Outside the box22 January 2020
Food ingredients Europe & Natural ingredients (Fi Europe & Ni) will once again be the food industry’s epicentre over the course of three days in December. The Parc des Expositions Paris Nord Villepinte will be the platform for leading ingredient manufacturers and trade visitors. Since its launch in 1986, Fi Europe & Ni has become the leading food and beverage event for the industry, attracting more than half a million visitors in total. As of 2020, Fi Europe and Ni Europe will join forces to create the most comprehensive food ingredients trade show covering speciality food ingredients from sensory to functional.
Across an exhibition area of more than 80,000m2, experts from every sector – including product developers and decision-makers from the food and beverage industry, as well as representatives of major brand companies – will conduct face-to-face business with top buyers and specialists from across the F&B supply chain. The key topics for this year’s event are ‘Clean label, ‘Reduction & reformulation’, ‘Healthy and functional’ and ‘Plant-derived ingredients’. Trade fair organiser Informa Markets is currently expecting more than 27,000 visitors and over 1,700 exhibitors from 135-plus nations, including world-leading companies such as Kerry, Cargill, Naturex, DSM, Barry Callebaut and FrieslandCampina.
Since its launch, Fi Europe & Ni has not only experienced enormous growth, but also significant expansion of its concept – from a classic trade show to a tailor-made education pool for global professionals. This year, the show will feature freeto- attend presentations on industry trends and key market insights, a programme on food processing quality and safety in collaboration with IUFoST as well as a special Plant-based Experience with NGO ProVeg International, featuring an extensive programme featuring live cooking shows, tastings, panel discussions and innovation tours. The paidto- attend conference programme will also offer leading-edge expert insights into current and future opportunities for F&B professionals. Keynote presentations, panel discussions and master classes at the two-day Fi Conference will focus on tackling current challenges and identifying immediate opportunities for professionals in the F&B industry. At the pre-event Future of Nutrition Summit, independent futurist thinkers, start-ups and pioneers from across and beyond the industry will share their insights. The Women’s Networking Breakfast and the Food Evolution Breakfast are also ideal opportunities to participate in key discussions and network with peers. Once again, the Fi Innovation Awards will celebrate companies and organisations breaking new ground in the food and beverage industry, while the Startup Innovation Challenge will provide a showcase for the most exciting innovations coming from small start-ups, which remain largely unknown to the wider industry.
Fi Europe & Ni has established itself as a 360° event and comprehensive platform for the food industry. Numerous country and theme pavilions from ‘Free from’ to ‘Natural ingredients’, and from China to US will help guide visitors sourcing specific speciality ingredients. At the Expo FoodTec Pavilion they will also be able to source bespoke ingredient processing and packaging solutions, and services. At the new Tasting Bar, visitors will have the opportunity to taste and learn more about exhibitors’ products all in one central location.
Keep on trend
This year will also reflect the green consumer trend even stronger than before. As more companies focus on natural ingredients and organic provenance, exhibition organiser Informa Markets has more than doubled the size of the event’s Organic Pavilion.
Currently, around 100 companies from around the world have secured their spot for Fi Europe & Ni natural ingredients zone – including agar specialist Setexam, natural vanilla expert Eurovanille, the flavour house Enrico Giotti and plant ingredients manufacturer Peruvian Nature. Trade visitors looking for natural alternatives will find a lot of variety and inspiration in this specialised area.
The Organic Pavilion - with over 50 exhibitors already confirmed such as oleoresins and extracts producer Jean Gazignaire, import/export trader DO-IT and natural fibre specialist Interfiber - offers an excellent overview of the immense diversity of organic quality alternatives that now exist.
In addition, Fi Europe & Ni will provide an extensive range of information and education opportunities on a variety of natural and organic topics. For instance, within the free-to-access Organic Spotlight, trade visitors can gain insights into the latest trends in the organic sector, as well as regulatory issues and market analyses. Meanwhile, the Fi Conference will focus on innovative concepts for clean labels, among other key areas.
There’s always an alternative
In 2019, the ‘green consumer’ has already influenced two categories of Innova Market Insights’ top 10 trends: while the The Plant Kingdom charts the increasing market for plant alternatives, The Green Appeal outlines current consumer demand for sustainability – stretching from responsible sourcing via upcycling ingredients and strategies against food waste to eco-friendly packaging solutions.
Although the claim ‘natural’ has no exact definition, all major analysts agree that there is a growing market for natural alternatives. Besides products that are free from artificial additives, colourants and flavours, and minimally processed foods and drinks, this also includes GMO-free solutions. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database, natural product claims appeared on 29% of global food and drink launches between September 2016 and September 2017.
“When the first exhibitors ventured into the arena of natural alternatives – at that time primarily in the field of colours and flavours – we knew straightaway that this was a major trend, and created dedicated specialised zones and content hubs to showcase the latest developments,” says Julien Bonvallet, brand director of Fi Europe & Ni. “In 2007, we officially added an integrated natural ingredients exhibition to our show: since then, Fi Europe has added the Ni to its name. Now, we can justifiably say that for almost any challenge they face, visitors to Paris will be able to choose between a standard and a natural solution.”