More Visitors And Exhibitors Than Ever Before At Free From/Functional Food Expo

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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More Visitors And Exhibitors Than Ever Before At Free From/Functional Food Expo

With increased exhibitor and visitor numbers, the fourth edition of the Free From/Functional Food Expo eclipsed all previous shows.

Nearly 4,000 visitors poured through the doors of the event, and more than 250 exhibitors showcased their latest products. It is a sign that the free-from sector continues its spectacular march, remaining right on trend across Europe.

Innovation is driving this exciting growth, and the trade show at Amsterdam RAI on 9 and 10 June was the place to discover all the latest free-from and functional food, drink and ingredient products.

Exhibitors were drawn from across Europe and beyond, including the UK, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Germany and Spain, and included Nak'd, Rude Health, Probios, Rule of Crumb, Nairn's, Pedon, Bord Bia, Suma Wholefoods, Leader Foods and Mrs Crimble's.

Free From/Functional Food Expo will be back in 2017, taking place in Barcelona on 8 and 9 June.


Opening Doors

There are so many reasons to visit and exhibit at Free From/Functional Food Expo. It is the dedicated B2B European platform for the free-from industry. The products on show this year included gluten-free snacks and bakery products, dairy-free cheese, protein bars, sugar-free chocolates and gluten-free beers, as well as grain-free flours, coconut-based food and drink products, and vegan confectionery.

Experts in lactose-free and gluten-free were part of the line-up in two conference theatres, and the show also hosted the first-ever European Food-Blogger Convention. Buyers from retail and foodservice attended, including Tesco, looking for the latest trends and innovations.

Rob Brice, of Tesco, said, "We found a number of excellent potential new suppliers with some great products."


Exhibitors said that Free From/Functional Food 2016 also delivered for them, and more than 20% have already signed up for the fifth edition, in Barcelona in 2017.

Ronald Holman, exhibition director, said, "We were delighted with the response to the event, both from our exhibitors, many of whom have already booked for next year, and from our visitors.

"The free-from and functional sectors continue to enjoy huge growth, and the success of the show this year reflects the phenomenal interest in this fast-growing and hugely important category, and the high quality of our visitors and exhibitors."

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