With an enormous thematic and geographical scope – exhibitors from 74 countries and visitors from 173 countries – Fi Europe & Ni once again proved that it is the trusted and chosen meeting place for the international food and beverage industry. The three-day event attracted almost 25.000 visitors at the beginning of December – despite the all-out strike on the third day of the show.
In the 33rd year of Fi Europe & Ni, 1,700 exhibitors presented more than 15,000 ingredients and a wide range of related services – from processing and packaging technology to contract manufacturing. To provide a platform for the growing globalisation of the industry, Fi Europe & Ni this year welcomed 26 country pavilions, including six new ones for suppliers from Japan, India, Georgia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Peru. For the next event in Frankfurt, 84 per cent of the available exhibition space has already been booked. This high number of stand reservations for 2020 is once again a proof that Fi Europe & Ni remains a successful and respected business platform for exhibitors.
With 24.415 attendees, this edition of Fi Europe & Ni was the most successful one in France so far. Recent analyses show that mainly representatives of sales, procurement and purchasing, general management and R&D attended the show at Parc des Expositions Paris Nord, Villepinte. 33 per cent of the visitors were managers at C-level or higher, and 71 per cent had budget responsibility.
Rüdiger Schock, Director, Innovation Acceleration EMEA at Ingredion, commented:
“We have been exhibiting our innovative ingredient portfolio at Fi Europe & Ni for more than 20 years, and we will definitely be back. 2019 was another very successful fair for us. It was a great opportunity to meet with customers old and new to discuss global key trends such as clean label, protein enrichment, sugar reduction and plant-based ingredients, and the solutions we have to support them.”
Since its launch in 1986, the event has always had its finger on the industry pulse and has continually expanded. First, Ni (Natural ingredients) joined the exhibition and has established itself as a forum for future-oriented natural ingredients. In addition, an extensive conference and educational programme has been added and this year attracted more than 300 delegates, offering in-depth insights into key trends such as “Healthy & Functional”, “Plant-derived Ingredients”, “Clean Label” and “Reduction & Reformulation”. The Future of Nutrition Summit on the day before the fair proved highly successful, attracting more than 100 participants and showcasing outstanding and game-changing innovations, with a focus on sustainable food systems and new food technologies.
Firmenich’s Global Director Marketing and Communication Ingredients, Virginie Gervason, stated: “As we are involved in flavour ingredients and flavour solutions, Fi Europe & Ni is the best place for us to showcase our innovations and insights, and demonstrate the best use of these solutions. It’s a good opportunity to show the versatility of Firmenich, and how our ingredients embody our purpose ‘For Good Naturally’.”
Within the Expo FoodTec, which was added to the Fi Europe & Ni line-up to mirror the interplay between ingredients and technology, the Expo FoodTec Content Hub presented valuable advice, especially in the field of food safety. In a time where flexitarian and vegan consumers fuel the market, the new Plant-based Experience showed, through panel discussions, how to strike the balance between consumer-expected low price and high quality.
A New Gen trade show: Fi and Hi co-located under one roof
2020 in Frankfurt, Fi Europe and Hi Europe will join forces for the first time. This
co-location is a strategic response to the fact that the health and nutrition economic sectors are merging at a fast pace. Consequently, the boundaries between standard ingredients, functional ingredients with added health benefits, and dietary supplements are blurring.
As many companies also have much shorter innovation cycles than a few years ago, Fi Europe and Hi Europe will take place annually starting next year. Messe Frankfurt will be first to host the largest trade show for the food and beverage industry, from 1 to 3 December.
From a visitor’s point of view, the show is still highly relevant in a digital age: “It’s difficult sometimes when you’re trying to source a new ingredient – yes, you can do a Google search to find the data, but you don’t get that full insight into what each supplier is doing. So this show really brings it all together under one roof,” said Suzanne Salt, Procurement Manager, Symingtons Ltd.
Fi Europe Brand Director Julien Bonvallet was delighted with this year’s event: “Thirty-three years of Fi Europe & Ni are a reason to celebrate! We are grateful that so many visitors made their way to Paris despite the strike warning. But it also shows that Fi Europe & Ni is simply the place to be for the industry’s thought leaders. I am now looking forward to this great new development and can already promise many exciting inclusions for the show in 2020.”