This week, Barcelona once again played host to one of Europe’s leading international tradeshows – Alimentaria.
Celebration its 40th outing – and its 20th in Spain – the event attracted 140,000 visitors to the pavilions of the Fira Gran Via in the south of the city, where 3,800 companies exhibited products from all sectors of the consumer goods industry. International exhibitors were reported to be up, perhaps indicating a growing profile for the event worldwide. 2,000 overseas delegates (30% of the total numbers) were recorded to have passed through the doors, 600 of which were classed as “high level” visitors – a 50% increase on 2012.
Continuing its particular emphasis on innovation, Alimentaria once again made a focal point of Innoval, an exhibition showcasing over 230 novel food and beverage launches from around the world. Just as at last week’s Food & Drink Expo in the UK, the health and wellness theme was the most salient, with products such as natural energy drinks and functional reworkings of traditional products – such as olive oil enhanced with lycopene – proving a particular source of inspiration.
Meanwhile Alimentaria also continued to be a forum for more inventive examples of product innovation, particularly in the convenience realm. Borrowing from the world of impulse ice cream, one company unveiled a ‘pizza on a stick’ – turning the classic hot food into a truly on-the-go item – while the continued popularity of spray formats saw one company launch a range of aerosol pastry products that allow the consumer to just ‘spray and bake’.
Conversations with delegates hinted at a renewed sense of optimism, with export opportunities allied to signs of growth in the domestic market helping to rebuild confidence. Aside from exploiting the health and wellness theme, many companies reported that providing consumers with new experiences through bold flavours and concepts was increasingly the key to successful product innovation.
Read more about Alimentaria 2014 in the April issue of Gama News.
Additional information sourced from Alimentaria.