Upon FoodBev Media’s return from Fi Europe 2022 – which took place in Paris from 6-8 December – the team reflects on the event’s aims to connect those within the food and beverage industry with new ingredients and solutions as well as with each other.
Surrounded by beautiful architecture, from the Centre Pompidou to the 17th century Arc De Triomphe, and named the number one region in Europe for hosting the world’s top 500 corporate headquarters, Paris is one of the major global business centres.
The event saw national and international companies displaying ingredients and applications, solutions and finished products, and new and emerging technologies spanning all areas of the F&B industry.
With the worst of the pandemic behind us, FiE witnessed the biggest turnout since 2019. With travel restrictions almost non-existent for those within Europe, many guests and exhibitors noted the sense of ‘normality’ felt at the event.
Those well-established within the industry, such as Prova, Kerry, Faravelli, Beneo, Ingredia, Nexira, Rousselot, Cargill, FrieslandCampina Ingredients, MartinoRossi (and many, many more), attended the event to display breakthrough and innovative ingredient solutions.
With regards to themes this year, clean label/transparency, nutrition, functionality and, of course, sustainability, were most prominent. Innovative formats such as gummies and powders were popular, as well as a move away from sports-focused protein and energy ingredients to functional products for consumption by all.
The plant-based category was, as always, booming, with an extensive list of companies showcasing applications – even those best known for their dairy- and meat-based products.
Following its acquisition of Dutch plant-based ingredients company, Meatless, earlier this year, Beneo proudly debuted meat-free chicken chunks at the event. The new solution is made with mycoprotein and pea protein and is said to have a carbon footprint three times lower than regular chicken.
Dominique Speleers, member of the executive board at Beneo, commented: “We are confident that our plant-based chicken chunks, combining sophisticated taste, texture and appearance with an easy-to-use approach, perfectly suit the needs of the market. They further extend our versatile toolbox for exceptional quality meat and fish alternatives that meet the high expectations of today’s consumers.”
Cargill’s booth showcased 13 finished product prototypes, including burgers, donuts, crackers and chocolate spread, the majority of which were plant-based and designed to inspire discussion. Cargill’s René Berendse told FoodBev: “Our theme this year is ‘let’s meet,’ for two reasons, for people to meet again, but this is also the place where ideas and new business opportunities meet with trends, all of this is coming together”.
Dutch company SVZ’s focus at FiE was to promote the use of more fruit and vegetable ingredients in everyday applications, for example, the use of white pumpkin as a texturizer and carrots in confectionery. Commercial director Johan Cerstiaens told FoodBev how the company can replace part of the flour in wraps with beetroot, carrot or spinach and how it can use vegetables in ice cream, candy and baked goods to support healthy snacking, as the world emerges from the pandemic more health-focused.
ADM spoke about its proprietary solutions, including botanical extracts, biotics, vitamins and minerals. The global nutrition company’s microbiome strains are all backed by pre-clinical and clinical research and enable customers to deliver science-driven supplements and F&B formulations to meet consumers’ evolving functional and health-centric needs.
Nexira showcased ingredients for immunity and wellbeing, which marketing and communication manager Julie Imperato told FoodBev, is “here to stay”. She explained how consumer understanding, familiarity and clean labels are all increasingly important factors and that there is high demand for the company’s acerola ingredient, which “works because it is well known and easy to understand for the consumer”. The vitamin C-rich superfood helps maintain the immune system and is traditionally used to support energy and vitality.
FrieslandCampina Ingredients spotlighted its Biotis brand, which provides various solutions to support gut, brain and immune health for multiple applications, including mocktails, fast melts, powder sticks and gummies. The solutions provide a flexible dosage that can be altered depending on the desired health benefit claims.
While functional gummies seemed to be very popular throughout the halls of FiE, collagen solution provider Rousselot’s functional ‘gummy caps’ stood out, owing to their soft, confectionery-like shell and liquid filling, enabling accurate dosages of active ingredients. Combining the benefits of capsules, soft gels and gummies in a single delivery format, the caps are produced using SiMoGel, Rousselot’s gelatin solution for starchless confectionery production.
Stay tuned for some exclusive interviews from the event.
The FoodBev team thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone in Paris at Fi Europe. Until next year!
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