The future of ingredients – Report from Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) 2021
Last week I was at the Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) fair in Frankfurt. Like many others I was hesitant to go due to the development in the covid situation – however travelling with our experienced organizer Fødevareklubben, I expected a safe travel and did not cancel.
FIE was very different from earlier as many exhibitors and visitors cancelled for obvious reasons. Only three of the many halls at Messe Frankfurt was in use, and in the halls there was plenty of open spaces to rest between the stands. Some stands were completely built but still empty and left an impression of a last minute cancellation.
On the positive side it was nice to meet people after a long time with no fairs, and there was a nice relaxed atmosphere at the fair. The noise level was moderate, so it was easy to have a conversation 1to1 or even having video or telephone calls at the fair. All this however wearing a face mask as this was more or less required all the time.
So what did the fair actually offer despite the covid impact ? As always it was interesting to see how the global food trends impact the business communication. Plant based is now not news but seems to move to the next level, where taste and texture is in increasing focus for meat and dairy alternatives and new substituting applications are getting attention like fish alternatives. The “plant-based claim” is in use for both actual substitutions as for products which have always been plant based – i.e. the company Microorganic offered “Plant-based Plankton”.
Another welcome highlight of the fair was the Innovation Awards, and congratulations to Chr. Hansen for winning the Food Tech Innovation Award with the Fermentation-enabled Bioprotection solution for Dairy: FresQ®
and to AAK for winning the Sensory Innovation Award with the AkoBisc® GO! (low on saturated fatty acids and free from tropical fats). I got my own biscuit from AAK as more or less the only giveaway I got on the fair as such were restricted by the organizers due to covid.
Thanks to the travelling party with Fødevareklubben and the people at the stands the FIE2021 was a nice experience despite corona, and I will be back again in the future. No doubt there will be a lot of reflection from the exhibitors side whether to invest (as) heavily in future events after this special version of the FIE, but I am confident that the food ingredients industry needs a meeting venue like this also in the future – if not annually then maybe every second year as it was in the past.