Four months out from Casual Dining 2020 (25-26 March, London ExCeL) and two of the show’s popular drinks pavilions are already sold out. Boasting a dozen exhibitors each, the Artisan Spirits Lounge and The Taphouse will sample new innovations from an exciting mix of independent breweries and distilleries.
Making their show debut in the former are: Belgrove Rum, Faith & Sons Gin, Strawbar (eau de vie spirit distilled from organic Greek strawberries) and Tarsier Spirit (Southeast Asian dry gin). In the latter: Binary Botanical (a lightly sparkling table beer aimed at ‘wine lovers’), Freestar, Lucky Saint, Orbit Beers, ShinDigger Craft Beer, Small Beer Brew Co, and The Five Points Brewing Co.
While The Vineyard – a new area for 2020, has been launched to sate the growing demand for wine at the show. It’ll boast a raft of new companies (expect sparkling wine producers to feature strongly), with The Emissary Prosecco, and its vegan friendly Doc Treviso Brut 2017, having already snapped up the first stand.
Casual Dining’s event manager Eva Ellis says: “Offering a varied drinks menu – full of differentiation, innovative styles, flavours and blends, and distinctive ‘brand’ personality – is essential for any successful restaurant, pub and bar operator. But where do you start?
“For example, according to some of the latest industry research this year: wine is the UK’s favourite alcoholic tipple, gin is the No.1 spirit, sparkling wine is booming, beer trumps wine in pubs, the premiumisation mega trend is helping drive alcohol sales, quality’s up but quantity’s down, all-the-while more British consumers generally are regularly choosing more low-and-no ABV options.
“That’s a lot of bases for casual dining operators to cover. Fortunately, our exhibitors range from some of the world’s biggest-selling beer and cider brands to some of the industry’s newest start-ups – so, whatever your customers’ favourite drink there’s sure to be plenty to suit every taste here.”
Other new names announced today include Rémy Cointreau, LYRE’S Spirits, Soulfresh, Nirvana Brewery, Punchy Drinks, and Love Drinks (which represent Abelha Organic Cachaça, Bitter Truth, Brighton Gin, Einstök Icelandic craft beers, El Dorado demerara rums, Four Pillars Gin, Gosling’s Rum, Hernö Gin, Kamm & Sons British aperitif, and White Heron liqueurs).
Among the returning exhibitor highlights are Carlsberg, Mast-Jaegermeister UK, Diageo (whose portfolio includes J&B, Johnnie Walker, Windsor, Cîroc, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray, Shui Jing Fang, Ypióca, and Guinness), Molson Coors Brewing Company (Carling, Coors Light, Staropramen, Cobra, Doom Bar, Rekorderlig, Aspall, Bavaria and more), West Berkshire Brewery, Toschi UK, LA Brewery Kombucha, and Pedrino.
Conker Spirit, LUXLO Spirits, Sea Arch – Not Gin, Manchester Gin, Pinkster Gin, Pococello, Poetic License Distillery, and The Sweet Potato Spirit Company are back in the Artisan Spirits Lounge. Big Smoke Brew Co, Big Drop Brewing Co, Celtic Marches Beverages, Hop Kettle Brewery, and Wild Beer Co complete The Taphouse’s line-up.
Soft drinks – particularly premium adult offerings – are always a big category at the show. Coca-Cola European Partners, Britvic Soft Drinks, Fentimans, Nix & Kix, Karma Cola, Belvoir Fruit Farms, Dalston’s, Lemonaid, Pip Organic, Batch Organics, Long Tail Mixers, Lixir Tonic and many more – will be sampling everything from craft sodas, seltzers, fruit juices and cordials, to mixers, tonics, flavoured waters and smoothie kits.
The initial exhibitor list will be available online in early December.
Over 5,000 attendees will attend Casual Dining 2020 at ExCeL London over 25-26 March.
Visitors annually include senior buyers and decision makers from Admiral Taverns, Aramark, Azzurri Group, BaxterStorey, Benugo, Bill’s Restaurants, BrewDog, Carluccio’s, Casual Dining Group, CH&Co Group, Charles Wells, Center Parcs, Côte Restaurants, Daniel Thwaites, Dishoom, Domino’s Pizza Group, DoubleTree By Hilton, Ei Group, Elior UK, Flat Iron, Fuller’s, Greene King, Hall & Woodhouse, Hard Rock Café, Harvester, ISS UK, Loungers, Marston’s, Mitchells & Butlers, Nando’s, NWTC, Oakman Inns, Papa John’s, PizzaExpress, Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, Pizza Pilgrims, Prezzo, Punch Taverns, Revolution Bars Group, Shepherd Neame, Sodexo, SSP, Stonegate Pub Company, TGI Fridays, The Restaurant Group, wagamama, YO! Sushi, Young’s, and more.
“Casual Dining is the best show out there for pubs and restaurants that want to find innovative new products and inspiration,” says Ross Pike, chef director at Oakman Inns.
“Casual Dining continues to go from strength to strength. Loved the products, the layout and the new venue. See you next year,” says Paul Lewis, head of food and drink at Prezzo.