IFFA – the sector highlight for innovations, trends and encounters
The sector is set to meet at IFFA in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 19 May. Around 900 exhibitors from more than 40 countries will be showing their latest products and solutions for processing, packaging and selling meat and alternative sources of protein. The companies are looking forward to personal encounters with their customers and to presenting the complete spectrum of their innovations from the last three years.
The expectations of the global meat and protein industry on their leading international trade fair – IFFA, Technology for Meat and Alternative Proteins – are high. From 14 to 19 May, the who’s who of the sector will meet in Frankfurt am Main to present the latest innovations, to gather information and to network. Around 900 exhibitors from over 40 countries have registered to show their developments from the last three years including technology for processing and packaging meat and alternative protein products, ingredients and additives for modern foodstuffs, as well as new sales products. Everything and everyone of note will be spread over some 116,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) in Halls 8, 9, 11 and 12 of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. The traditionally high level of internationality of IFFA is also guaranteed this year with over 60 percent of registered companies coming from outside Germany, especially Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.
Trade visitors are also looking forward to this year’s IFFA in Frankfurt. They come from the food industry, the butchers’ trade, the retail trade, the hospitality industry and suppliers, and hold the fair in high regard as the best source of information for the latest innovations and trends. Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt, says, “We are ready to welcome important players from the German and international meat and protein industry to IFFA 2022. Around 900 companies, including the market leaders, will be there and show the latest innovations on their impressive exhibition stands. The breadth and depth of the products and services to be seen is unrivalled and, this year, will once again generate a multitude of innovative impulses. With the new theme of alternative sources of protein, IFFA, the world’s leading trade fair for the industry, not only sets the trend but also reflects current consumer behaviour.”
The sector banking on personal encounters
Preliminary data indicates that the production of food and packaging machinery in Germany increased in 2021 and sector sales almost reached the pre-crisis level of 2019. This positive background will also impact on the coming IFFA with the exhibitors looking forward to personal encounters with their national and international customers. Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, says, “Leading international trade fairs in Germany represent a home match and are very important for the mechanical-engineering sector. As we have seen clearly over the last two years, nothing can replace trade fairs as platforms for innovations, the exchange of ideas and information and progress. Our member companies are looking forward to this opportunity to present their solutions in the fields of automation, digitalisation and sustainability, as well as, naturally, to personal encounters, conversations and discussions with experts from all over the world”. The butchers’ trade, one of the most important groups of visitors to IFFA is also looking forward to the fair with great anticipation. A poll of members of the German Butchers’ Association (DFV) revealed that slightly more than 50 percent of artisanal butchers are planning above-average investments for 2022, particularly in production, sales and energy efficiency. DFV president Herbert Dohrmann says, “All in all, our polls indicate that the sector has come through the crisis very well and, as the figures clearly show, butchers are currently distinguished by a high propensity to invest. We are a personnel-intensive business and are hoping that IFFA will generate a host of important impulses, especially in the fields of automation and digitalisation.”
For the first time in its history of over 70 years, IFFA has expanded its product nomenclature and now includes technologies and solutions for vegetable-based meat substitutes and alternative proteins. At least 200 IFFA exhibitors offer products for the production of meat alternatives. They are spread across the whole fair and can be found via the IFFA Contactor, the fair’s exhibitor and product search engine. Additionally, the complementary programme of events will provide further information about this future-oriented subject. New IFFA partners, such as the German Association for Alternative Sources of Protein (BALPro), the Good Food Institute Europe and the ProVeg nutritional organisation, will also be contributing their expertise and their networks.
The programme of events: inspiration, product information, expert knowledge and insights
The IFFA programme of events will give participants the opportunity to see and experience innovations, to take part in lectures and discussions and to gain inspiration for new products and solutions. Throughout the fair, the IFFA Forum will be the setting for expert talks and product presentations. Every day, the spotlight will be on a different top theme, i.e., automation, digitalisation, food safety, sustainability, food trends and individualisation in artisanal businesses. New and also live daily, vegan and meat-based bratwurst will be produced on the genuine production line of the IFFA Factory while experts explain the production methods and provide information about recipes, ingredients and processes. Also new are the guided tours to selected exhibitors. Each of these Discovery Tours will focus on a specific theme. The choice ranges from packaging trends and process innovations to meat substitutes (presented by the Good Food Institute Europe), ingredients and ‘Trends in the Butchers’ Trade (presented by the DFV).
Great product inspiration will once again be offered by the international product competitions and competitions for young members of the German Butchers’ Association. The National Butchers’ Trade Team will also be represented and there will be exciting insights to be gleaned from the ‘Artisanal Art’ special show.
The VDMA is joining forces with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging to present future-oriented themes and solutions on its exhibition stand. Visitors will be able to see a virtual cleaning assistant for safe and efficient manual cleaning with the aid of augmented reality technology. The second main theme revolves around alternative proteins and focuses on processes for the fully automatic production of insect protein and plant-based protein. The complete IFFA event programme can be found online at www.iffa.com/events.
New: IFFA Digital Extension
For the first time, IFFA will be held with a digital extension and thus open up new dimensions for visitors to make their trade-fair experience even more individual or to participate when it is impossible to travel to Frankfurt. The new digital platform includes a variety of exciting options before, during and after the fair. For example, visitors can make contact with potential business partners and arrange mutually convenient appointments in advance via the matchmaking system. Detailed product information and corporate profiles of the exhibitors in word, photos and video offer a good impression of the product ranges while chat functions and video calls mean making direct contact is easy. Further information about the IFFA Digital Extension can be found at www.iffa.com/digital-extension.
Messe Frankfurt accompanies the dynamic process of growth of the global food industry with six trade fairs on four continents. Further information about the events in the ‘Food Technologies’ portfolio can be found at www.food-technologies.messefrankfurt.com.