Free from functional food and health ingredients show set for Barcelona

The organisers of this year’s Free From Functional Food & Health Ingredients (FFFHI) event have signed up around 350 exhibitors for the trade fair being held in Barcelona on May 28-29.

Around 4,500 visitors from the food trade and industry are expected at the event, including confectionery and snacks based products anticipated, with attendees able to explore the latest developments in these booming market segments, expand their international networks and enjoy a top-tier conference programme.

The two-day event, which takes place in the Gran Via at Fira de Barcelona, will allow brand and private label owners and marketers to learn from and be inspired by technology experts in one convenient location.

Manufacturers will be able to gather information about ingredients that can be used to deliver Free From foods, beverages and functional products. Retailers, meanwhile, will be able to see first hand the latest developments in Free From, vegan ingredients, alongside natural and organic products that satisfy the ongoing trend towards foods from sustainable and natural sources.

The list of exhibitors from 35 countries includes leading food producers such as Granarolo (Italy) and Kentaur (Switzerland), ingredient manufacturers such as Cambridge Commodities (UK) and Edlong (Ireland) as well as numerous companies that have both raw materials and end products in their portfolios, such as Molino Nicoli and Molino Favero (Italy).

Visitors will include buyers and category managers from major retailers as well as trend scouts from organic food chains and health food stores. With its comprehensive approach, FFFHI reflects the multifaceted, evolving Free From market, which is being driven by the fact that consumers with clinically confirmed intolerances and allergies are no longer the only target audience.

According to the European Shopper Survey (IRi 2017), growing numbers of generally health-conscious consumers are now also among the buyers. Vegan products too have long since ended their niche existence and now represent a welcome change for vegetarians and flexitarians. According to 2018 figures from the market research institute Mintel, the annual number of vegan product launches has tripled in the last five years.

Ronald Holman, exhibition director at organiser Expo Business Communications, said: “Our goal has always been to be the premier meeting place and think tank for retailers, food manufacturers and their suppliers. With Free From products especially, consumer demands are growing just as rapidly as the market sector itself: Best taste, a convincing sensory profile and, if possible, ingredients from sustainable sources are required for product success. Now in its seventh year, our event has established itself as the leading platform where marketing experts, category managers, product developers and technologists can join forces to develop new approaches and solutions.”

The FFFHI conference programme also provides groundbreaking impetus: on both days of the show, experts from retail, industry and market research will present more than 60 free to attend lectures, seminars and workshops on various topics, including successful brand creation, innovation in product development and current consumer trends. Amongst others, Alexandra Kirsch from ProVeg will cover “Labelling and Assessment for vegan Products”, while Emma Schofield from market analyst Mintel will offer in-depth insights into “The Future of Clean Label”. Furthermore, “Meet the expert” is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to set up round-table conversations with other industry professionals at the show. Seats can be reserved in advance online.

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