Free From Functional & Health Ingredients sees record year

Free From Functional & Health Ingredients (FFF&HI) saw its biggest year yet when it welcomed more than 7,800 key buyers and decision makers from the free from food, drink and sustainable packaging industries, a rise of 52%.

Visitors took advantage of the packed schedule of conference sessions from decision makers in the world of retail, ingredients, wholesale, distribution and foodservice, pioneering brands and products, plus multiple networking opportunities.

Five core areas of the free from market; free from, vegan, natural and organic, functional and health ingredients were represented across four conference stages with insights from key speakers.

The conference schedule revealed an 11.5% increase in sales of free from foods across Europe in the past year and the 133% growth of the UK free from market since FFF&HI began in 2013.

FFF&HI was the platform for new brands and product launches from those shaping the organic, vegan, functional foods and ingredients markets.

On the first day, FFF&HI unveiled the winner of its Product of the Year Awards – a celebration of free from food and drink products launched in the past year. Manufacturers and producers put their best innovations for contention to be crowned winner and runner up across three categories, Product of the Year, Best New Brand, Free From Plastics.

Product of the Year Award

  • Winner: Qwrkee Foods – Pea M’LK
  • Runner-up: Ambrosiae
  • Runner-up: Pizza Mi – gluten free pizza bases

Best New Brand

  • Winner: I am Bart’s – Vegan Nutrition Bites
  • Runner-up: Juustoportti – Organic and Gluten free Oat Drinks made from Finnish Premium Oats

Free From Plastics Packaging

  • Winner: EncajaBio – Packaging system and cellulose film which sustainably reduces the carbon footprint

The lifetime achievement award was given to Molino Nicoli, European gluten free cereal-based producers.

I Am Bart’s launched a range of organic snack bars made with vegetables, fruit and seeds without preservatives and added sugars. Commenting on winning Best New Brand, founder, Bart Veldkamp said: “We are delighted to have won an award, especially as it’s our first time exhibiting at a trade show. We’ve been impressed with this dynamic show and the high quality of the visitors. The team has worked very hard and we are very proud of this win. It’s great to be recognised as we’re in the company of such interesting brands showcasing fantastic products – I’m very proud to be surrounded by such great innovators.”

FFF&HI Exhibition director, Ronald Holman said: “It was fantastic to return to Barcelona and we are absolutely delighted with the number of visitors that came to discover what’s happening at the forefront of the free from industry. It’s great to see returning exhibitors and new ones coming to showcase such a diverse range of products and the industry leading experts who drive the market forward.

“We’ve received a fantastic response from show visitors and exhibitors alike. We’re looking forward to hearing about the outcomes for our exhibitors this year and seeing what the show will bring in 2020.”

FFF&HI will return in Amsterdam from 23-24 June, 2020.

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