February saw us heading to Nuremberg in Germany to discover all that BIOFACH had to offer. With no less than 140 participating countries and 3,500 exhibitors, this is the fair for professionals in the organic sector. Trends and developments in bio and the latest concepts in organic food, BIOFACH 2020 had it all.
The trade fair becomes bigger and better every year. Not surprising when you consider the phenomenal growth within the organic sector. According to The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), there is measurable growth in organic agricultural land worldwide. Europe alone saw an increase of 8.7% in 2018. Worldwide, the market value of organic beverages and food was as much as 95 trillion in 2018. Which made us all the more curious to discover the developments in the organic sector at a world fair like BIOFACH.
Here’s a selection of the trends we encountered, with an emphasis on vegetables:
Trend 1: More than just organic
The companies present at the trade fair were all working hard to position their brand and the resulting stands were a beautiful sight. It was also striking that the displays and marketing materials went beyond organics. Especially those of German companies, where local-for-local plays a significant role: storing your product sustainably and supporting the local grower (see trend 4). In addition, traceability and transparency were widely mentioned: knowing where your product comes from and how it was produced. And let’s not forget, climate neutrality, which emphasises the sustainable side of a company and its focus on a healthy future.
Trend 2: Snacks and Functional foods
Functional foods, the superfoods of 2020, continue to trend. These foods contain health-promoting substances, or have had these substances added, which have a beneficial effect on one or more target functions in the body. For example, sauerkraut and celery, and tropical ingredients such as moringa, acai and turmeric. These have by hearsay a positive effect on intestinal flora or overall fitness. Many exhibitors made good use of this by offering healthy shots, bars, soups, spreads and fermented drinks such as kombucha. A lot of these products also fit the snackification trend, which is multiple eating moments throughout the day rather than the ‘normal’ 3 meals. We are increasingly replacing a ‘regular’ meal with snacks. It also reflects the rising popularity of vegan snacks.
Trend 3: Plant-based 2.0 and greens
Vegan is here to stay. It’s not a trend anymore, it’s a lifestyle. Along with that, the range of plant-based products has also matured. To give an example: In 2019, one in four products launched in the UK carried a vegan claim (source: Mintel). That the market has matured was evident in the product displays on stands. In addition, the range of products on offer has broadened. For example, jackfruit as a meat substitute and vegan cheeses from feta to brie. Thanks to the plant-based lifestyle, vegetables play a more prominent role. We saw that reflected in the many types of processed vegetables in a wide variety of products: soups, vegetable puree, baby food, sauces, pasta, vegetable juices, spreads, shots, and even vegetable ice cream.
Trend 4: Local-for-Local
Locally produced is becoming more important for several reasons. Consumers increasingly want to know where a product comes from, who produced it, and how many kilometres it has travelled before it appeared on their plate. Chefs frequently source local ingredients for their menus. This not only supports the local grower, but also provides a face and a story to a product, adding value for the consumer.
Trend 5: Sustainable packaging
In addition to exhibitors’ product packaging, several packaging companies were also present. Packaging can trigger negative emotions in consumers. So, producers are seeking affordable solutions with minimal impact on the environment. The packaging companies are rising to the challenge by offering responsible substitutes for plastic, from biodegradable to paper made from plant residues.
Rijk Zwaan responds in many ways to the trends mentioned above. For instance with a new vegetable snack brand: SN!BS consisting of a large variety of organic snack tomatoes, snack cucumbers and a snack-sized lettuce especially for warm dishes: the lettuce keeps its firm and crunchy bite. The leaf has a unique spoon shape and is tasty and sweet.
The trade fair was truly inspiring, and we foresee continued growth in the organic market over the coming years.
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Source photos: NürnbergMesse