“Green” theme for European ingredients trade show

This year’s Food ingredients Europe & Natural ingredients, a European trade show for food and beverage ingredients, will reflect the “green” consumer trend even stronger than before. As more and more companies focus on natural ingredients and organic provenance, exhibition organiser Informa Markets has more than doubled the size of the event’s Organic Pavilion. In addition, the natural ingredients zone has grown by more than 50 percent. Fi Europe & Ni 2019 will take place from 3 to 5 December in Paris.

Currently, around 100 companies from all over the world have secured their spot for Fi Europe & Ni natural ingredients zone – including the agar specialist Setexam (Morocco), natural vanilla expert Eurovanille (France), the flavour house Enrico Giotti (Italy) and plant ingredients manufacturer Peruvian Nature (Peru). Trade visitors looking for natural alternatives will find what they are looking for both in this specialised area – and beyond.

The Organic Pavilion, with over 50 exhibitors already confirmed such as oleoresins and extracts producer Jean Gazignaire (France), import/export trader DO-IT (Netherlands) and natural fibre specialist Interfiber (Poland), offers an excellent overview of the immense diversity of organic quality alternatives that now exist.

In addition, Fi Europe & Ni will provide an extensive range of information and education opportunities on a variety of natural and organic topics. For instance, within the free-to-access Organic Spotlight trade visitors can gain insights into the latest trends in the organic sector, as well as regulatory issues and market analyses. The “Plant-based Experience” will focus on plant alternatives in particular: together with NGO ProVeg International, an extensive programme featuring live cooking events, lectures and innovation tours has been created. Meanwhile, the Fi Conference will focus on innovative concepts for clean labels, amongst other key areas.

The “green consumer” as an engine for the market
In 2019, the “green consumer” has already influenced two categories of Innova Market Insights’ top ten trends: while the “The Plant Kingdom” charts the increasing market for plant alternatives, “The Green Appeal” outlines current consumer demand for sustainability – stretching from responsible sourcing via upcycling ingredients and strategies against food waste to eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Although the claim “natural” has no exact definition – contrary to the term “organic” – all major analysts agree that there is growing market for natural alternatives. Besides products that are free from artificial additives, colourants and flavours, and minimally processed foods and drinks, this also includes GMO-free solutions. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database, natural product claims appeared on 29% of global food and drink launches between September 2016 and September 2017.

“When the first exhibitors ventured into the arena of natural alternatives – at that time primarily in the field of colours and flavours – we knew straightaway that this was a major trend and created dedicated specialised zones and content hubs to showcase the latest developments,” said Julien Bonvallet, brand director of Fi Europe & Ni. “In 2007, we officially added an integrated natural ingredients exhibition to our show: since then, Fi Europe has added the Ni to its name. Now, we can justifiably say that for almost any challenge they face, visitors to Paris will be able to choose between a standard and a natural solution.”



Consumers demand more ‘natural’ food products

Almost half of Australian consumers say they wished there were more ‘all-natural’ food products on the shelves, showcasing a clear gap in the market that could drive healthier bottom lines for manufacturers and retailers, research has revealed.

Findings from Nielsen’s Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey highlights that consumers are adopting a back-to-basics mindset where a focus on simple ingredients and fewer artificial or processed foods is a priority.

“Informed and savvy consumers are demanding more from the foods they eat and are happy to pay more if they believe it is better for them,” explained Michael Elam-Rye, Associate Director – Retail at Nielsen.

“This presents an opportunity for food manufacturers to increase share by offering and marketing products that are formulated with good-for-you ingredients, and an opportunity for retailers to trade consumers up with more premium priced products.”

For Australian consumers, animal products that contain antibiotics or hormones are the most worrying, with six in 10 consumers saying that they actively avoid these products.

The top 10 ingredients that Australian consumers avoid include antibiotics/hormones in animals products, MSG, artificial additives, foods with BPA packaging, sugar, genetically modified foods, and sodium.

Close to nine in 10 respondents said they avoid specific ingredients because they believe them to be harmful to their own or their family’s health; while six in 10 consumers said they are concerned about the long-term health impact of artificial ingredients in their diet.


Paleo Diet surges in global popularity

Recent data from Innova Market Insights has seen a surge in the use of the word paleo as interest in the diet spreads out across the globe. 

The share of the USA in paleo launch activity fell from over 80% of the tracked launch total in the 12 months to the end of September 2014 to less than two-thirds in the same period in 2015, despite strong growth in total introductions.

This indicated the emergence of activity in other parts of the world, perhaps most notably Australia, where activity came from virtually zero in 2014 to account for nearly 16% of the 2015 total, putting it ahead of Europe with 10%.

According to Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, Lu Ann Williams, natural ingredients are becoming increasingly in demand.

“Interest in naturally nutritious ingredients and a return to basics has led to increasing consumption of ingredients such as ancient grains and green foods,” Williams said.

“It has also led to a surge in interest in alternative diets and eating habits, bringing awareness of the Paleo Diet to a much wider range of consumers.”

Paleo-friendly products are increasingly being marketed as high-profile lines feature ‘paleo’ in the product name or brand.