Anuga, the world’s most significant food event which takes place in Cologne every two years, closed its 34th edition this month, with 7,405 exhibitors from 107 countries showcasing their latest products to 165,000 trade visitors from 198 countries.

According to the show organizer Koelnmesse, 2,580 exhibitors introduced products with organic certification, and 250 showcased under Anuga Organic, one of the ten theme pavilions. 

A total of 1,935 firms were introducing Kosher products, 2,265 presenting Halal Food and 740 showing fair trade certified goods.

During the five-day international exhibition, it was apparent that there was a rising demand for food and beverages rich in protein, especially plant-based protein. The market is also pushing for more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free foods that taste good.  Anuga recorded 1,593 exhibitors presenting vegan foods and 2,365 with vegetarian products on display. Also, worthy of note was that 2,296 firms exhibited products under the health and functional food category.

"Superfoods" like chia, quinoa, yacon, baobab, turmeric, moringa, cassava, Chaga mushrooms and, yes, more coconut, remain as some of the leading ingredients in newer ready-to-eat, ready-to-go, and ready-to-prepare products.  It was also evident that fermented plant-based beverages rich in prebiotics and probiotics will become prominent on the retail scene. 

The industry expects consumers to turn more to online food purchasing, and to demand more information about nutrition, labels and food origin via mobile devices. Shoppers will continue to visit shops but will have a higher expectation for a more pleasant experience that will nurture all their senses. They expect to see fresh, delicious, nutritious and convenient foods, which are as attractive as what they know via social media. 

Demand for transparency, clear labels and traceability “from the field to fork” is pushing large food corporations to purchase proven, thriving natural and organic brands, or to develop new lines which address sustainability issues. 

Innovation and export are growth drivers of the worldwide food industry noted the Chairman, Dr. Wolfgang Ingold, as he addressed the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE): "Today, growth in the food industry is only possible through exports. Every third Euro is already now earned abroad. As the world's largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages, Anuga is thus also the biggest and most important platform for the export business of the German food industry. The German food manufacturers were once again this year able to impressively demonstrate that they have plenty more to offer than enjoyment - they are namely also the leaders regarding quality, safety, and diversity! That is also the reason why our food industry is among the TOP 3 export nations with a turnover of Euro 56.7 billion in the export business. Innovations play a central role in retaining this leading position. We are more innovative than any other branch of industry: Every year over 40,000 new products are introduced onto the market in Germany alone. Hence, Anuga is also the global leading trade fair of innovations."

According to Koelnmesse, the buyers present this year at Anuga included: Aeon, Ahold, AlbertHeijn, Aldi, Auchan, Carrefour, Coop, Costco, dm, Edeka, Globus, Hofer, Jumbo, Kroger, Metro, Migros, Müller, Norma, Rewe, Rossmann, Sainsbury, Sams Club, Schwarz Group, Sobeys, Spar, Target, Tesco, and Walmart.  From the online trade category, Amazon and were present too. Buyers from numerous specialized online platforms were also among the visitors to Anuga. 

Buyer groups from the food service and catering industry such as Autobahn Tank & Rast GmbH, CHEFS CULINAR, Gourmet International, Ikea, LSG (Supply Chain Sarl), Sysco (USA), SPC group (Korea), Transgourmet and YORMA'S AG also came to Anuga.

Foreign exhibitors made up 90 percent of the participants this year, and the share of international visitors increased to 75 percent (2015: 68 percent). An increase in the number of visitors from all corners of the world was registered mainly from Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands, the USA and Canada, India (partner country), China and South America. 

The next food event organized by Koelnmesse in Cologne related to sustainable products is veganfach, November 3-4, 2017 and the following Anuga will take place from 5 to 9 October 2019.

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