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Anuga 2017: ESM Meets Dietmar Eiden, Vice-President, Koelnmesse

An event the size of Anuga takes many months of preparation. Indeed, planning for the next edition, in 2019, is likely to commence as soon as the curtains close on this year’s proceedings. ESM chats to Dietmar Eiden, vice-president of trade-fair management Koelnmesse, about how Anuga 2017 came together.

ESM: You’re coming to the end of a ‘world tour’ of press conferences. Why was this important, and what did you learn from the experience?

Dietmar Eiden: Anuga is one of the most international trade fairs in the world – 89% of its exhibitors and 63% of its visitors come from outside Germany – hence, Anuga reflects the global food industry, with an extremely international line-up.

We, accordingly, address international target groups with our communications. The press-conference tour is a key element here.

As a trade show, Anuga is continuously growing and evolving. What new concepts are you most looking forward to this year?

This year, we have integrated the trade show ‘Anuga Hot Beverages’ into our concept. Hot beverages were, up until now, always presented at Anuga together with the bakery products. The division of these into two sections – Anuga Hot Beverages and Anuga Bread & Bakery – has met with a very good response from the exhibitors. I am looking forward to experiencing this implementation at the fairgrounds.

We have also redefined the theme ‘cuisine’. The trade show ‘Anuga Culinary Concepts’ will present cooking skills, technology, equipment and gastronomy concepts, and thus forms the central meeting point for the foodservice industry at Anuga.

With 160,000 trade visitors expected from more than 190 countries, as well as 7,200 exhibitors, Anuga is a massive logistical challenge.

How early does the planning  begin, and what is the most challenging aspect of bringing it all together?

The planning for Anuga spans over the period of two years. We evaluate our experiences after Anuga and then immediately get started on the exhibitor communications again. The biggest challenge in the scope of Anuga is to further develop the trade fair in line with the market.

We successfully achieved this again this year. Both the ‘Anuga Hot Beverages’ and the ‘Anuga Culinary Concepts’ will set new standards. At the same time, the other trade shows are each confirming their own strong positioning.

India has been selected as the partner country this year – a market with a long-standing culinary heritage, although one that is still ‘emerging’ in terms of market positioning and sophistication. Why do you think this is a good choice of partner?

We established a close relationship with the Indian Ministry for the Food Processing Industries since we staged our first food fairs in India. Hence, Koelnmesse has been successfully organising trade fairs focusing on food in India for many years.

For example, Annapoorna – World of Food India and ANUTEC India are staged in Mumbai and Delhi. Last year, I was able to address the Minister, Her Hon’ble Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and to strengthen our partnership. Also, the Minister and her delegation visited Anuga two years ago. This year, she will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of Anuga 2017.

With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is, in itself, already a huge sales market for food and beverages. At the same time, the Indian middle class with a disposable income is growing rapidly. Furthermore, the food industry in India itself is showing constant development.

This includes the agricultural industry, as well as the production and the retail trade. That means India is also an important sourcing market.

In addition, Indian cuisine has its very own standing, and friends all over the world. Hence, India is an ideal partner country for Anuga, especially since the number of Indian exhibitors and visitors at Anuga has shown excellent development over the course of the years, and will indeed set a record at the coming trade fair. We are very much looking forward to working with this strong and multifaceted partner country.

Trends and innovations will receive particular focus at Anuga 2017. How does the event ensure that it keeps one step ahead of the latest trends influencing the market?

At the ‘Anuga Taste Innovation Show’ trend presentation, we are offering trade-fair visitors a condensed representation of the current product trends, which a jury comprised of journalists has selected from among the products of the exhibitors.

Parallel to this, the Anuga visitors can inform themselves about the latest worldwide developments in the course of trend lectures by the market-research institute Innova Market Insights and in the respective Anuga Trend Zone. Two congresses on focal themes also address the topic of trends. On the one hand, the Innovation Food Conference – iFood 2017 – is being staged again at Anuga. This high-class conference deals with the megatrends in the food business and discusses future strategies and possibilities with experts from the food-technology sector, industry and trade.

Furthermore, the theme ‘e-commerce in the food trade’ is being addressed for the first time at a food show in the scope of a congress.

At the E-Grocery [email protected] 2017, we are offering decision-makers from the trade and industry the opportunity to get to know the various forms and goals of digital strategies and check to see if they are implementable within one’s own company.

With this congress, we are picking up on one of the prevailing trends within the trade. Online trade and digital marketing, in combination with a strong and customer-oriented bricks-and-mortar trade, is the concept for the future, especially in the strongly developed markets of Europe, Asia and North America.

You have introduced an Anuga Hot Beverages platform for the first time. Why was the time right to introduce this, do you think?

Hot beverages, particularly coffee, have triggered countless impulses in the retail trade and in the out-of-home market in the past few years. This segment has developed a strong independence, which we are doing justice to with this trade show.

Anuga Hot Beverages will, however, not exclusively present coffee, but also tea, herbal tea, tea blends, and so on. Here there are numerous opportunities for manufacturers to draw attention to themselves with new and exciting products, and visitors will no doubt acknowledge this.

The Anuga Culinary Concepts platform will bundle together the expertise and innovation from chefs, technology providers, equipment providers, and so forth. Why is this collaborative approach so important?

Of the more than 7,200 companies that are exhibiting at Anuga, over 4,000 have stated that they can and want to supply the out-of-home market. As such, for the out-of-home market, Anuga is the largest platform in the world.

With Anuga Culinary Concepts, we are providing this industry with a special presentation platform and, thus, additional visibility. Here on the Anuga Culinary Stage, for instance, international cooking competitions will be conducted and products and interesting lectures will be presented, providing the ideal mixture between information and entertainment.

There is also an increased focus on wine knowledge, through the Anuga Wine Special event within Anuga Drinks. In what ways is Anuga seeking to increase the educational aspect of the various trade shows that it encompasses?

Wine is important for both the retail trade and the out-of-home market. At Anuga, we would like to make it experienceable, in the form of seminars and tasting sessions. Anuga Wine Special has helped us achieve this very well over the last few years. The wines of the Anuga exhibitors are presented centrally, and the visitor can gain a good overview and engage in an exchange with the experts. This is beneficial for all parties involved.

We also offer something similar on the theme of olive oil, namely the Anuga Olive Oil Market. Here, too, an attractive special event presents numerous olive oils, of a wide range of origins, in combination with expert consultations and tasting sessions.

It’s interesting that Anuga Fine Food is the largest of all the trade shows featured at Anuga. Why is this? Has there been a real movement towards gourmet, high-quality foods?

For buyers from the trade and the out-of-home market, there is no better inspiration than Anuga Fine Food, given its diversity and global reach.

In addition to the already mentioned gourmet and delicatessen products, basic foodstuffs are also among the products exhibited, such as rice, pasta and oils, as well as spices, tinned food, sauces, ready-made meals, and so on.

Many national pavilions illustrate the specialities of their nations and underline these with product presentations and live cooking. At Anuga Fine Food, one can really take a journey to the saucepans of the whole world.

Overall, we are observing a general trend towards high-quality products across Anuga. Many developments play a role here. Primarily, this revolves around the desire for a healthy diet. High-quality products tend to satisfy this demand more. Furthermore, many people buy less, but in a more targeted manner, and, thus, in a more quality-conscious way.

There has been a lot of focus recently on the traceability of meat products. Do you expect this to be a major focus area at Anuga Meat?  Also, in more general terms, do you find that companies exhibiting at Anuga are focusing more and more on provenance?

The meat industry is reacting very dedicatedly to the demands of politicians and consumer associations. Anuga will highlight this. Overall, the theme ‘traceability’ is still important, but not only with regard to meat.

Many exhibitors advertise their carefully selected ingredients, as well as their gentle processing methods. Organic products, Fairtrade products, vegan and vegetarian products, and clean-label items are popular with the trade and consumers for a good reason.

What do you think will be the main talking point of this year’s show? What is likely to grab the most attention?

Trends are always the focus of Anuga – not only new products and marketing concepts, but also general themes, such as new consumer and diet trends. At the moment, a lot of focus is also being placed on the theme of e-commerce. Many trading companies, online platforms, logistics companies and manufacturers are addressing this challenge intensively. With this in mind, the E-Grocery [email protected] 2017 event really hits the pulse of the times.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more A-Brands news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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