Nutrition show reveals emerging markets potential

Nutrition show: this year’s Vitafoods Europe is claimed to be the most international yet

Food manufacturers and suppliers are increasingly targeting emerging markets as an export opportunity, a survey of visitors and exhibitors at last week’s Vitafoods Europe show has revealed.

One-in-three (33%) saw growth in developing markets as one of the biggest potential areas of growth for their business – up from 24% last year.

Described as the most international event yet by the show’s organisers, this year’s Vitafoods featured exhibitors from 56 countries – more than ever before.

Meanwhile, around 18,500 visitors from 115 countries were expected to attend the nutrition and ingredients show, which took place in Geneva (May 9–11).

Twelve international pavilions featured at the event, with Germany and Canada being included for the first time.

Dedicated pavilions for companies

There were also dedicated pavilions for companies from Belgium, Serbia, China, Croatia, France, Hungary, South Korea, Poland and the US.

In addition, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries offered opportunities to discover ingredients and products from Pakistan and South Africa.

Colin Williams, senior marketing manager for global exhibitions at show organiser Informa, told that the international flavour of the show worked both ways, as there was a “big demand” for Chinese businesses to expand into Europe.

“We’ve worked to improve the reputation of Chinese manufacturers. Yes, there are still some that rip ideas off and undercut the market, but there are also many out there making really high quality products,” he said.

While being unable to provide final numbers, Williams described the show as “successful”, adding that the buzz from exhibitors was that the visitors had been of a high quality.

Vitafoods Europe
  • 18,500 visitors
  • 115 countries represented
  • Exhibitors from 56 countries
  • 12 international pavilions

‘Meetings with major retailers’

“A number of finished product manufacturers have told me they have had meetings with major retailers, which is really encouraging for us, because these are the type of people we were trying to bring in,” he explained.

“One manufacturer that has exhibited for a number of years told me that they have grown from a €20M to a €100M company through developing an audience at the show. In other words, Vitafoods has fundamentally changed his business.”

In addition to the main exhibition space, the show played host to a number of “visitor attractions” tailored towards helping visitors fulfil their business needs.

Visitors to the Centre Stage heard from speakers on topics such as innovation in sports nutrition, and the sensory science challenges of developing functional foods.

Meanwhile, the Life Stages Theatre reviewed the bespoke nutrient requirements needed throughout the stages of a person’s life.

New to this year’s show was the Vitafoods Innovation Centre, in association with German consultancy firm Analyze & Realize. It offered free consultations on product development, scientific marketing, licensing opportunities, regulation and market access.

“The centre was able to provide advice on everything from marketing to regulation to packaging and labelling challenges. It’s all about giving people another reason to come to the event,” said Williams.

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