Marco Olmi, at The Drury Tea & Coffee Company, said Caffè Culture at London’s Olympia last month was one of his favourite exhibitions and Drury has attended all three shows so far. "The high standards have been maintained by the organisers this year with good visitor numbers attending. We find that visitors are at the same time both knowledgeable and prepared to commit themselves to purchase."

Certainly, one of the reasons for its success is the highly targeted nature of the show, he said. "It fairly and squarely addresses the needs of the high-street coffee shop. This is also a key market segment for Drury and its associate company, The Coffee Machine Company, so it was natural we should attend.

"The level of interest in Drury teas and coffees was very pleasing and we were delighted with the response from visitors to the Rancilio Compact Tall espresso machine, which we launched at the show."

Newbie Keith Upham, managing director of Devonvale, a baked snacks producer based in Honiton, Devon, was exhibiting at Caffè Culture for the first time.

"We have been serving the coffee shop market for many years now and Caffè Culture helped us to gain an even better understanding of how this huge market works," he said. "If, like me, you were born in a world where coffee options were either ’black or white’ and ’with or without’, the sheer range of flavours, styles and combinations is quite staggering and a fantastic opportunity for a company like ours producing complementary snacks."

Devonvale, which produces a wide range of award-winning crumbles, flapjacks and individual cake slices, used the exhibition to present the recently launched ’Just’ range of healthier nut and seed-based cluster bars.

"Listening to our customers is probably the most important thing we do as a company," he said. "And for me as a baker, the greatest buzz comes from finding technical ways to deliver what those customers want."

Angela Cole, Devonvale’s account manager agreed: "You just cannot beat an exhibition for getting to the heart of a sector. I not only came away with plenty of leads, but also some great suggestions for new products and flavours perfect for the coffee market."