Vitafoods Europe: nutrition show marks 20 years

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Vitafoods Europe 2016: Will include 900 exhibitors covering 40,000m2 of event space
Vitafoods Europe 2016: Will include 900 exhibitors covering 40,000m2 of event space

Related tags: Vitafoods europe, Nutrition

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year's Vitafoods will be the biggest yet.

Key points

The nutrition industry looks set for a bright future. Of those who visited Vitafoods Europe in 2015, 87% said they were either very positive or quite positive about the future sales performance and profitability of the business they run or work for, according to the show’s organisers.

Among exhibitors, the corresponding response was an even more emphatic 94%.

And it’s a level of optimism that is likely to be reflected at next month’s Vitafoods Europe, which takes place at the Palexpo convention centre, in Geneva, from May 10–12.

Now in its 20th year, the show’s organisers claim this year’s event will be 16 times bigger than the first, with more than 900 exhibitors covering 40,000m2​ of event space and 16,500 visitors expected.

“Without doubt, the show has come a long way since the first edition – when it featured 100 exhibitors, and attracted 1,200 visitors,”​ says Chris Lee, portfolio director for Vitafoods.

In fact, to accommodate its growth, the show will this year relocate from Palexpo Halls 1 and 2, into Halls 3, 4, 5 and 6.

“There will be more room for the increasing number of exhibitors, and a wide selection of new and exciting visitor attractions,”​ Lee says.

Focusing on four key sectors (return to top)

The show will continue to serve the nutraceutical market but will be focused on four distinct sectors: ingredients and raw materials; finished products; contract manufacturing and own-label; and services and equipment.

Geneva: capital of gastronomy

With 140 restaurants – 10 of which are Michelin-starred – Geneva is known as Switzerland’s capital of gastronomy.

The city, which sits between the Alps and Jura mountains and has a population of 200,000, offers a variety of attractions, including the Basilica of Notre-Dame, and Bâtiment des Forces Motrices – an old hydroelectric power station that has been converted into a theatre. There are also boat tours around Lake Geneva to enjoy.

Those staying in a hotel during Vitafoods are eligible for a free transport card, giving you the opportunity to explore the city for no extra cost.

Visit​ for more information about the city.

There will also be a number of new attractions that will put the emphasis on interactivity and bringing nutrition to life, organisers claim.

These include the likes of the Sports Nutrition Zone, where visitors can find out the latest developments in the sports nutrition category. There’s also the Optimal Health Testing Centre, where exhibitors will demonstrate how it’s possible to identify specific health needs and deliver tailored nutrition solutions to meet them.

In the new Life Stages Theatre, experts will discuss specific nutrition requirements for consumers of all ages. Panel discussions will tackle current hot topics such as personalised nutrition, appealing to millennial consumers, addressing allergies, and optimal nutrition for infants and children.

Elsewhere, a new Packaging Innovation Centre will detail the latest advances in packaging technology.

Returning for 2016 will be the Innovation Tours with NutriMarketing, which will focus on the importance of food origin, vegan food, free-from formulations, healthy snacking, and future food forms for tomorrow’s consumers.

Other highlights returning this year include the Exhibition Presentation Theatre, the Tasting Bar, and the Market & Trend Overview, in association with Innova Market Insights.

Coming back for a third year running, meanwhile, is the Nutrition Capital Network European Investor Meeting, where businesses and individuals in the nutrition sector can present their ideas to strategic and private equity investors.

A central role for innovation (return to top)

Reflecting the wider industry, innovation plays a central role throughout the show. According to the Vitafoods survey, 92% of exhibitors said they would launch at least one new product in the coming year, with 21% planning to introduce 10 or more and another 19% promising between five and nine.

In line with this, the event will feature two New Products Zones – one for ingredients and one for finished products.

There will also be the Vitafoods LaunchPad, where visitors will hear bite-sized presentations from exhibitors about their new products.

Organisers say the new Springboard Zone will be a dedicated space for visitors to engage with start-ups and other entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of the nutrition sector.

“It will offer insights into the latest ingredients, products and technologies that make it possible to tap into current and future trends,”​ Lee adds.

The Tasting Bar Spotlight, meanwhile, will be a new extension to the existing Tasting Bar. It will give exhibitors the chance to present their products to visitors while simultaneously offering them the opportunity to taste and sample them.

Reflecting growing consumer desire for healthier ingredients, organisers say there will a focus on four key areas – healthy ageing, digestive health, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

“Particularly exciting is the news that the conference will offer delegates a chance to hear the latest results from four major EU-funded nutrition projects exploring three of these areas,”​ says Lee.

EU regulations on novel foods (return to top)

EU regulations concerning novel foods and nutritional health claims will also be addressed at the show.

“When our survey asked respondents to name the factors that represent the biggest challenges to their companies, stricter regulation was the most commonly selected answer, chosen by 39% of visitors and 37% of exhibitors,”​ says Lee.

“A new attraction this year will be the Regulatory Advice Centre, in association with EAS Strategies, in which visitors will be able to connect one-to-one with experts and discuss the implications of global regulations in the nutrition sector.”

At the Vitafoods Europe Conference, EAS Strategies will also host a workshop that explores a roadmap for bringing new nutritional ingredients to the EU market.

The conference will feature a look at the regulatory aspects of packaging, including the tricky issue of intellectual property, from law firm Bird & Bird.

“Over the past two decades, Vitafoods Europe has become the essential international event for everyone working in the global nutraceutical industry. This year’s edition will be no different,” ​says Lee.

“It is set to be the largest nutrition industry gathering of its kind to date, and will offer more exhibitors, more conference speakers and more visitor attractions than ever before.”

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