coffee#1, Wild Bean Café, EAT, itsu, Crussh, Tortilla, LEON, Krispy Kreme, Welcome Break, Roadchef, Merlin Entertainments, Aramark, Sodexo, Compass Group, British Airways, Eurostar International and many more.

lunch! is a really valuable opportunity for buying teams to catch up with suppliers and check out up and coming brands and products,” says Victoria Green, buying Manager at Waitrose.

“Fun, inspiring, unmissable!  lunch! is the number one place to meet up with people across the sector,” says Clare Clough, food & coffee director at Pret.