This year’s edition of Vitafoods Europe – the must-attend global event for the nutraceutical ingredients and raw materials industry – enjoyed a record attendance when it took place from 22-24 May 2012 at Palexpo, Geneva.
Some 11,594 attendees – a 12 per cent growth on 2011 – meant Vitafoods Europe 2012, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this year, and the co-located Finished Products Expo (FPE) were the busiest editions yet. The excellent attendance figures were matched by a surge in exhibitors, with over 600 companies showcasing their products, including 140 at FPE, a significant increase on last year.
Speaking of the success of the show, Chris Lee, Vitafoods Portfolio Director, commented: “The nutraceuticals industry is enjoying a successful period of growth, amid all the regulation issues, and this has been reflected in the record attendance at Vitafoods Europe and FPE. We were delighted to be able to host such a buzzing show and facilitate introductions between exhibitors and visitors. We look forward to learning about how these business leads materialise over the coming months.”
New for 2012, the Poster Sessions gave researchers an opportunity to share their innovative projects with other potential collaborators, researchers and commercial partners or investors. The sessions provoked insightful discussion among experts, covering topics including the effect of short cationic homopeptides on antibacterial activity; the freedom to enjoy dairy among the lactose intolerant and the preclinical evidence for Diabecine™, a herbal supplement for managing diabetes.
The New Products Zone, sponsored by Now International, again proved to be a popular attraction, enabling visitors to witness a host of the latest innovations to be launched in the industry. Products included CaloriSorb from Aenova Holding GmbH, which reduces fat absorption for weight management, BONOLIVE from BioActor, the only bone health ingredient from olive polyphenols, and Mucosave® from Bionap S.r.l, the first ingredient specifically created for mucosal protection. Also on display was Bergavit® which reduces plasmatic cholesterol, Lactobacillus L. casei 431®, a probiotic chewable tablet from Chr. Hansen A/S, Lafti® L10 from Institut Rosell-Lallemand which supports immune defences and Performances Synergy from Novastell, a unique association of DHA in the form of phospholipids and a high concentration of phosphatidylserine for sportsmen.
Other Vitafoods Europe visitor attractions which drew considerable attention include the Seminar Theatre; the EAS Advisory Sessions; Mintel’s Products, Ingredients and Consumer Insights Pavilion; and VitaTrend, by Innova Market Insights – all packed with forward-thinking ideas on maximising the commercial opportunities in the rapidly growing nutraceuticals industry.
Away from the show floor, Vitafoods Europe also hosted its annual scientific conference, boasting a fascinating line-up of speakers as part of an extensive programme that had been shaped and peer reviewed by the Vitafoods Europe Executive Advisory Board, which consists of renowned scientists and commercial experts. The session on Functional Foods and Consumer Trends chaired by S.P. Sergio Pumarola, General Manager at BIOGLANE, S.L.N.E. and featuring Lynn Dornblaser, Director of CPG Insight from Mintel Group Ltd, attracted huge interest from delegates as the panel examined consumer attitudes towards health and wellness in general, specific understanding about functional foods and the issue of marketing functional foods to consumers.
Also popular amongst attendees was the Health Claims and Regulation presentation, chaired by Dr Paul Berryman from Leatherhead Food Research and featuring Inga Koehler, a senior consultant at analyze & realize. Examining the scientific assessment on health claims, the session focused in particular on what can be expected for 2012, the situation with botanical claims and an analysis of EFSA opinions.
The EAS Discussion Forum provoked debate between visitors and exhibitors alike, as the panel – made up of leading experts in regulation and marketing from EAS, Euromonitor, The Technical University of Braunschweig and The Czech Association of Special Foods (CASP) – delved into the opportunities for innovation beyond claims, providing unique insights into current thinking on the key regulatory aspects that will affect the sector’s innovative capacity within the next five years.
Exhibitors at Vitafoods Europe included major international ingredients suppliers and manufacturers including ADM, BASF, Frutarom, Capsugel, Croda Europe, DSM Nutritional Products, Lonza and Naturex. A number of companies also made their debut at Vitafoods Europe including Nateco2 GmbH, Biolink AS, MAWI Chemiedistribution OHG, LAB DOM AVMM and Omegatri AS.
Seasoned Vitafoods Europe exhibitors found the event as crucial to attend as ever, including Nicolette Pouw-Duin, Senior Business Development Manager at TNO Triskelion BV in the Netherlands, who said: “For us, Vitafoods Europe is always a good show – the cost for the stand is definitely worth it as we make such a return from the people we meet.” Shawn Hua from Fenchem Biotek Ltd added: “It’s been an excellent exhibition and although we’ve been exhibiting for 10 years now, we still find the customers here very targeted to what we do.”
Finished Products Expo also hosted its own dedicated features, including the ever-buzzing Tasting Bar, which offered visitors the opportunity to sample the latest innovations in the functional food and drinks market and vote on the best product in each category.
The Tasting Bar Awards were announced at the end of each day with FrieslandCampina CreamyCreation and Olimp Laboratories scooping the prizes in the functional drinks categories for their RTD low calorie drink and Green Tea + Magnesium + Vit C respectively. Meanwhile, Balarama, was successful in the functional food category with its Goji berries & pomegranate “superfruit” bar, along with SLIMPACK’s High Protein Crackers and SAI Nutrition for their chocolate and hazelnut flavour diet spread.
Exhibitors at Finished Products Expo included VSI, Bariatrix Europe, Dynamic Health Laboratories, Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Medex, Nature’s Plus, NOW International and Ubifrance, as well as a number of first-timers including Fulcrum Health Limited, AvantCare, Milsing d.o.o., Futurebiotics and Zenyth Pharmaceuticals.
Commenting on his experience at FPE, Michael Wurtemberger, Vice Director at Vital Products, Germany, said: “I didn’t know what to expect before exhibiting at the show for the first time but I’ve been really impressed with the number of visitors to our stand – we’ll definitely exhibit again.”
Andy Bott, UK Sales Manager, Glanbia Performance Nutrition added: “We’ve had some very good leads at the show over the years and generally see a 10-15 per cent conversion rate into new business. Our stand location has been excellent this year and it has been a great opportunity for us to meet us with key existing clients.”
Exhibitors’ praise for the show was matched by extremely positive feedback from visitors, including Jessica Sturzenegger, Founder & CEO of Patafoods, Chile, who said: “It’s my first time to the show and I’ve been impressed with how well organised it is. I’ve been able to source lots of new innovative ingredients, as well as make new contacts.” Dean Virant, Brand Manager at BBG D.O.O., Slovenia, concluded: “This is a huge show and I’ve seen lots of innovative new products, as well as being able to collate information, see suppliers and have business meetings.”
Plans are already underway for the next shows in the worldwide Vitafoods portfolio:
Vitafoods Asia will take place from 5 – 7 September 2012 at Asia World-Expo, Hong Kong www.vitafoodsasia.com
- Vitafoods South America will take place from 26 – 27 March 2013 at the Transamerica Expo Center in São Paolo, Brazil. www.vitafoodssouthamerica.com