Trade Associations, Shows & Conferences

Anuga Opens Doors to Serve Up Tastes of Future, Present and Past 

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The 2021 edition of Anuga in Cologne, Germany, which kicked off on October 9 and will run for five days through the 13th, is like none other. While numerous safety precautions and restrictions are in place as the world continues to cope with the Covid-19 health crisis, the show is set to succeed in providing a viable international business platform for members of the frozen food industry to again conduct face-to-face business en masse.

Anuga promises to highlight the transition in food behavior with its key theme #transform. Furthermore, for the first time, the trade fair will be accompanied by its digital extension, Anuga @home, which will run from October 11-13. The digital edition of the event will showcase exhibitors, thereby providing new global networking opportunities. In total, more than 4,000 suppliers from over 91 countries are expected to travel to Cologne to attend the show in person.

Having surveyed leading frozen food companies that will show their stuff at Anuga, FrozenFoodsBiz is pleased to offer an abbreviated samples of what’s in store for visitors, as follows:

Givrex Spotlights Semi Fried Falafel

From Alexandria, Egypt, Semi Fried Falafel will be among a myriad of frozen vegetable and fruit products displayed front and center at Givrex Stand No. D41 in Hall 4.2.

Eric Mansour, who heads the company founded by his father Robert in 1978, provided FrozenFoodsBiz with a short history lesson about the true origin of falafel: “Its birthplace is Egypt, and the word ‘falafel’ can be traced back to Coptic origin notes ‘pha la phel’ (Φα Λα Φελ), meaning ‘of many beans.’ It was first eaten by Coptic Christians as a meat alternative, and has become a popular food in Egypt and throughout the Middle East and beyond.” 

Givrex Semi Fried Falafel, which is easy to prepare as a meal or side dish for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, contains no GMOs and is gluten-free. High quality ingredients include fava beans, chick peas or a mixture of both, along with sorted herbs, onions, garlic and spices. Shaped into uniform size and shape patties, then fried to golden-brown color, the tasty result is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Falafel is a very versatile product that can be served as an appetizer enjoyed with tahini, hummus and tzatziki dip, or wrapped into a pita sandwich. Additioanlly, a salad with chopped vegetables dressed in tahini sauce and topped with falafel makes for a protein-rich lunch or dinner.

Finger Food Boom at Frostkrone

The Frostkrone Food Group is a byword for variety and diversity and, as such, is driving demand for its finger food and snacks portfolio. At Anuga 2021, the Reitberg, Germany-headquartered company will spotlight a kaleidoscope of innovations, including a new food range displayed in refrigerated cabinets, which is immediately ready to eat.

The extensive frozen selection already on offer from the Frostkrone is impressive. It ranges from small finger food specialties to trendy snack ideas, tasty potato nibbles, exquisite cream cheese delicacies right up to practical pizza pockets for the oven and microwave.

Every year the range is extended by new product ideas mirroring current trends. For example, the Frostkrone Food Group has revamped its “Crunchy Homies” by adding more varieties to the assortment, such as the Gouda Rings seen above. Thanks to utilization of a new type of technology and the special crispy coating, all the products are very crunchy when they come out of the oven. The ready-to-eat range offers a vast selection of vegan and vegetarian flavors – snacks with a medley of vegetables, some just with cheese or others together in a vegetable and cheese mix – and there are also variations with chicken.

From October 11-13, Frostkrone will showcase its extensive selection of finger food and snacks at Anuga@home, the digital platform of the food exhibition. An array of product videos and all manner of documentation can be downloaded, including two presentations — one of which highlights the new ready-to-eat range.

Furthermore, visitors to the show will have the possibility of getting in touch with the Frostkrone Food Group team at any time and of receiving extra information and indeed tailor-made advice and support. Show-goers are also welcome to arrange online appointments before the event.

Finally, there is a feeling of pride among member of the Frostkrone Food Group team as one of its Beetroots Balls product has made it into the Top 10 Innovations listing at this year’s Anuga.

Ardo Pulsates with Pulses

With pulses  now more popular than ever among consumers, Ardo, headquartered in the West Flanders region of Belgium and operating 21 production plants in nine countries, has expanded its range of legumes to include black beans, white beans and red kidney beans, packed in 1 kg bags. The company has also developed a multi-colored mix with red, green and brown lentils. These, as well as its 1 kg packs of chick peas and edamame soybeans will be in high profile at Anuga at Stand B029-C028 in Hall 4.2. 

Pulses are great as components in salads, stews, curries, or as a meat substitute and are therefore a must-have in every kitchen. A more detailed report on Ardo’s extensive range of pulses as well as its innovative Beetroot Burger is available by checking out this link:

Frozen, Aromatic Herbs from Herbafrost

The way the folks at Hulshout, Belgium-based Herbafrost sees things, “Standing still is going backward.” Thus, having listened closely to the needs of their clients, two years ago the company started a product line for smaller packaging of 250 grams. 

Good things come in small packages, and thanks to handy re-sealable packaging, the fresh taste of the herbs is retained for a long time, as the Herbafrost team will be all to pleased to demonstrate at Anuga. 

Moreover, the company will be presenting a full range of Herb Drops (pictured above) at the show. These are easily portioned, ready to use, and dissolve nicely in any dish. Thanks to the creamy texture and intense taste, they are highly appreciated by those who have already discovered them. That is why plans are afoot to further develop and expand the range. 

Thanks to proximity to the cultivation fields and its fully automated production lines, Herbafrost’s herbs are processed and frozen within four hours after the harvest, so freshness and quality are guaranteed.  

Scelta Showcases Mushrooms and Vegetable Bites

Mushrooms from Venlo, Netherlands-headquartered Scelta are prepared in many ways. One can choose from frozen, chilled, or ambient offerings, and find the perfect cut, shape or variety. The company’s frozen mushrooms closely resemble their fresh counterparts, with a very distinctive shape, a consistent bite, and a freshly-harvested flavor profile.

During Anuga 2021, Scelta will also present a wide range of appetizers, including breaded or battered vegetable bites that are  pre-fried in a crispy golden-brown coating and available in various flavors. Among the value-added offerings in addition to mushrooms are onions, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini. Presentation is in their original shape or formed into fries or nuggets.

Greens and More Greens from d’Arta

D’Arta is a Belgian family-owned company founded in 1988 that has grown into a global player in the development, processing, and commercialization of frozen vegetables, fruits, herbs, and ready-made side dishes such as gratins (as seen below). Capitalizing on market expertise and close collaboration with customers, its keeps coming up with innovative convenience products that offer added value and convenience.

A wide range of products are marketed under d’Arta’s high-quality Greens and Greens Cuisin’easy brands. Also produced are private label products and specially developed goods. They are customized products, solutions that offer added value and convenience as a starting point.

‘Cake Knowhow of the Future’ from Erlenbacher

During the last 45 years, Erlenbacher Backwaren GmbH has become the number one for frozen cakes, tarts, and desserts in the European out-of-home market. The company has always remained true to its recipe for success: traditional craftsmanship combined with state-of-the-art technology and the best ingredients. With almost 600 employees, the market leader produces more than 23 million premium baked goods annually for system gastronomy, catering, and specialized wholesalers. 

“At Anuga, we are presenting our new Barista Cakes. The special feature? The flavors of the four-round cakes are adjusted to match the different coffee specialties perfectly,” said Jette Weigel, head of brand management of the Gross-Gerau, Germany-based unit of the Froneri Group. “The Barista assortment includes the juicy Apple Cassis Cake, a fruity-chocolate Chocolate Raspberry Cake, the salty-sweet Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake, and a vegan Banana Walnut Cake. They are ideal for all catering establishments with a high level of coffee expertise that want to highlight their range. Whether it’s a café or a company restaurant, in the future every restaurateur will be able to offer the perfect cake to go with their coffee specialties. Guests want the ‘perfect match’ of coffee and cake. That’s why we have developed a flavor wheel to go with our Barista Cakes. This helps restaurateurs to serve the right hot drink to go with each round cake.

“Moreover, when there are many guests in the house, restaurateurs are under enormous time pressure. But here, too, the Barista Cakes succeed because of their short defrosting times.”

Ditsch Throws Pretzel Boomerangs

Along with its brand-new savory herb butter and garlic butter-filled pretzels, Mainz, Germany-based Brezelbдckerei Ditsch GmbH has introduced another new filling, salted caramel, which is a trendy flavor. Pretzels filled with sweet and salty butter caramel cream appeal especially to younger consumers, as confirmed by a market research study commissioned by Ditsch, which is a unit of the Swiss Valora Group. The filled pretzels offer consumers a nutritious snack and a multisensory taste experience through the combination of filling, topping, and pretzel products.

The show stopper for Ditsch at Anuga will be its new pretzel boomerangs – with a delicate part of the pretzel filled the whole way through with salted butter. Boomerangs are promoted as “an irresistible combination that makes every bite a treat.” Moreover, thanks to being ready-baked, they are fast and reliable. Just defrost them and heat them briefly in the oven! 

There are also new additions to the company’s range of pretzel dough: organic pretzels, pretzel swirls, and pretzel braids. 

Taste Needs Time – La Lorraine

Consumers of baked goods today crave authentic, artisanal products. They don’t want to find high quality loaves of bread exclusively at their artisanal bake shop, but also expect to see them offered at foodservice and retail outlets. This is what specialists of the Ninove, Belgium-headquartered La Lorraine Bakery Group believe. 

“We also know that consumers love sourdough bread products because for them sourdough represents the authentic taste and looks of a bread, which is why we have mastered fermentation and maturation processes,” said a La Lorraine spokesman.

This year the company introduced an extension to the range, adding new flavors and different formats. Already offering a broad assortment of white and multigrain loaves, it debuted white and multigrain baguettes and demi baguettes; artisanal durum grain loaves of bread (rolls, demi baguettes, baguettes and loaves) — all made with 100% durum grain (ancient hard wheat, also called semolina) and unique active, liquid sourdough.

“We introduced two complete new flavors in four formats: oat-sunflower and buckwheat-linseed formats (rolls, demi baguettes, baguettes and loaves),” the La Lorraine spokesman explained. “Among other products we will display at Anuga will be Pops and Drops Croissants, Italian Sandwich Breads, Donut Worry Be Happy Donuts, and Donut Bites. 

Structured as four business groups, La Lorraine operates from 12 state-of-the art production sites in Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Romania, the Czech Republic and in the near future also in Russia. Products are marketed to more than 30 countries, each serviced by local commercial representatives.

Tonitto Dishes Out Diverse Ice Cream Line

Some may prefer sorbetto, others gelato, frozen yogurt, or simply sugar-free ice cream. Italian producer Tonitto will display a wide variety of ranges at Anuga. Perhaps the best known is the Coppa Famiglia, a traditional classic treat for lovers of real Italian ice cream.

Recipes strictly adhered to by the Genova-based company are the original ones from Tonitto’s 1939 ice cream shop, now especially revisited to meet modern consumer needs for convenience at a reasonable price. 

All Tonitto products are free of preservative and contain no GMOs. An extensive lineup of flavors runs the gamut from Cassata, Tiramisù, Yellow Vanilla and Tonitto Cream, to Paciugo Portofino Style, Choco-Stracciatella Mix, Black-Cherry Fiordilatte Mix, Meringue and Choco-Mint Cream, and more. 

Organizers are Well Prepared

Despite the fourth wave of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China more than two years ago, Koelnmesse management, the organizer of Anuga, expects this year’s hybrid edition (in person and @home) to be a successful event. According to the latest interim figures, more than 370 exhibitors will participate in the Anuga Frozen Food section. Additional registrations are expected to come in before the show kicks off, particularly from the countries represented in national pavilions. 

In addition, other frozen food exhibitors will appear in the Anuga Meat and Anuga Bread & Bakery halls. The selection of products on show in Anuga Frozen Food ranges from fish and meat, fruit and vegetables, ready meals, bread and baked goods, ice cream, pizza, and potato products to bulk quantities for customers in the communal catering and foodservice sectors. In addition, some suppliers with a focus on plant-based or alternative protein products, such as fish substitutes, will also be represented.

In an exclusive interview with FrozenFoodsBiz, Anne Schumacher, Koelnmesse’s Vice President for Food & Food Technology (pictured above), commented:

“Right now, we have about 370 registered exhibitors for the Anuga Frozen Food. This is an excellent result given the current situation we are coming from. As for the visitors, we recognize an increase in registrations from both international and domestic buyers, and we are very optimistic that Anuga will be again be the place to be for the entire food and beverage industry.”

She added: “Of course, we must assume that the overall number of visitors at this year’s Anuga will differ from the last edition in 2019, but the important message is that we are back! Anuga Frozen Food will also again be the place for top innovations. Consumers’ desire for healthy, and sustainable food has grown even further during the coronavirus pandemic – much to the benefit of frozen products, which have profited significantly from this trend.”

The new product tool on Anuga’s website has more than 130 entries with frozen product innovations. Indeed, the frozen food industry has been one of the most innovative sectors for some time now.

“This year we recognize several suppliers focusing on plant-based or alternative protein products, such as fish and meat substitutes,” said Schumacher. “Also, creative ideas such as purple fries or frozen pesto drips can be seen at Anuga. We very much look forward to our first hybrid edition. Of course, our focus is still on the physical fair because nothing can replace the smelling and tasting of products. But we know that digital solutions such as Anuga @home can be a great add-on to the physical fair. The hybrid approach enables food industry professionals worldwide to discover attractive trade fair stands and products and get in touch with relevant contacts via innovative channels. Digital tools, therefore, open up entirely new opportunities for lead generation and networking.”

Moreover, the hybrid trade fair allows visitors to concentrate on the physical encounter during their visit on-site and to experience content events afterward at Anuga @home. This year, Anuga @home is also a good alternative for our customers who cannot travel and still want to present their portfolio to international food experts and buyers. The organizers expect a great exchange here, and even after Anuga, we provide the show’s digital content, e.g., lectures, presentations, and discussions, to our audience. With this, we create an entirely new digital trade fair experience on the screens at home or in the office.

FrozenFoodsBiz-Moderated IFFN Panel Discussion

Among the digital content made available both during and after the Anuga was the International Frozen Food Network (IFFN) Round Table discussion moderated by John Saulnier of FrozenFoodBiz. It features insights and analysis of current topics affecting the international frozen food industry made by Dr. Sabine Eichner and Bernd Stark, managing director and chairman, respectively of the Berlin, Germany-headquartered Deutsches Tiefkülhinstitue; Guillaume Le Duff and Luc Darbonne of Paris, France-based Les Enterprises de Glaces et Surgeles (Les EGS); Richard Harrow, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF); Alison Bodor, president and chief executive officer of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI); Renato Bonaglia, president of the Rome, Italy-headquartered Unions Nazionale Alimenti Surgelati (UNAS); and Gerben Nijeboer of VriesVers Platform in the Netherlands.

Check out the video at:

– Reported by Dan Orehov