ESM caught up with Jan Philipp Hartmann, project director at organiser Koelnmesse GmbH, to discuss the various aspects that are set to make Anuga 2023 one to remember. This article first appeared in ESM’s September/October 2023 edition.
ESM: Anuga has identified ‘Sustainable Growth’ as its core theme for the 2023 edition. How will this be realised before, during and after the event?
Jan Philipp Hartmann: Mostly, this will be realised as part of our event and congress programme. Before Anuga starts, we started a webinar series, together with our partner, Innova Market Insights, that covers topics along our leading theme. These can still be watched on our website.
During Anuga, we work with new partners, such as EIT Food, Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, as well as the German dfv media group. Through conferences, workshops, experience areas and speaker sessions, we will work with them to address the key concerns of the industry, and to present and discuss innovations.
This will include topics such as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs – transparency and traceability of supply chains and products, more climate-friendly production, resource-conserving raw-material cultivation, food waste, and ways toward a circular food system. Also, our new format, Anuga Horizon, which we integrated into this year’s Anuga, will contribute to ‘Sustainable Growth’ by cultivating change in food innovation.
Elsewhere, together with dfv Mediengruppe’s newFOODeconomy platform, we will award innovative food concepts from all over Europe on 9 October. The focus is on companies, start-ups and projects based in the EU, with the special focus of the selection criteria on factors such as innovation and a demonstrable contribution to the achievement of the SDGs.
Of course, there are plenty of other events, including Anuga Organic on Stage and the Anuga taste Innovation Show, where we present products and solutions that give proof to a more sustainable future for food. After Anuga 2023, we will continue our discussions by serving interesting content on our blog, newsletter, and social-media channels, and give insights to what had been presented at this year’s edition.
Along with ‘Meet More Meatless’ (in Anuga Meat) and ‘Dairy Alternatives’ (in Anuga Dairy), in what ways is Anuga ensuring that the theme of sustainability is evident in all the various trade shows that encompass the event?
Most of all, it will be evident by the exhibitors and their product innovations. On our new-product platform, we can already see that more and more products are adopting sustainable practices by using special ingredients, being more plant based, reducing energy for production, and so forth.
In addition, special areas focusing on clean-label products – as well as free-from, health and functional products – will be part of the various trade shows.
Anuga recently partnered with EIT Food, an accelerator in the development of sustainable, healthy food systems. What does this partnership entail, and how will this be presented at Anuga 2023?
Our partnership is a long-term, strategic partnership to promote the dialogue and the interdisciplinary cooperation [required] to achieve a sustainable food system. It’s all about professional exchange and knowledge transfer. So, we are closely working together in the conference-and-event programme of Anuga, but also on joint press events.
EIT Food will also have experts at its own booth at Anuga, in order to promote its topics. Furthermore, it will host a panel with the topic ‘Innovation: From the Niche to Success with Start-Ups,’ including a discussion on how EIT Food accelerates innovation to build a ‘future-fit food system.’
This year’s Anuga sees the Anuga Culinary Concepts trade show rebranded as Anuga Out of Home. What prompted this change, and what new aspects have been added to the rebranded trade show?
We had several discussions with experts from the industry that gave us proof to change the name because Anuga’s foodservice section presents the entire spectrum of food and beverages for out-of-home consumption – from HoReCa to communal catering, system catering and foodservice through to ‘to go’ and food delivery. The offer is rounded off by equipment, accessories, technology and digital solutions for the foodservice section.
Anuga Out-of-Home offers the system caterer and the contract caterer a comprehensive offer for bulk consumers and presents restaurants, communal catering, foodservice and transport catering companies with innovations and solutions for their business.
The Anuga Out-of-Home event programme enhances the product offering, with event highlights such as the Professional Food Service Forum in cooperation with the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA), with show cooking and award ceremonies, including the Start-Up Award and the Best Food Founder Award.
Anuga has teamed up with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization [UNIDO] to address the theme ‘a world without hunger is possible’. What events or launches are planned around this partnership?
UNIDO will be part of our opening ceremony, and we are happy to welcome Dr Gerd Müller, director general of UNIDO, to Anuga 2023. Furthermore, we present the UNIDO Side Event, which will present analytical studies, showcase innovations, and policy options to address the global challenge of transforming towards a healthy, inclusive food system.
Particular attention will be given to the role of private-sector actors and partnerships, as well as technology as an enabler to end hunger globally.
Another topic focuses on food supply chains and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim is to bring together various stakeholders, including representatives from the food industry and stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of HREDD regulations. The speakers will discuss the impact of the new regulations on the strategic supply chains of the food industry and present approaches to minimise negative effects.
This will include a particular focus on avoiding risks by shifting supply chains to less vulnerable markets.
Two years ago, as the industry emerged from the pandemic, Anuga unveiled a supporting digital format, Anuga @home. What role will this play at this year’s event?
During the pandemic, this format was created to reach out to people who weren’t able to attend the physical event. We are all happy that this year, we are able to have an Anuga under regular circumstances, and our community wants to meet in person.
Particularly with food and drinks, you need to have the chance to taste or smell products in person, in order to evaluate the quality. So, we won’t offer Anuga @home this year, but we will provide several other matchmaking formats via our app that help people to connect and find new business opportunities.
What are some noteworthy food trends from the past year that you believe will stand out at Anuga 2023?
Various trends and drivers can currently be observed in the food industry. A growing consumer focus on plant-based diets and alternative protein sources, to reduce the environmental footprint, is noticeable. In addition, regional and local foods are gaining importance, as sustainability and short supply chains become more important to consumers.
Transparency in food production is another important aspect, as consumers increasingly demand information about origin, production conditions, and sustainability aspects. Finally, digitalisation is also playing a role in changing the food industry by making processes more efficient and enabling innovative solutions.
Anuga is traditionally complemented by an extensive conference programme. What are some particularly eye-catching discussions and events for which delegates should look out?
Of course, the events of our partners, which I already mentioned, should not be missed, but I can definitely recommend our presentations at the Anuga Trend Zone. Our partners, Innova Market Insights and Euromonitor, will speak about Sustainable Growth, Nutrition at the Right Price, Generational Push: The Impact of Gen Z Consumers and Future Opportunities, and Plant-Based at a Turning Point: The Future of Food in Europe.
Also, our new format, Organic on Stage, is worth seeing. Experts will speak about organic trends, bio private labels, and how organic agriculture contributes to more environmental protection. Since halal is an important topic, visitors can get more insights at the Halal Market.
About what aspect of Anuga 2023 are you personally most excited?
It’s my first Anuga as director, so I’m excited about everything, but, in particular, I’m really looking forward to welcoming the international community to the world’s number-one fair for food and beverages once again, here in Cologne.
Our customers are really excited, and so are we. I’m sure it will be a fantastic event – we are all Anuga!
For more information, visit www.anuga.com.