Lunch! 2014, Business Design Centre, London
Heading off to trade shows really does take considerable effort – clearing space in your diary, travel time and post day out catchup – but I’m pleased to say that Lunch! was well worth the trip on Wednesday. There was a good turn out and plenty of diverse exhibitors. It reminded me yet again that we really do need to keep moving forward, keep learning new things and embrace change.
Here is a summary of my discoveries:
Best in show: Ten Acres
A fabulous stand, amazingly tasty product (and I don’t usually like ‘dirty’ crisps as we call them in our family – they’re too artificial for me), an utterly charming sales team and a totally British product. Well done, you’ve converted me to the ‘dirty’ side!
Best innovation: Eller Food Packaging’s new hot food wrap
A new player in the UK and we like companies that make the effort to bring new ideas to the food scene. I could see it being used by the likes of Wild Bean Cafe.
Most commercial innovation: Tri-Star’s new hinged salad box & Tri-Pot range
Two well designed products as they stack nicely, are stable and the product looks good.
Best innovation in packaging design: Sheffield Hallam University printed embossed packaging
We saw the embossed effect last year, but this year they showcased a printed version which will enhance any premium packaging design project.
Best eco range: Packnwood
A really attractive range of eco options including a nicely designed takeaway box and a chip cone.
Most practical solution for smaller cafes and delis: Panglow’s packaging and labelling system
Now offering hot, as well as cold, grab and go packaging and labels in a nice simple style. perfect for those businesses who can’t afford custom design. Their interesting new offer this year is a reasonably priced custom print service on 1,000 hot cups.
Best chance meet up: Urban Eat
I met old friends from Oldfields who were showing interesting new options particularly the Gluten free Chicken Rice and Lentil salad – yum.
Most interesting transformation story: Heartsease Farm
25 years ago the son of a farmer studied food marketing. He rejoined the farm with a vision for evolution and transformation and their super-premium food and drink ranges were born. A good reminder that we all have to keep moving forward, learn new things and embrace change.
Room for improvement: the coffee machine retailers
Unexciting stands, all looking pretty similar with no standout presentation. Coffee making is so trendy these days, they need to start appealing to the Ozone Coffee’s of this world. Room for improvement indeed.
Great product needing a design update: Walkers shortbread
The rep on the Walkers shortbread stand very kindly let me have a few samples of their shortbread as I was nearly flaking out. What a delicious product, but I’d just love to get my hands on their marketing to freshen it up for the 21st century and make it the biscuit of choice for the hospitality industry.
Finally, best in class: Kipferl, 20 Camden Passage
If you truly want inspiration for your lunch offering, and couldn’t make it to the show, then I suggest a trip to this delightful cafe who managed to get it all just right with happy service, great food, lovely coffee, and a vanilla Kipferl and Gugelhopf as good as my mum used to make. I was a very happy customer.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.