Vitafoods Europe 2019: guiding the industry to a more sustainable future

As environmental awareness reaches new heights and the world’s population continues to rise, the issue of providing sustainable foods that also offer a high nutritional value is set to grow — in both importance and complexity — during the next decade

It is with these considerations in mind that Vitafoods Europe 2019 has developed its agenda. The three-day event (7–9 May 2019, Palexpo, Geneva) will this year focus on bringing the industry together to discuss both key challenges, such as sustainable sourcing, and wider trends, including free-from, plant-based ingredients, hemp extracts and CBD.

This year’s show is expected to attract 22,000 visitors and will play host to more than 1200 global suppliers of ingredients and raw materials, dietary supplements, contract manufacturing services, private label products and equipment. As a meeting point for the nutraceutical industry, Vitafoods Europe 2019 will offer visitors an opportunity to source innovative, high quality ingredients and finished products conveniently at one location, saving both time and resources, and eliminating logistic difficulties.

Situated at the heart of the event will be the new Sustainability Square, a space in which attendees can learn how Vitafoods Europe is shaping a more sustainable future for nutraceuticals, allowing them to make informed and future-focused buying decisions.

Visitors will also be able to discover the latest insights from across the industry, as well as discuss and debate the question: What does nutraceutical mean to you? In the run-up to the event, Vitafoods Europe has been asking this same question to influential figures across the nutrition, health and wellness sectors. The aim is to collect feedback, dispel the confusion surrounding the term and to create a more unified vision that appeals to today’s savvy consumer.

And, realising the pace at which regulations, both in the EU and around the world are updated and introduced, experts from the European Federation of Associations of Health Products Manufacturers (EHPM) will be offering one-to-one consultations as part of a new Regulatory Clinic. These sessions will provide answers to topics such as “to whom do I notify my product and what fees are involved?” and “considering the ingredients used, can all EU member state markets be entered?”

Whereas a new Clinical Trials Zone will offer a step-by-step guide to the intervention study process, a Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable will examine the importance of establishing diversity in the workforce to create an inclusive environment and the benefits this will bring.

Additionally, the Vitafoods Education Programme will return this year with a new flexible structure, giving delegates the chance to attend specific sessions, individual days or the full three-day agenda. Running throughout the event, the programme will have 11 summits and more than 50 industry and business experts onsite to discuss and debate breakout trends and the industry’s latest studies.

Chris Lee, Managing Director, Global Health and Nutrition Network, Europe, at Informa Exhibitions, said: “Sustainability is a crucial influencer in the purchasing decision making process for consumers who are becoming more health and environmentally conscious."

This, and the need to provide enough food for a growing population, has led us to identify the sustainability of the industry as a key concern and opportunity for the nutraceutical industry. Our goal with Vitafoods Europe 2019 is to bring the community together and open the discussion about the challenges and opportunities ahead. This way, we hope to encourage collaboration across the entire nutraceutical industry and effect the move towards true circularity.”

Tailored to current and emerging market requirements, the sessions will explore topics such as food technology, sustainability and traceability, personalised nutrition, mental wellness, free-from, CBD and hemp extracts, contract manufacturing and the digital consumer.

Speakers include Joerg Gruenwald from the Committee for Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines in Germany and Dr Heike Stier, Senior Consultant at Analyze & Realize in Germany. The Education Programme’s new flexible structure of the will allow visitors to attend specific sessions, individual days or the full three-day agenda.

Dedicated zones and specialised theatres

This year’s dedicated zones will include the Omega-3 Resource Centre, in association with GOED. Here, industry experts will provide updates on the omega-3 ingredients market, including the latest innovations in formulations, application and processing.

The zone will also feature a new Omega-3 Index Testing Area, sponsored by BASF. One of 2018’s top attendee features, the Probiotics Resource Centre, will be returning in 2019. Sponsored by Nutrasource, and in association with The International Probiotics Association, it will explore the key issues affecting the European probiotics market, as well as advances in novel applications for probiotics.

At the Sports Nutrition Zone, visitors will have the opportunity to engage and interact with demonstrations dedicated to the rapidly growing sector, including a sampling bar and product showcases. The Packaging Zone, in association with Innova Market Insights, will look at the latest developments in sustainable packaging, displaying industry innovations in delivery systems and product packaging for dietary supplements.

The Market and Trend Overview Zone will see experts from Innova Market Insights presenting emerging trends in nutraceuticals and functional foods, such as heart and digestive health, as well as sports, infant and personalised nutrition, and healthy ageing.

Building on the themes of the dedicated zones, Vitafoods Europe 2019 will also feature a range of specialised theatres, including sports nutrition, probiotics, ingredients, omega-3 and life stages. The Sports Nutrition Theatre will focus on the active senior consumer, whereas the Probiotics Theatre will discuss both fermented foods, such as yoghurt and kefir, and shelf-stable foods, including cereal, soup, spreads and nutrition bars.

The Ingredients Theatre will discuss up-to-date market research, such as a study by Mintel that has found that vitamin D has overtaken vitamin C as the UK’s top single supplement. The Omega-3 Theatre will present proprietary data on consumer perceptions of the health and wellness benefits of omega-3 intake.

Product demonstrations and focused pavilions

For an experience of the mind and body, Vitafoods Europe 2019 will once more tingle visitors’ taste buds at its Tasting Centre and provide category specific Innovation Tours, guiding guests around carefully selected exhibitors to offer expert industry insights.

The New Ingredients Zone, sponsored by GeeLawson, will be showcasing the latest ingredient and raw material developments, whereas the New Products Zone, sponsored by Super Foods, will be covering the core health categories and display a range of new innovations from the past 12 months.

Additionally, the Springboard Pavilion and the International Pavilions, including Croatia, Poland, Italy, Belgium, France, Hungary, Germany, China, South Korea and the USA, will present country specific consumer and market trends.

Connecting the community

A key focus for this year’s Vitafoods Europe is to connect the community to encourage collaboration and discussions around key issues, such as creating a more sustainable future for the nutraceutical industry. Although the dedicated zones, specialised theatres and other features will own the stage from a professional point of view, additional events are taking place across the three days to give visitors the opportunity to network in a more relaxed setting.

Events include the Community Breakfast, Nutrition Capital Network’s sixth annual European Investor Meeting, the Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable, the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Training by EAS Consulting Group, the NutraIngredients Awards, the 5K run and the yoga wellness sessions.

This article will appear in the May/June issue of Nutraceutical Business Review. To read a previous issue, click here.

To register for Vitafoods Europe 2019, please visit www.vitafoods.eu.com

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