Show season continues

I have reported on several shows and exhibitions in recent newsletters and, with show season still in full swing, I clocked up a few more air miles last week with a visit to Emballage in Paris as well as Food Matters Live in London.

First up was Emballage, which took place in Paris at the Nord Villepinte exhibition centre from 17-20 November. A trade event for the packaging, logistics and handling industries, the biennial event bought four business sectors together: packaging, processing, printing and handling for the food, health and beauty industries.

Professionals gathered for four days of international packaging and handling trends, and were treated to conferences, a TV studio broadcasting live, a showcase of packaging innovations and the exhibition, which featured 1,500 exhibitors. Highlights included:

  • Pack Vision – to take stock of future regulatory changes, analyse business trends and understand the challenges faced by other countries, the Pack Vision conference programme focused on sectoral and cross-cutting issues
  • SYMOP Forum – expert speakers, presentations of real life and transposable customer cases and informal discussions between professionals helped to build a clear vision of the market and the solutions available
  • Pack Innovation – dedicated to the latest exhibitor innovations and trends, 48 new products selected by experts and professionals from the packaging sector were displayed this year.

Next on my agenda was Food Matters Live, which took place at London’s ExCeL from 18-20 November. This was the show’s first year and its focus on the relationship between food, health and nutrition proved a success, with dates for Food Matters Live 2015 already confirmed.

As well as an exhibition featuring more than 200 organisations – from global corporations to new ventures, food science pioneers and retailing experts – a three-day conference programme featured discussions on a range of topics – from the nutritional state of the nation to advances in nutrigenomics. In addition, over 80 seminar sessions saw more than 300 speakers offer practical advice on topics from nutrition for health and wellbeing and strategies to reduce salt, sugar and fat consumption, to strategies for business growth and the latest developments in food science and technology. Highlights included:

  • Healthy profits: realising the business potential of ‘better for you’ – as consumer awareness of the connections between diet and health increases, demand for ‘better for you’ food and drink continues to grow. The UK market is already valued at £20 billion with analysts predicting revenue growth potential of up to 70% in the next few years, providing a robust and responsible attractive business case for the UK food and drink industry. The session explored how industry can capitalise on the growth potential of ‘better for you’ and the challenges which must be overcome to realise the returns
  • Reinforcing the role of reformulation – the UK leads the world in product reformulation and much progress has been achieved over the past decade, but it is widely recognised that much more needs to be done for the benefit of public health. Reformulating food and drink that people are happy and accustomed to consuming (as opposed to changing their diets) is crucial to improving public health. However, reformulation advances continue to face barriers such as government restrictions on substitutes, time taken to realise technological improvements, and a lack of industry guidelines on gaining legal approval for novel applications. The session looked at what it will take to deliver further reformulation at scale, and ensure cross-sector knowledge transfer of leading research and development.

I am exhibition-free this week so am reacquainting myself with the office before heading to Amsterdam for HiE next week!

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