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Success of Vitafoods Europe Reflects Strength of Nutraceutical Industry

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Success of Vitafoods Europe Reflects Strength of Nutraceutical Industry

Success of Vitafoods Europe Reflects Strength of Nutraceutical Industry
June 14
09:05 2018

The success of Vitafoods Europe 2018, which attracted over 20,000 visitors for the first time, reflects the strength of the industry, the organisers say. A total of 21,132 visitors passed through the doors at Palexpo, Geneva between 15th and 17th May. The numbers were the highest in the event’s 21-year history and represented a 6% increase on the 2017 event. Exhibitor numbers were also up, with 1,119 companies showcasing their products and services, 8% more than in 2017.

Commenting on the figures, Chris Lee, Managing Director, Global Health & Nutrition Network Europe, Informa Exhibitions, says: “The success of Vitafoods lies in the role we play in a vibrant, fast-moving industry that is committed to innovation. There’s enormous thirst for knowledge and we offer a space where people can learn, as well as coming together to do business. By providing opportunities to discover new products and gain insights into the trends and science shaping nutrition, we hope to help drive innovation. The big focus now is on building our role as an industry partner, supporting its growth and helping it adapt to challenges.”

The organisers of Vitafoods Europe are now planning for its next edition (7-9 May, 2019 at Palexpo) as well as Vitafoods Asia (11-12 September, 2018 in Singapore).

One trend that was apparent at Vitafoods Europe was the convergence of traditional categories. “Old categories have begun to blur,” says Chris Lee. “There’s now a really interesting space, for example, between nutrition and pharma. Companies are starting to understand the role functional foods can play in addressing global health problems such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. As a result, we’re seeing an increasing number of products that are hard to pigeon-hole as either food or pharma. Another interesting example is the convergence of food and cosmetics, with ingestible skincare and nutricosmetics becoming more mainstream.”

Exhibitors and visitors also enjoyed the emergence of innovative new categories. “This year, we saw a lot of synergy between food and nutraceuticals, and a lot of innovations and new forms of delivery” says Antoine Dauby, Marketing Communications Director at Naturex, one of the event exhibitors. “So it’s definitely a great place to learn.”

Another big theme was personalised nutrition, which was the subject a new interactive workshop in the Vitafoods Europe Education Programme. A key question for delegates was how the category can become more accessible.

“I found the workshop very valuable because I think personalised nutrition is a space where there’s not a lot of knowledge in terms of commercial applications” says Katherine Martinez, AVP at United Laboratories. “From where I sit – because the Philippines is pretty much a third world country ― the challenge is how to make personalised nutrition accessible, and there was a particularly interesting question about whether science is outpacing the commercialisation opportunities.”

The introduction of the workshop was part of a drive to make the Education Programme a more interactive experience. Other changes, such as the introduction of round table discussions, were also well received by delegates.

“I’ve been coming to Vitafoods since 2014 and I think the Education Programme gets better and better every year,” says Dr Mohammed Gulrez Zariwala, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster. “It’s always useful, and I think the organisation was particularly good this year.”

A total of 4635 people attended presentations at the several theatres on the show floor, again indicating visitors’ desire to learn. One of the most popular features was the new Sports Nutrition Theatre, where 869 people attended presentations.

“The quality of our educational offering is very important to us,” says Chris Lee. “We work hard to adapt to trends in order to deliver the most relevant information and sports nutrition is a good example of that. We’ve seen the category evolve from something that was the preserve of professional athletes into something much more mainstream – it’s now very common for everyday cyclists and runners to use specialised nutrition products.”

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