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Going for gold – Casual Dining’s Innovation Challenge Awards boasts record entries

Buyers looking for the latest must-have innovations will have plenty to keep them busy at Casual Dining this month, at London ExCeL on 27-28 February, with more new products to see, sample and demo than ever.

The UK’s biggest restaurant, pub and bar event of the year has already confirmed a record 220 exhibitors (all space is now sold), including recent additions like Kellogg’s – Pringles, Uber Eats, Tudor Tea & Coffee, Kingfisher Beer Europe, Vivera, Quorso, and Food Alert.  Now it’s announced that a record 54 Innovation Challenge Awards entries will be going head-to-head to be named ‘best new casual dining innovation of the year’.

Eurilait, Fentimans, Hellmann’s, Imaginative Cuisine, Lamb Weston Meijer, Lutosa, Meiko UK, Pedrino, Quorn Foodservice, Rude Health and The Meatless Farm Co are among this year’s exhibitors fielding new products/entries.  As are Carlsberg UK, Double Dutch Drinks and Yumpingo – all hoping to repeat their success of last year and take home more gold innovation awards.

It’s a win-win for visitors too.  The Innovation Challenge Gallery is a great starting point to see what’s new and launching onto the market (voting opens from 10am-4pm on Wednesday 27 February).  While the live Innovation Challenge final – where shortlisted exhibitors wow this year’s judges with a killer innovation pitch in 90-seconds or less (from 11.15am on Thursday 28 February in Keynote Theatre 2) – is a popular and fun highlight of an action-packed two days of business.

Innovation Challenge entries include:

  • 3S POS: Intelligent Table App
  • Ascentia FSE: The Gara Pizza Oven
  • Aulds Delicious Desserts: Vegan GF Blackcurrant Vanilla Dessert
  • Avery Dennison: Freshmarx 9417+ and Donate & Waste
  • Avery Dennison: Freshmarx Temp and Task Tracker
  • Bannisters Farm: Vegan Baked Potato Skins
  • Big Drop Brewing: Big Drop 4 Hop Pale Ale
  • Billington Foodservice: Cook From Frozen Risotto Range
  • Black Fire Coffee Tequila: Black Fire Coffee Tequila
  • B-Loony: BalloonGrip
  • Carlsberg UK: Brooklyn Special Effects
  • Carlsberg UK: Snap Pack
  • The Crucial Sauce Company: Peri Peri Lemon & Herb
  • Dalston’s: Dalston’s Real Squeezed Rhubarb
  • Double Dutch Drinks: Double Dutch Spices & Oakwood
  • EauVation: HydreauBar
  • Eurilait: Al Fresco Cheese Sausage (Original)
  • Eurilait: Al Fresco Cheese Steak (Chilli)
  • Fentimans: Fentimans Connoisseurs Tonic Water
  • Fwip Frozen Desserts: fwip Frozen Desserts Machine
  • Givex: Ordering Kiosk
  • Hellmann’s: Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise
  • The Hygiene Company: Hygiene360
  • Imaginative Cuisine: Freshburst Dill Oil Pearls
  • Imaginative Cuisine: Gastro Fluid Gel
  • Imaginative Cuisine: Gastromist White Truffle Oil
  • Joe Delucci’s: Bubblegum Ice Cream
  • Jubel Beer: Jubel Alpine: Beer Cut With Peach
  • La Tua Pasta: Mini-Doughnuts filled with Pistachio
  • Lamb Weston Meijer: Hot2Home
  • Loveseitan: The Original Vegan Meat Alternative
  • Lutosa: Skinny Fries
  • LUXLO Spirits: LUXLO
  • Majisign: Stash A-Board
  • The Meatless Farm Co: Meat Free Mince
  • Meiko UK: M-iClean H
  • Menu Guru: Menu Guru
  • Pedrino: Pedrino Ruby & Tonic Spritz
  • Pedrino: Pedrino Sherry & Tonic Spritz
  • Pedrino: Pedrino Vermouth & Tonic Spritz
  • Pizza Equipment: Sigma Dough Spreader (Pizza Press)
  • Poetic License Distillery: Strawberry & Cream Gin
  • Quorn Foodservice: Quorn Vegan S&V Fishless Fillet
  • Rubies in the Rubble: Rubies in the Rubble Ketchup
  • Rude Health: Organic Turmeric Latte 1L (GF)
  • Sea Arch – Not Gin: Sea Arch – Not Gin
  • Sea Products International: Ocean Pearl Salt & Pepper Squid
  • Slingsby Gin: Slingsby Gooseberry Gin
  • Spirit Cartel: Koch El Mezcal
  • Trail: Trail
  • VITO Cooking Oil Filtration: VITO FT440 Oil Tester
  • Yapster: Yapster
  • Yee Kwan Ice Cream: Vegan Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
  • Yumpingo: Yumpingo Perform

Innovation Challenge Awards judges confirmed to date include James Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims; Antony Bennet, head of food at Loungers; Glenn Evans, head of food development at Las Iguanas, La Tasca & La Viña; Frank Coughlan, executive head chef at BaxterStorey; Angela Malik, strategy director at Think Hospitality; Gavin Smith, operations director at Pizza Pilgrims; chef and consultant Jay Morjaria; Kate Eastwood, sales & marketing director at Revolution Bars Group; and Megan Lewis-Thomas, head of food development & marketing concessions, franchising & new concepts at Casual Dining Group.  More big names are set to be announced shortly.

“Casual Dining gets better each year.  It gives great exposure to hundreds of great products and suppliers, plus offers a fantastic networking opportunity with key people from our sector,” says CDG’s Megan Lewis-Thomas.

Free advance trade registration

Casual Dining will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 27-28 February 2019.

To register for a free trade ticket, please visit and use priority code CD80 (direct link:

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