Frozen food flags were flying high along with the red and white colors of the Anuga banner at the world’s leading international trade fair for the food and beverage industry at the Koelmesse in Cologne, Germany. The five-day event, which showcased goods and services offered by a record-setting 7,063 companies from 108 countries, and attracted approximately 160,000 visitors from around the world to their stands, concluded on October 14.
There was a cornucopia of new products to see and sample and countless new and old business contacts to meet and greet at the 35th running of Anuga. Among trends spotted in Frozen Food Hall 4 and other sectors of the expansive fairgrounds’ 284,000 square meters of display space were: a proliferation of products catering to the vegetarian and vegan cuisine scene; a raft of higher quality natural and organic meats; more sophisticated snacks, appetizers and value-added ready meals; a glut of gluten-free baked goods; a high tide of sustainable fish and seafood; a flood of hearty soups; and heaps healthy-eating yogurts and ice creams.
Anuga bills itself as “10 Trade Shows in One,” with special zones and platforms set up for key segments of the food industry. The frozen sector ranked third in number this time around, with 528 companies on the premises occupying 27,500 square meters of space. Fine food makers were by far No. 1, with 3,862 exhibitors holding forth within 84,000 square meters of space. Ranking second in presence were meat supplies, with 833 exhibitors taking up an area of 55,000 square meters.
Frozen product producers “punched above their weight” in collecting Anuga Taste 15 prizes, receiving at least a dozen or so Top Innovation awards judged by a jury consisting primarily of food writers from around the world. A synopsis of the winning products follows.
From Green Isle to Vepura Hariyali
It was perhaps the luck as well as the creative skill of the Irish that brought Green Isle Foods to the “Daily Double” finish line, as both its Marco Sweet Pizzas and Bakehouse Pulled Pork Pies were Top Innovations winners.
Distributed in units of two per retail pack and produced in Portumna, County Galway, Ireland, by the Birmingham, England-headquartered 2 Sisters Food Group member company, Green Isle’s Bakehouse offering serves up as single-serve pies filled with tender pieces of pulled pork in a rich barbecue sauce encased in puff pastry.
The San Marco Sweet Pizza, packed in Longford, Ireland, is hardly a pizza at all in the traditional sense in which cheese and tomato sauce are required ingredients. Indeed, it features a sweet, thin pizza base covered with perennial dessert favorite chocolate brownie and apple crumble toppings.
“We are delighted to receive the Anuga Taste15 awards at the world’s largest food show,” said Liam Hyland, head of exports at Green Isle Foods. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams, who have pushed the boundaries of traditional product categories to deliver innovative and exciting new products which appeal to today’s consumers seeking traditional foods with a modern twist.”
Two Spanish companies won Anuga Taste 15 prizes. Somosierra of Alcobendas was saluted for its Royne Triple Sin Special line of lactose-, sugar- and gluten-free ice cream covered in dark chocolate, while Nice Fruit S.L. of Castellbisal-Barcelona was honored for 10 years of research that has enabled production of fresh-frozen fruit with enhanced cellular structure integrity. Nice Fruit’s technology enables enhanced preservation of vitamins, flavor, texture and organoleptic properties.
Pedron SPA of Molvena, Italy, was feted for its Bioritmi frozen grains and vegetable salads ready to serve after just four minutes of microwaving. Two products are now available in 250-gram packs: Italian Faro and Red Qinoa with Broccoli, and 5 Cereali, featuring five grains with green peas, red beans, grilled peppers and corn.
A fellow Italian frozen food producer, Righi Srl of Emilia, won the Anuga Taste 15 award for its debut of Gelato di Verdura vegetable ice cream featuring carrots and lemon and tomato and strawberry flavors. Two 50-gram containers come per pack.
Another ice cream product prize winner was Little Moons Ltd. of London, England. Its Matcha Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream consists of artisan green tea matcha gelato wrapped in soft Japanese mochi, which serves up a delicate combination of texture and taste. Six 32-gram units come per package. Among other flavors in the range are Toasted Sesame and Raspberry.
Dutch companies racked up the most prizes among frozen food producers, taking three top awards back to Holland. Among them were Oosterhout-based Salud FoodGroup Europe. Its victorious prefried Battered and Breaded Avocado Slices are available in pepper and natural flavors.
The Frozen Butcher, a Zoeterwoude, Holland-based unit of Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat, was presented with Anuga Taste 15 honors for its Beef Burger pack made of 100% Brazilian beef sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.
The nation’s third frozen product winner was 100% natural “Bake Your Own” Artisanal Sour Bread from Amsterdam-based Bakery Service Holland BV. End users need only defrost the package and then slice, shape and decorate the contents as desired. Oven bake-off time is just 18 minutes at approximately 180°C. Thereafter the signature sour dough is ready to serve after cooling down a bit.
Milla la Foret, France-headquartered Daregal, a frozen herbs specialist, won an Anuga Taste 15 award for its newly launched Infusion Frozen Herbal Teas assortment. Positioned as an alternative to classic and dried herbal teas, it is rich in essential oils and free of artificial flavors. Flavors currently available are peppermint, lemon-thyme and Thai basil.
Cologne, Germany-based Vepura GmbH won the Anuga Taste 15 Top Innovation award for its Sabz Miloni Hariyali frozen ready meal consisting of vegetables in a spicy spinach-cashew sauce served with yellow basmati rice. “Hariyali” refers to the color green, and thus to the spinach which provides the curry base of the dish.
– Reported by John Saulnier