Pret, Tim Hortons, Tortilla and Harris + Hoole confirmed for lunch! 2017

lunch! has unveiled its next raft of big name Keynotes for 2017. Will Cole, head of UK marketing at Pret a Manger, and Neil Littler, chief marketing officer at Tim Hortons – Canada’s biggest coffee chain, are among the speakers now confirmed to appear at the show, over 21-22 September at London ExCeL.

With continued growth in the availability (and demand) for vegetarian and vegan options across the food-to-go market, Cole will be sharing insights from Pret’s ‘veggie journey’so far – revealing how a market-leading approach to vegetarian food has continued to drive innovation for this well-established brand.

“I’m excited to be speaking at my first lunch! event,” he says, “lunch! continues to have its finger firmly on the pulse of the sector, so it’s the place to go to find out what’s coming.”

Neil Littler, who joined Tim Hortons earlier this year (having previously worked at Marks & Spencer for three years on their food advertising campaigns), has been charged with the exciting task of landing and growing the brand in the UK.  He’ll be discussing their first UK store in Glasgow, and Tim Hortons’ plans to introduce British consumers to its signature Timbits bite-sized doughnuts, ‘Double-Double’ coffee, and many other Canadian delights.

Josh Brown, head of commercial development at Harris + Hoole, will also be making his lunch! debut.  Prior to joining the company in 2014 – during a time of rapid growth for Harris + Hoole – he ran his own independent coffee shop.  He’ll be discussing some of the wholesale changes that have taken place, and its new-found home (after its sale by Tesco last year) within the Caffè Nero group.

Returning speakers include: Tortilla’s MD Richard Morris, outlining their strategies for staying ‘authentic’ in a competitive market; Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of WE ARE Spectacular, explaining how a ‘Street fighting marketing’ approach can help raise sales by £5k per week; and Jim Winship, director of The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association, giving an essential BSA Briefing – outlining how sandwich and food-to-go businesses need to be ready for the potential challenges in the months and years ahead (including his thoughts on Brexit).

The lunch! line-up already includes Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs; Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT; Rachel Chatterton, Starbucks’s senior innovation manager for EMEA; Paul Ettinger, business development director at Caffè Nero; celebrity chef Theo Randall; and Louise Pilkington, Compass Group’s consumer marketing director for the UK and Ireland.

Plus, as in previous years, there will be essential market updates from MCA (Simon Stenning), The NPD Group (Cyril Lavenant), CGA Peach (Jamie Campbell), Lucid Perspectives (Emma Read), and IGD (Gavin Rothwell).

Rothwell will be revealing ten global food-to-go specialists that he believes are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation.  He explains: “The quality of food-to-go retailing is rising all the time and through our travels around the world, we’ve spotted some particularly exciting ideas and concepts.

“For example, US salad specialist Sweetgreen has a very compelling story to tell shoppers about the provenance of its produce, while Chicago-based Snap Kitchen is helping to turn the food-to-go trend into a food-for-later opportunity.  I’ll be sharing further details of these innovations, and more besides, with the audience at lunch!.”

For further information (including session details and timings), please visit

Free trade registration

Over 6,200 industry buyers are expected to attend lunch! 2017 at ExCeL London.  It will feature a record 335 exhibitors showcasing the latest NPD – from food and drink to packaging, technology and foodservice equipment.

“lunch! offers an excellent opportunity to meet other business professionals from across the food-to-go industry and see first-hand some of the new and innovative ideas emerging in our sector,” says Greggs’ CEO Roger Whiteside.

To register for a free trade ticket in advance, please visit and quote priority code LUN13 (