Light equipment and tableware launches from the LET Forum 2024

LET Forum 2024 – new product news
The latest launches and on-trend lines from the FEA’s annual light equipment and tableware event

At FEA’s annual Light Equipment and Tableware Forum suppliers launch their latest products and concepts, as well as showcasing key lines that are on-trend – or likely to be so!  Here are some of the exhibitor highlights from the 2024 event, which took place at Whittlebury Hall, Towcester, in May 2024. 


Can one frying pan do all the frying?  No.  Non-stick pans are fine for delicate cooking of things like fish and eggs, but high heat cooking, such as steaks, needs an uncoated steel pan.  De Buyer offers a wide range of both, and Signature also showed how simple it is to season and clean steel pans.  From Pinti Inox there was a variety of new cutlery, including taupe and blue additions to the Hive collection, which has handles in six different matt colours.  The latest addition to mirror polished cutlery Marilyn was also on show, along with elegant new Audrey steak knives.


Focusing on new ideas for front of house, Contacto unveiled attractive and practical dispensers for breakfast buffets including models for jam, cereal, condiments and juice.  New insulated bowls look good and keep food cool for hours.  Also new were the AluChef range of casseroles and GN 1/1 65mm pans, which are brightly coloured, lightweight and, though made of aluminium, are induction compatible. 


The company’s buffet display products are developed with the objectives that they are attractive, easy to use, virtually unbreakable, and easy to assemble – ideally with no tools.  For example, the taps for juice dispensers have a clever design that means they are unlikely to block and are easily taken apart (only two pieces) and washed in a dishwasher.  Striking tall, narrow juice and cereal dispensers were a highlight, while new products include a flexible oval display tower. 


The cutlery, steak and buffet specialist offers many designs and finishes in both 18/10 and 18/0 stainless steel. On show were new products based on their bestselling stainless-steel Metropole range, with additional finishes including copper, black, champagne or gold as well as a sandblasted Velvet finish. Focussing on sustainability, Amefa offer a stainless-steel alternative to single-use plastic cutlery which is dishwasher safe and magnetic, allowing them to be re-used or re-cycled.


The company showcased the latest version of the innovative Sunnex range of dry-heat chafers, which keep food warm without the need for water, unlike traditional electric chafers.  They are up to 40% more energy efficient than traditional water-based versions, are simple to use, plus they don’t need topping up!  Other products on show included the popular Orion range of white porcelain hotel ware,  cast iron, wood and copper presentation products, gastronorm containers, bakeware, buffet equipment, salad spinners, and utensils.


Pro Foodservice Reps

Allergen tools and utensils are PFR’s biggest sellers in the Mercer range – they offer thirty different products.  From Barfly came a new barware range with an antique gold finish, and a manual juice extractor that can handle several limes at once.  Also new are Escali scales and temperature monitoring equipment, Spidocook ovens and griddles, a versatile heated well from Hatco, and the Puracycle label for storage containers – it acts like a whiteboard and can be dishwashed 500 times. 


FEM served up virgin Mojitos to delegates in style with the versatile Pujadas cocktail trolley, using the high-performance Summit Edge blender, the powerful, ultra-quiet unit from Hamilton Beach Commercial.  New products ranged from coloured ice buckets and tableware to drip-proof squeeze sauce dispensers, the Sirman vertical vacuum packer and the Pujadas handheld smoker.  Meanwhile, the latest Cambro storage boxes have a clever lid design and a drainage shelf that can extend food storage times by up to three days, while the San Jamar Saf-T-Zone allergen system is packed with purple utensils and tools to protect against cross-contamination.


The company focused on the Pacojet 4, the latest version of the innovative system for creating all sorts of dishes, from puree and pesto to ice cream, sorbet, drinks and humus.  It enables operators to get maximum taste from ingredients, and the company offered samples of a variety of recipes.  It also helps minimise food waste, since it can ‘pacotize’ exactly as many portions as required, and the remainder can be put back in the freezer till required. 


The company sells around 80,000 of its iconic Classic toasters every year, which are handmade in the UK.  The product's famous longevity is based on its quality, craftsmanship,  engineering and the ability for all parts to be repaired or replaced, including the elements.  The British brand has made a wealth of kitchen appliances for almost 80 years, including coffee machines, and moved into UK coffee consumable production in 2013, which now accounts for about 20% of the business.  It has just relaunched its Compostable Coffee Bags in a recyclable sachet, which makes them ideal for room service. 

Thunder Group

The company’s biggest sellers in the UK are stainless steel dip pots and various back of house utensils including GN pans and tongs.  The presentation focused on its FOH products, especially melamine tableware and polycarbonate glasses.  However, one of its most popular Forum ideas was the Tequila Station – a three-tier circular design where users dipped the rim of the tequila glass (polycarbonate of course!) in the top circle for the lime juice, then in the second for the salt. 


New melamine ranges included Terra, with an on-trend matt finish, and Ridge, which is gloss and has a rippled texture.  The company reckons that melamine can save outdoor caterers 15-20% in breakages.  It was also promoting its ability to personalise melamine products for as little as £1 per piece, for orders of 300 or more.  Other new products included seafood towers, cake domes, cocktail shakers and a stainless steel cooling plate that keeps cooling for up to four hours. 


With over 75 years' experience showcasing the versatility of melamine, Dalebrook has designs not only for contract caterers but also partnering with venues from casual dining to luxury. Talon is a stylish, smart, functional and colourful collection that features ribbing. The range includes plates, bowls, cups, and a variety of server ware. The company also promoted their bespoke design service - showing a striking melamine cabbage bowl as an example. Hygienic melamine ‘wood’ boards can be textured, while melamine ‘chalk’ boards can go through the dishwasher.  Clever rubber risers, called Peak, can be built Lego-like to create a variety of displays.


Elia has invested heavily in a new website that offers a wide range of services to help their distributors.  New in cutlery is the Flow pattern in 18/10 stainless steel and debossed with a delicate, sophisticated pattern.  It’s stylish, practical and elegant, and its design catches and reflects the light – it’s part of the trend for stylish, textured cutlery that offers a point of difference.  Meanwhile Vantage has a fine, smooth matt finish created by tumbling in very small stones.  On the glassware side, the company’s Motif range is handmade and ultra-light. 

Lifetime Brands

The company says its main focus is on sustainability, from developing products right through to packaging and delivery. Under its MasterClass brand Lifetime has launched recycled bakeware - uncoated aluminium roasting and baking trays made from 100% recycled aluminium. MasterClass Eco Snap food storers are made from recycled plastic and the MasterClass All-In-One Dishes are made from stainless steel and are microwaveable, ideal for reducing waste. Also attracting attention was La Cafetiere's The Beanie, a travel mug made from 30% recycled coffee husks. FOH items on show from Lifetime's Artesà brand included presentation pieces and chopping boards in materials such as slate, marble and wood. 


Greenworks is a new range of cutlery with recycled plastic handles – the packaging it comes in is recyclable, too.  There are also Greenworks chef’s knives, with blades of German steel.  Greenworks products combine quality, sustainability, and keen pricing.  New in Grunwerg’s portfolio of 18/10 cutlery is the stylish Royals range, with designs called Sandringham, Westminster and Kensington.  Meanwhile Saltire cutlery has the cross of St Andrew embossed in the handle.  Also new are Café Olé cafetieres in double walled glass, which keeps the coffee hotter for longer, whilst remaining cool to touch on the outside. 

Mitchell and Cooper

The company announced a new Unigrip portioner, which will be lighter and easier to use than the current version.  Also new is a high-density plastic chopping board that won’t warp in the dishwasher.  An eclectic range of new products ranged from heat-, water- and fat-proof silicon mitt gauntlets to Merlin barware.  Dehydrators are a big trend – with some interesting food waste uses.  For example, pop potato peelings into the Excalibur dehydrator and voila, homemade crisps!


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