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In June, our team hosted a successful Pelican Expo event at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The event brought together the latest innovations and insights for in-house catering and hospitality operators in the education, hospitality and healthcare sectors.

Here are some highlights from the event:

Supplier showcase

With over 50 food and non-food suppliers exhibiting, the event was a bustling hub of activity. Attendees explored cutting-edge solutions, tasted samples, and easily connected with multiple suppliers to discuss their needs.

Expert insights

We hosted informational sessions from industry experts on key topics throughout the day.

Industry experts, including Lee Evans from Coca-Cola and Vicky Plum from Suntory, provided valuable information on the Deposit Return Scheme and its impact on the industry. Guest speaker Phil Vickery MB, Non-Executive Director Creed Foodservice, emphasised the importance of quality food on our health and how hospitality and sharing meals play an essential role in people’s daily lives, which resonated with attendees.

In addition, Vegetarian Express shared ideas on how to cater to ever-increasing demands for plant-based dining solutions. And UFS Academy and Fair Kitchens from Unilever discussed how businesses can support chefs with training tools and a well-being focus.

Latest technology

During the event, we showcased our award-winning cloud-based eProcurement system, Pi. Attendees also engaged in 1-2-1 sessions to explore how all the Pi modules can revolutionise their operations.

Our team demonstrated how our online ordering and menu and allergen management tools, including CO2e menu labelling, can make their catering team’s life easier. Plus, they discussed how Pi’s invoicing, budget tracking, online and inventory and waste capabilities are driving efficiencies.

Food donations

In line with our commitment to social and environmental responsibility, all leftover ambient food samples from exhibitors were donated to Southampton Foodbank, which supports unhoused veterans and Step By Step, a charity supporting young people facing housing insecurity.

Customer response

Lisa Denehy, Head of Catering, Busy Bees Nurseries, says: “The Expo included a diverse range of companies from across the catering sector with each one providing an informative insight into their business, upcoming trends and a picture of the wider market in general. The information provided by some companies on cultural diets and produce available to accommodate their needs was particularly interesting.”

James Cornewall-Walker, Head of Catering & Hospitality, Queen Mary University London, says: “I thoroughly enjoyed the Expo, and the ease of engaging with suppliers made it a great experience. It was nice to share a common link with everyone there, being either suppliers or customers of Pelican. Additionally, the event’s manageable size allowed us to connect with everyone.”

Ian Grundy, Managing Director, Urban Village Pub, says: “It was an interesting day with some very unique suppliers. The talks covered some useful topics, especially those relating to upcoming challenges, such as the Deposit Return Scheme.”

Thank you

The Pelican team would like to extend our gratitude to all attendees, suppliers and industry experts who made the Pelican Expo a resounding success.

If you were unable to attend this year, please reach out. We would love to support you in achieving your sustainability goals, reducing costs, and increasing efficiencies. Contact us at

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