New attractions prove popular with visitors at Vitafoods 2016

The global nutraceuticals sector is vibrant and thriving – and Vitafoods Europe is the number one meeting place for the industry

Vitafoods Europe 2016 heralded a fresh approach that increased the focus of the event on the key areas that matter most to visitors. To offer a richer experience, the show focused on four distinct sectors: Ingredients and Raw Materials; Finished Products; Contract Manufacturing and Private Label; and Services and Equipment.

Vitafoods Europe 2016 also featured a number of new and returning visitor attractions that placed the emphasis on interaction and meeting the business challenges of today. Making its debut was the Sports Nutrition Zone, where visitors could discover the latest developments in the exciting and fast-growing sports nutrition category. In the Optimal Health Testing Centre, meanwhile, exhibitors demonstrated how to identify specific health needs and deliver tailored nutrition solutions to meet them.

Also premiering at Vitafoods Europe 2016 was the Springboard Pavilion, a dedicated space for visitors to engage with start-ups and other entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of the nutrition sector. The Vitafoods LaunchPad was a new feature where visitors could hear concise, bite-sized presentations from exhibitors about the latest product launches in the nutrition industry. LaunchPad products were also available to view close at hand in the Vitafoods New Products Zones.

The new attractions – and those returning from last year’s Vitafoods Europe – proved to be a huge draw and feedback from visitors and exhibitors was extremely positive. Visitor Irina Starodubtseva, Business Development Manager at InVita, said: 'The innovations zones and the overview of the market trends were excellent. I particularly liked the Sports Nutrition Zone. The exhibition seems to have grown and it’s great that so many regions are represented. It is valuable for us to be here to search for new suppliers, keep updated on market trends and also meet with our existing suppliers.'

Exhibitor America’s Naturals participated in the Tasting Bar, a longstanding favourite with visitors, where it won an award for Best Tasting Functional Beverage. Kathleen Brock, the company’s Vice President, said: 'Being in the Tasting Bar is great exposure. Many people said they saw our product in the Tasting Bar and then came to our stand. We love our location and we have had so much traffic. It seems like there are even more visitors this year.'

Featuring for the second year running was the Omega-3 Resource Centre in association with GOED. Ellen Schutt, Communications Director for GOED, said: 'It was a great show. We had 10 of our members that exhibited with us and for the most part we’ve heard that they were very happy with the traffic and the quality of the attendance. We had a mini-theatre inside our pavilion, and the sessions were very well attended, and I think there was a very good exchange of information.'

Another new feature, the Vitafoods Centre Stage, played host to speakers on a range of topics including sports nutrition, business growth strategies, regulatory compliance and formulating for the consumer. It was also the scene of the Vitafoods Venture Den, an exciting new competition giving nutraceutical start-ups the opportunity to pitch to investors and compete for prize package worth €75,000. In a tight contest, the winner was botanical ingredients supplier Mazza Innovation, which uses a novel extraction method called PhytoClean.

Strong conference line-up

Running alongside the exhibition was the Vitafoods Europe Conference, which boasted a strong line-up of speakers from the worlds of academia, market research and industry. Delegate feedback was very positive. One attendee said: 'The quality of speakers has been excellent.' Another commented: 'The choice of speakers was very good and the topics fitted well with what’s important in the industry at the moment.'

Speakers also praised the conference. Steve French, Managing Partner at NMI (Natural Marketing Institute), said: 'The education programme at the conference has been very impressive and high quality across a variety of different topics.' His views were echoed by Joerg Gruenwald, founder of analyze & realize. 'The Vitafoods Conference is getting better every year,' he said. 'As a chairman and speaker, I was impressed with the quality of the talks and speakers.'

Chris Lee, Vitafoods Portfolio Director, said: 'Vitafoods Europe 2016 was our 20th anniversary and it was a truly special international event. We’re delighted at the numbers of visitors we welcomed through Palexpo’s doors and also very pleased that they found the event a stimulating and rewarding environment in which to meet and do business. This year’s Vitafoods Europe broke all records in terms of visitor and exhibitor numbers, and the Vitafoods Conference was once again a major success. The global nutraceuticals sector is vibrant and thriving – and Vitafoods Europe is the number one meeting place for the industry, delivering opportunities for people to develop their network of contacts and get business done.'

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