Fi Europe To Showcase Innovation in Four Essential Ingredient Categories

Staple foods in consumers’ menus at least once a day, including baked goods, represent central topics of the trade show in Paris, December 3-5. In an interview with Julien Bonvallet (pictured), brand director Fi Global, we analyzed the spotlight Fi Europe & Ni places on ingredients for the baking industry, and the trends we can anticipate. 

“A wholemeal bread is a step in the right direction, but it is already a standard for many bakers. A bread or roll with a functional ingredient, such as enriched protein from peas or lupins, added dietary fiber, antioxidants or ancient cereals for better digestibility will allow the baking industry to score extra points with the consumer,” Bonvallet said. In addition, organic and natural trends are very relevant for bakeries; but it is not just about ingredients from organic farming. Consumers today also value the regional origin of ingredients, sustainable packaging, confidence in the brand and transparency.

For the upcoming edition, the organizer anticipates that Fi Europe will offer inspiration, solutions to product challenges and an image of the key issues influencing the industry. This year again, the show is strucured around the four main topics of ‘Clean label’, ‘Reduction & reformulation’, ‘Healthy and functional’ and ‘Plant-derived ingredients’. More than 1,700 exhibitors from all over the world will present their innovations in various themes and country pavilions, while the Fi Conference and many free events provide an insight into the central aspects of the industry, along with opportunities for successful networking. 

A Must-attend Event

Visitors are provided with digital services to help them organize their trip and make the most of the three exhibition days. “The ideal place to start is with our website, which has details of everything you need to know about the location, accommodation, visa regulations and how to get there. We offer a variety of digital tools designed to help exhibitors maximize the business opportunities on offer,” he explained. 

The trade fair offers many digital tools that to help organize the trip easier. For example, the Business Matchmaking Tool allows meetings to be arranged in advance, while the Supplier Finder enables users to plan routes to exhibitors that are a good fit for their businesses. The fair’s brand director also recommends downloading the Fi Europe App, which will provide updates about events throughout the show. Conference topics such as clean label, sugar reduction, and gut health are topics that drive all segments of the food industry, including bakery. 

Future of Nutrition Summit

The fourth edition of the one-day Future of Nutrition Summit will also be held in Paris on the day before Fi Europe. While the Fi Conference is dedicated to current challenges, the Future of Nutrition Summit on December 2 is the platform for an evidence-based look into the future. 

Bonvallet shared organization insights: “In the morning, experts will discuss disruptive innovations with case studies and panel debates – innovations that are not only revolutionary but actually open up a completely new market. In the afternoon, one stream will focus on sustainability and recycling, while a second stream will concentrate on new food technologies.”

The decisive questions will be: What will our industry look like in five years’ time? And which technologies and solutions will turn it upside down? What global flavors/ingredients hold potential for the European baking scene? And, equally, what does Europe bring to international markets for inspiration? 

The Reason behind the 2020 Change 

Fi Europe has recently announced a change of concept as of 2020, when Fi Europe and Hi Europe will be co-located and alternate between Germany and France.

The decision to have Fi and Hi Europe take place on an annual basis and in parallel is based on the organizer’s market research. Bonvallet explained that they learned that many exhibitors and visitors were going to attend both fairs anyway. For those who normally only attended one of the two events, there will now be completely new business opportunities and markets. “What’s more, it is clear that the consumer constantly blurs the boundaries between normal and functional foods and beverages – and so the distinction between regular food ingredients and healthy ingredients is becoming less apparent. The decision to hold the fair alternately between Paris and Frankfurt is strategically very sensible: both cities not only offer the necessary infrastructure but are also easily accessible and located in the heart of Europe – and Germany and France are also the most important markets in this sector,” Bonvallet said. 

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