Industry Insights

My First Trade Show!

By Summer Dunscombe


4 Minute Read


Wednesday, 21st September 2022

As the 2022 trio of shows; Commercial Kitchen, LUNCH! and Casual Dining opened their doors last week, the Rawlingson Lane team attended the shows for another jam packed two days of client press interviews, award nominations and seminar presentations. The scale of the show was immense but I was keen to look around the different exhibitors and to get the opportunity to discover the latest trends and products from a host of different brands. I was very impressed with the efforts that went into the design of all of the stands, each one positioning themselves differently to their other competitors in the market! Here is my rundown of some of the newest food and drink exhibitors that we came across throughout the two days!

First up we had DASH! - DASH! creates tasty sparkling water using ‘wonky’ fruit with ‘wonky’ bubbles! Utterly delicious and refreshing, their stand represented their brand perfectly, decorated with pastel colours and offering free samples of their product. Their star of the show was the new mango flavoured water. Presented in a delicate yellow tin it instantly takes you to a tropical island! If you haven’t tasted DASH! before, we highly recommend you get your hands on some!

The next stand that we visited was the Pip and Nut stall! Now, as Bea and I are the ultimate peanut butter addicts this stand was very important to us! Using neutral colours and vibrant neon signs, it instantly stood out! On this stand they were offering samples of their dark chocolate peanut minis which rival the largest brands of peanut butter cups. The plant based dark chocolate was perfectly balanced with the portion of smooth peanut butter that was hidden within. The must have new product however was their new Sweet and Salty smooth peanut butter, which we of course had to try. We can safely say this is a 10/10 product.

We then caught a whiff of the best smell…sweets! No surprise, we followed our noses and ended up at the Candy Kittens stand! Greeted by no other than Jamie Laing himself, we were instantly made to feel like a kid in a sweetie shop again. The stand hosted a large sweet machine with the mission to rid the world of rubbish sweets! Bea pressed the big red button and was presented with multiple packets of their sweets. We were thrilled to have got a bag of the new Ruby Taylor edition of sweets. Not only were the new sweets delicious, they helped spread the message that the future is powered by love. Ruby Taylor is the first artist to be able to use the packaging as a blank canvas to create a wonderfully eye catching design.

One trend that we saw was an increase in was the non/low alcohol market. The first brand that caught our eye was Days Brewing. Founded in 2020 and branded as the ‘beer for doing’, this was one of the first alcohol free lagers that I have tried that actually tasted like a good lager. I can highly recommend checking the brand out if you are looking for the ultimate alcohol free beer. The stand was decorated to give a beachy vibe, and the pale teal décor made it instantly attractive… along with the YETI cool box to match(if you know, you know!).

Now we have to save the best till last don’t we! Well, look no further than Clean Co. Clean Co are shaking up the non-alcoholic spirit industry and there is no stopping them! Their stand was instantly eye catching and they were serving up the most delicious non-alcoholic cocktails. I had to try the new ‘Clean and Stormy’, a clever take on the well know dark and stormy cocktail. This recipe used their ‘Clean R’ which is a spiced Caribbean rum alternative and honestly, you would not be able to tell the difference between this and an alcoholic version. Bea decided to go for a ‘pa-LOW-ma’ which used their new Clean T, the brand’s alternative to tequila. This was equally as delicious as the Clean and Stormy, and we can most definitely say we are converted to Clean Co. This makes the perfect alternative if you are looking to be hangover free, as Clean says, cheers to a life less wasted!

Overall, we had an excellent two days at the show and came away with plenty of tote bags and goodies within them. Congratulations also need to be mentioned to all the winners and runners up at the Innovation Competition at Commercial Kitchen which gives headway to the most innovative products on show, whether that be food, or equipment.

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