July 24, 2017

CEOs of Greggs & EAT join lunch!’s 10th anniversary line-up

Visitor registration is now open for lunch! 2017, which takes place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 21-22 September.

The move to ExCeL marks an exciting new development for the multi-award winning show, which is widely regarded as the premier trade event for the UK’s hugely competitive £20.2bn food-to-go market (across all day parts).

Since its launch in 2008, lunch! and its eclectic mix of exhibitors have been influencing ‘on the go’ menus across the UK.  It’s helped launch thousands of new brands and products onto the market, and its free Keynote seminars have enabled tens of thousands of visitors to benefit from expert insights from all the leading lunchtime operators (including M&S, Pret a Manger, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Caffe Nero, LEON, Subway, Elior, Compass, Tossed, Welcome Break, and many more).

Now, ahead of its milestone 10th anniversary edition, lunch! has just confirmed exclusive Keynotes with Roger Whiteside, CEO of bakery and food-to-go giant Greggs, and Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT.  They’ll both be making a welcome return to the show’s line-up, having previously appeared in 2015 and 2013 respectively.

Mr Walker, who will host an opening day keynote, has been a frequent visitor to lunch! over the years – first with the food and buying teams from Pret when he was UK MD and, since 2016, with EAT.  He says the show helps them ‘keep abreast of developments’, and has called it “the premier place for food retailers to get an insight into all the food innovation that is happening across the country.”

Mr Whiteside, one of the biggest names in the UK’s food-to-go market, also “found lunch! extremely valuable” and says he’s delighted to be invited back for 2017.  He’s certainly got plenty of great content for another unmissable lunch! Q&A (on 22 September): his 37-plus years’ experience in the industry includes top jobs at Marks & Spencer (head of foods), Ocado (joint-MD), Punch Taverns and Threshers (CEO), and, since 2013, CEO of Greggs.

Under his leadership, Greggs has expanded and re-positioned itself as a major player in the healthy food-to-go market – winning plaudits for its food quality, convenient locations, speed of service, and value for money.  It now operates over 1,750 outlets, including recent developments like its first healthier shop format at New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton, and first drive-thru store in Salford.

As in previous years, Greggs’ buying team will also be out in force at lunch!.  David Ross, a head of category at Greggs, says it’s “a must attend for those working in the FOTG sector”.

The industry’s favourite show – now at ExCeL

In the two weeks since registration opened, nearly 1,500 visitors and VIP buyers have already registered to attend.

Among them, to date, are Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, Booker Group, Brakes, British Airways, Center Parcs, Coco di Mama, Coffee Republic, Compass Group, Costco Wholesale, Dhl Airline Catering, EAT., Elior UK, En Route International, Eurostar International, FCB – Artisan Espresso Bars, Gate Gourmet, Greggs, Holland & Barrett, ISS, John Lewis, Legoland Windsor, Lidl, McDonald’s, Merlin Entertainment Group, Metropolitan Police Catering, Nisa Retail, P&O Ferries, Premier Foods, Pret A Manger, Restaurant Associates, Road Chef, Sainsbury’s, Scottish Midland Co-operative (ScotMid), Sodexo, Superdrug, Tesco, Waitrose, and WhSmith.  Plus, leading independent and multiple cafés, coffee shops and sandwich shops from across the UK.

Over 350 exhibiting companies, showcasing the latest innovations in food, drink, packaging, equipment and catering technology, will be there to meet them.

Chris Brazier, lunch!’s group event director, says it’s a very exciting time for the show. The new, larger venue of ExCeL London will accommodate more exhibitors, bigger stands, two Keynote theatres, and enable easier navigation for visitors around the busy show floor.

“The move to ExCeL has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm from across the food-to-go sector,” says Mr Brazier.  “It’s a testament to the show’s continuing success, and demonstrates just how important lunch! has become to suppliers and buyers looking to do business here.

“Of course, it’s also given us a fantastic opportunity to fine-tune our popular show features and expand our seminar line-up, extend and modify the floorplan, and refresh the show’s look and feel, all whilst retaining the unique and vibrant atmosphere which makes lunch! so special.

“It’s the destination show that our visitors love coming to – only bigger and better than ever for 2017!” he adds.

“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 & marketing at Pret a Manger.

“lunch! is the definitive show in our sector and is always a hub of new and innovative products.  I look forward to seeing the show grow when it is in its new home in 2017,” says Louise Direito, global innovation manager at Costa.

Free registration now open

lunch! will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 21-22 September 2017.  For further information, and to register for a free trade ticket in advance, please visit www.lunchshow.co.uk and quote priority code LUN13 (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/00mbvaueop7fj/register?actioncode=LUN13).