I visited Lunch! last week, for about the 3rd year in a row and not only is it vastly improved, but it has changed immeasurably since my first visit and does indeed beg the question as to whether it’s better labelled as the Plant-Based Celebration Show!
This isn’t a negative, by the way, as I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Excel and wish I’d given myself extra time to say hi to more stand owners and find out more about the new, and no-so-new, products and brands there for all to see. It was a very positive experience and it’s great to see so many good ideas and well executed innovation. Not all will ‘make it’ but some will be superstars 🙂
Originally (back in the day!) Lunch! felt like a show looking to find it’s own mojo and the experience I had was of businesses simply extolling the virtues of a ‘traditional’ British lunch – sandwiches, rolls, wraps and salad with a drink. Plenty of the usual, not much of the new.
Well, I’m delighted to say this has changed. The show has it’s mojo and has been improved by a vibrancy and positivity, and whilst I can’t just put that down to the influx of meat-free opportunities, it has definitely made an impact. The show doesn’t feel samey, it feels like there is a movement for change, for looking forward – a zest for life, so to speak!
Consumers have changed and with it the market has grown. The ability to adapt to demand was most definitely on display and, right now, this means plant-based. It is what the consumer wants and I’m pleased to say, it’s what the consumer is going to get.
I have no problem with other sources of protein, but they were not as well represented here as I may have expected, the new news all belonged to plant-based and, as I have said, this gave the show it’s vibrancy and excitement.
It wasn’t just food either. The eco-system around the vegan/vegetarian market most definitely includes ‘climate change’ and brands and packaging suppliers were keen to show off their credentials . My favorite was the Water3, if only for impact:
Of course some brands really stand out. Tenzing is going places and it’s also ‘purely from plants’…
So there it is. All-round well done to the organisers this year; A great show, parading great innovation that can now be labelled as the plant-based celebration!
I’ll leave you with my next ‘superstar’ prediction: