Clarity recently attended this year’s contemporary food to go show, Lunch; where we saw some of the latest industry insights, checked out some of the latest food to go innovations, as well as tasting a few of the new products on display!
Taking place over 2 days at ExCel London and celebrating its 10th year anniversary, the Lunch Show is a leading industry event, which featured over 300 exhibitors, speakers and innovative new product launches across the food to go sector.
A key theme throughout the day was innovation and how brands are finding new ways to innovate in order to stay ahead of the game. From talks with Starbucks innovation manager Rachel Chatterton, to the dedicated innovation challenge gallery, it’s clear that this is a big area of focus for the industry. This was also evident in the stands on display, trying to catch your attention with products such as the square pie, the Guinness flavoured sausage and my personal favourite, Jake & Nayn’s chicken tikka encased in naan bread!
As well as the abundance of food products, there were also a variety of other brands showcasing everything from the latest in packaging, catering equipment & technology solutions amongst others. One product that stood out for me was the butterfly cup, a biodegradable, lidless, cost and storage efficient cup for hot drinks. This reflects a trend, across the coffee market in particular, to be increasingly sustainable and environmentally responsible.
Throughout the days keynote speaker line-up, there was a strong focus on the coffee market, which included speakers from smaller independent coffee shops as well as big players such as Starbucks. It was interesting to hear the challenges these brands are facing, how they plan to tackle them and what their focus will be in the near future.
For Starbucks, it seems we will see a growth in their range of cold coffees as they look to incorporate new flavours and textures such as their recent Nitro Cold Brew coffee. For the smaller chains, “speed is key” as they look to drive profits through efficiency and tackle the labour and food cost challenges in the run up to Brexit!
Overall a great day learning new insights and ideas, which will support the work we do for our clients across the hospitality sector here at Clarity.