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Caffè Nero CEO heads up lunch!'s new Coffee Shop Keynote Theatre
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Caffè Nero CEO heads up lunch!'s new Coffee Shop Keynote Theatre

Will Stratton-Morris is the latest big industry name to join lunch!'s compelling new Coffee Shop Keynote Theatre line-up.  The UK CEO of Caffè Nero will take part in an exclusive Keynote interview at the UK's biggest annual trade show for the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector (9-20 September, ExCeL London).


He'll be appearing in conversation on the show's opening day, sharing expertise and insights from the helm of the UK coffee giant (part of Caffè Nero Group/Italian Coffee Holdings, the largest independent coffee house group in Europe). At the last count, the fast-growing brand now operates 750 stores in the UK and more than 1,000 internationally (with more openings on the horizon).


Before joining Caffè Nero around two years ago, Stratton-Morris has held senior management and marketing roles at SSE retail, Intercontinental Hotel Group for UK and Ireland, Walt Disney, and British Airways, among others.


Head to lunch's Coffee Shop Keynote Theatre early (10.30am, 19 September) to find out more about what's driving Caffè Nero's growth. Seating is allocated on a first come basis - with standing room crowds expected.


Caffè Nero will be well-represented at this year's show.  You'll see its buying teams packing the aisles looking for the next big food-to-go innovations, while Hannah McKay, head of its food and beverages UK & Ireland, will be back on the Keynote stage following her popular speaker debut last year.


"It is a very exciting time for Caffè Nero, especially around food," says Ms McKay, who'll be divulging details of a key food project at the show (2.30pm, 20 September).


“To continue to succeed in an ever-competitive market, coffee shops need to ensure all aspects of their business offer a point of difference and are true to the vision of the brand," she says. “I will be talking about Caffè Nero's food journey to make sure the food is as good as the coffee.”


She highly recommends lunch!, describing it as a key date in the diary for the food-to-go and the coffee shop sector.


Josh Brown, head of coffee and commercial development at Harris + Hoole, will also be making a welcome return to the show.  Having previously spoken at lunch! 2017 (in the year following its acquisition by Caffè Nero), he'll be outlining what's new from the 40-strong speciality coffee shop chain.


Market insights


According to the latest Project Café 2019 UK report from Allegra World Coffee Portal[1], the UK coffee shop market has enjoyed '20 consecutive years of sales and outlet growth'.  It's now valued at £10.1bn, with an estimated 25,483 outlets.  Although it's not immune to Brexit uncertainty and economic pressures, the market has certainly proved itself to be one of the UK's most robust, with further growth forecast.


Coffee shop buyers, owners and managers looking for the inside track on what key trends/developments will be shaping the food-to-go market in the years ahead, will find plenty of juicy insights.


Gareth Nash, insight director at MCA and HIM, will be discussing 'The Rise of Coffee Shops' and their secrets of success.  Providing an in-depth look at how coffee shop operators are looking beyond the coffee cup to maintain competitive advantage (10.30am, 20 September).


Over in the show's two other Keynote Theatres, there will be market updates from The NPD Group & Springboard, IGD, Future of Foodservice, CGA and Kantar Worldpanel.  Each offering their unique take on - and the latest stats from - the eating out of home market (focusing on food-to-go outlets, retailers and coffee shops).  For example: Simon Stenning, founder of Future of Foodservice, aims to help FTG operators/retailers with their longer-term strategic planning with his overview of the market in 2030 (10.15am, 19 September).


Stenning explains: “"I want to provide lunch! visitors with a vision of the key drivers of change for the future of food to go, and an understanding of why the market will be different in ten years' time.


"If you think back ten years, there were so many brands and concepts that didn't exist, that have been created since then, and that tools, such as Apps, only just started arriving with the launch of the iPhone 12 years ago; on that basis we can expect to see many changes in the next ten years.  I will be outlining how our analogue industry will be moving into the digital world, how technology will play a part, both back of house and front of house.


"I will also be outlining the key consumer trends, such as 'Purpose', that will need to be met by suppliers and operators going forward."


In the shorter term (for the year ahead), his trends to watch include:


  • The blurring of lines between Fast Food and FTG, putting pressure on traditional sandwich retailers to adjust their offers to meet changing consumer demands
  • Consumer expectations that all purchases are delivered with a degree of ethical, environmental action, whether waste, packaging, resource utilisation, or giving back


Lively panel sessions


Visitors attending the show's ever-popular panel sessions will also benefit from expert strategies and ideas from a host of coffee shop leaders and influencers talking about everything from marketing and profitability to innovation, procurement, brand expansion, Brexit and CSR.


Confirmed panellists (to date) include:


  • Growing Coffee Shops panel: Adnan Karim, UK managing director at Wayne's Coffee - one of Scandinavia's leading eco coffee shop chains, and Davide Pastorino, co-founder & CEO of Press Coffee & Co
  • Sustainability in Coffee Shops panel: Ollie Rosevear, head of environment at Costa Coffee
  • Doing Good is Good Business - featuring three owners of social enterprise coffee shops/kiosks (that employ homeless people or young offenders): Max Dubiel, founder of Redemption Roasters; Julius Ibrahim, founder of Second Shot Coffee; Cemal Ezel, CEO of Change Please and co-founder of Old Spike Roastery


Already announced speakers include Henry Ayers and Edward Parkes, founders of Gentleman Baristas, being interviewed by Chris Brazier, group event director of lunch!; and Anya Marco (dubbed 'The Coffee Queen'), who will be presenting her essential Social Media Tips for Coffee Shops (according to Allegra research[2], 45% of industry leaders consider social media to be the most effective form of marketing).



Free trade registration


More than 7,000 industry buyers are expected to attend the show, which will feature a record 400 exhibitors showcasing their latest NPD - from food and drink to packaging, technology and foodservice equipment.  To register free in advance, visit the website

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