By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director
Yes, indeed – or rather, Aber Ja! October in Germany is a special time to celebrate for a myriad, or should we say unzählige of reasons. October 3rd is National Unity Day, the 6th marks the climax of three weekends of Octoberfest in Munich, and from October 5-9 the 100th anniversary of the Anuga will take place in Cologne.
As somebody who has attended the biennial Allegemeine Nahrungs-und Genussmittel-Ausstellung trade fair – that’s the formal name for Anuga – since 1981 with only one or two exceptions, I continue to regard the event as the world’s most important B2B exhibition for spotting and appreciating the latest food industry trends and developments and savoring the flavor in the process. While the extraordinary proliferation of national and regional shows around the globe has been remarkable over the past generation, Anuga still stands tallest as the most international in scope.
It all began in Stuttgart in 1919 as an adjunct to a domestic conference organized by retail store operators in Germany. About 200 exhibitors, none of which were from outside the host country, supported in inaugural event. Over the next decade or so the fair was held annually in 10 different major German cities including Munich, Hannover, Berlin and Cologne.
The first appearance after World War II saw the show return to Cologne, and for every second year thereafter the vibrant Koelnmesse venue adjacent to the city center along the Rhine River has been the permanent home away from home in October for the world’s leading producers, buyers and sellers of food and drink products
This year’s edition will showcase the products and services of approximately 7,500 exhibitors from more than 100 countries. Upwards of 165,000 visitors are expected to hike through the halls and experience “10 trade shows under one roof” as they “Taste the Future.”
As always, the frozen food sector will be well represented – this time with around 600 exhibitors congregating in Halls 4.1 and 4.2. Others will be conducting business in national pavilions and at stands elsewhere within the sprawling fairgrounds.
The expansive frozen food contingent will literally span the global industry from A to Z in name and nationality. Among companies showing their stuff will be frozen vegetable and fruit producers Ardo, Givrex, Crop’s, Greenyard and d’Arta, while the potato sector will include Agrarafrost, Aviko, Agristo, Lutosa, McCain Foods Europe, Ecofrost, Farm Frites, Mydibel, Clarebout and others.
Mushroom specialist Scelta will have a major presence, as will frozen cake and pie makers Erlenbacher Backwaren and Sweet Street Desserts.
Visitors keen on meeting the meat mavens will find no shortage of suppliers. To name just a few: meatball maker Gunnar Dafgard, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meats and Vossko will be in high profile.
Among companies on the seafood front will be Escal SA, Nordic Fish and surimi maker Viciunai, which also produces many other items ranging from Asian-style dumplings to pizza.
Finger food specialist Solomon FoodWorld also promises to make a “fantastic” appearance as usual, and folks visiting the Roncadin stand will find it hard to resist of seductive ice cream samples.
The German Frozen Food Institute (dti) stand (B011/C10 in Hall 4.2) will serve as the central point of contact for the frozen food industry in Germany. Those who stop by for a chat with members of the trade association’s team will learn much about what the nation’s leading manufacturers and distributors have to offer.
Before the show dti outlined a number of positive developments in the both retail and foodservice sectors, among them ongoing rising demand for convenience products and healthy eating.
“The trend towards meat substitute products wouldn’t be conceivable without frozen food. The new meat alternatives are at home in the frozen food department,” reported dti. “Convenience remains very important for consumers. Ready-made meals and bakery products satisfy the wish for time-saving options and reduced workloads. Frozen food products are especially indispensable in the out-of-home market and are recording high growth rates. Pre-portioned and ready-prepared components ensure the highest safety, flexible preparation and portioning and relieve the burden on the staff in the professional kitchens. Frozen food supports the foodservice sector with its culinary core competence, because many tailor-made concepts and products offer the right answers to meet the high demands of the guests.”
Now that’s saying something we can all raise a glass to in Cologne!
The FrozenFoodsBiz.com crew can’t wait for the 37th running of the show to kick off. We look forward to meeting with old friends and making new contacts in Cologne while celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Anuga. See you there!