This year’s Casual Dining show will once again showcase the latest foodservice product launches in its Innovation Challenge Awards, with a record 54 entries received for the initiative.
All competing products will be displayed at the exhibition’s Innovation Challenge Gallery within the show hall at London’s ExCel. Visitors will then be able to vote on which ones they feel are the most innovative during the first day of the event, Wednesday 27 February.
The qualifying shortlisted exhibitors will then get the chance to give a 90-second pitch during the live Innovation Challenge final at 11.15am on Thursday 28 February in Keynote Theatre 2.
The judging panel will then decide which products are worthy of gold, silver or bronze recognition.
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 and La Vina; 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 and marketing director at Revolution Bars Group; and Megan Lewis-Thomas, head of food development and marketing concessions, franchising and new concepts at Casual Dining Group.
The equipment sector has a strong showing within the Innovation Challenge entrants, including Meiko UK’s M-iClean H warewasher, EauVation’s HydreauBar bottling station, Ascentia FSE’s Gara pizza oven, Pizza Equipment’ Sigma dough spreader pizza press, and Vito Cooking Oil Filtration’s FT440 oil tester.
The sector show has now sold out to a record 220 exhibitors in its first year at ExCel.