A record 24 211 visitors attended this year’s Vitafoods Europe, an increase of 15 per cent from 2018, while the size of the show floor grew by 10 per cent to meet demand, showcasing everything from new ingredients and finished products to packaging and contract manufacturing. As a reflection of the success of the event, more than three quarters of this year’s exhibitors have already rebooked for 2020.
Range of talks
The Vitafoods Education Programme also returned alongside a broad range of talks hosted across the show floor theatres. Featuring almost 90 industry and business experts, the total attendance of all theatres this year soared to 4 082.
Chris Lee, managing director, Health & Nutrition Europe, Informa Markets says the numbers ‘demonstrate the willingness of the nutraceutical industry to come together’, continuing: ‘Our initial target was 22 000 visitors, so to secure more than 24,000 is a huge achievement. Seeing visitors, exhibitors, distributors and delegates collaborate, discuss and debate across the three days makes it clear that Vitafoods Europe remains a key meeting point for the industry.’
Dan Peizer, global head of marketing for Consumer Health and Business Development for North America, Catalent, and an exhibitor at Vitafoods Europe 2019, echoed this sentiment, commenting: ‘Vitafoods Europe is the place to be for what we do. It has all the ingredients and materials suppliers, customers and partners in one location, and is our top show every year – we look forward to it, we prepare for it and it pays off to do it.
‘What makes an event great is the quality of the attendees and Vitafoods continues to deliver year after year. That is what makes the experience so good for us.’
First Informa event to achieve ISO Sustainability certification
In the lead up to this year’s event, the organisers encouraged the industry to come together to explore what was required to shape a more sustainable future through a series of networking events, roundtables and seminars. Ensuring that sustainable practices were in place throughout every aspect of the event – from planning to delivery – was also a priority, and included working with suppliers that share this commitment, powering the event with renewable energy, and introducing new stand build regulations to drive exhibitors to move away from using disposable materials.
As a result, Vitafoods Europe has become the first legacy Informa event to achieve the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certificate, a standard designed to help organisations in the events industry have confidence in the sustainability credentials of their event-related activities, products and services.
Ben Wielgus, head of sustainability, Informa, says: ‘Sustainability has moved from something that is a differentiator to something that is essential. Thanks to the number and diverse mix of attendees, Vitafoods Europe is the ideal setting for varied stakeholders to have the conversation about how to create a more sustainable future.
‘Having our efforts recognised in this way is a true reflection of our commitment to the issue and how far we have come in ensuring both our own actions, and those of our exhibitors and visitors, have as little environmental impact as possible.’
Chris Lee adds: ‘It is our mission to shape the food industry for optimal health for the people and the planet. Running events responsibly and enabling knowledge sharing across the industry is crucial to achieving this. This is why we encourage people to connect, discuss and debate during our educational talks and networking events, such as the new Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable, or the 5K Run and Yoga Wellness session.
‘Having achieved the ISO sustainability qualification, shows how far we have come in creating a more sustainable and transparent supply chain.’
Leading the conversation
Vitafoods Europe 2019, presented by KSM-66, offered nine additional events to help build communities and share values across the health and nutrition industry.
As part of the Sustainability Square, a new area showcasing the latest consumer and market insights from across the industry, visitors were asked for their opinions on how best to improve the sustainability of the nutraceutical industry.
Vita Unwin, sales assistant at Cia Iguacu de Café Soluvel, says ‘it can have a very positive impact to look outside the nutraceutical industry and take innovations in other markets into consideration’, while Nelly Dubrulle, project manager at DNA Gensee, suggests that ‘bringing everyone together at one place to discuss how to create this more sustainable future for the industry is key.’
Helena Korte, managing director at Aromatech, adds: ‘Improving sustainability within the nutraceutical industry is a step-by-step process and represents a long-term investment. It’s not always easy to replace products or services with something more sustainable without increasing prices, but demand is there.’
Other new areas for 2019 included the Regulatory Clinic, which featured one-to-one consultations with experts from the European Federation of Associations of Health Products Manufacturers (EHPM) around updated and newly introduced EU and global regulations, and the Clinical Trials Zone, which provided a step-by-step guide to the clinical trial process.
Chris Lee concludes: ‘It’s encouraging to see the progress we have made this year. We’re already looking ahead to 2020 and how we can continue to drive the conversation forward to ensure we can achieve our long-term goal of helping to create a truly circular global food economy; one that creates a balance between sufficient and sustainable production.’