Fi Europe & Ni, held from November 28 to 30 in Frankfurt, bundles innovation, market knowledge and expert know-how to meet clean label demands. Richard Joyce, the fair’s brand director, talks ingredients, industry and show dynamics.
EBB: How do you characterize the evolution of Food ingredients Europe & Ni over the past editions?
Richard Joyce (RJ): Fi Europe & Ni is the world’s leading trade show for food and beverage ingredients – although it is European in name, it is truly global in character. It really is the case now that more and more exhibitors and visitors are coming from the US and from Asian countries, in addition to European participants, to present or discover innovative solutions. This year’s figures promise to set a new record both for exhibitors and for visitors: more than 1,500 stands and a highly professional audience of some 25,000 visitors.
UBM puts a great deal of effort not only into ensuring the quality of our exhibitors and visitors, but also in putting together a comprehensive conference and networking program. We want to offer insights into exciting new trends, and we want to be the crystal ball through which our visitors see what the future of nutrition will look like. Our innovation awards have a fantastic reputation throughout the industry and are known to boost the success of the solutions, concepts and companies who win them. So, all in all, Fi Europe is far more than a trade show. It is the world’s largest get together of the sector, a think-tank and a source of innovation.
EBB: What new and popular show features can we expect to see at the upcoming edition?
RJ: The Fi Conference will provide an inspiring and comprehensive agenda delivered by the industry’s thought leaders. During the three-day conference program, product developers, market analysts and industry insiders will delve into the topics that are driving the industry now and will drive it in the future. These topics range from sustainable solutions, clean label, regulatory affairs and food safety to life stage-based nutrition.
The Future of Nutrition Summit, which takes place the day before the show opens, will examine the factors that will affect the food industry in five, 10 or 15 years from now, such as increasing urbanization and digitalization.
In addition, a number of free seminars and presentations will take place in the Industry Insights Theatre, Supplier Solution Theatre and the Expo FoodTec Content Hub, providing practical approaches and solutions, and addressing new concepts.
EBB: What is the concept of the Start-up Innovation Challenge?
RJ: The Start-up Innovation Challenge is a unique offer for innovative young companies who would not normally exhibit at the show. It gives them the opportunity to present their projects to a jury panel of experienced manufacturers, R&D specialists, investors and start-up incubators for constructive feedback and consultancy, and it allows Fi Europe visitors to learn more about promising newcomers and their creative ideas.
The 10 shortlisted newcomers will be able to pitch their innovations live in the Industry Insight Theatre, and the winners will receive a personalized support program to further their growth.
You can read more in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Sept/Oct 2017)!