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This year’s Fi Europe embodied all the ingredients of a successful event, showcasing a winning combination of sourcing, innovation, networking and education.

In a milestone year for benchmarking organised event success, Fi Europe 2023 has shown that there is more demand than ever for a dynamic platform uniting the international ingredients industry. This year’s event, which attracted 23,149 attendees from 135 countries around the globe, was a resounding success, reaffirming its positive contribution to F&B industry innovation, collaboration and dialogue.

The build-up started on 20 November, when the event platform went live, enabling attendees to access exclusive content previews, coordinate meetings and stream a live keynote session. Then, on 27 November, the Future of Nutrition Summit kicked off a carefully curated in-person content programme designed to inspire and inform whilst facilitating networking and discussion. Speakers from Nestlé, Microsoft, Deloitte and the United Nations Global Compact gave their takes on the trends and technologies reshaping the food industry landscape.

On 28 November, Fi Europe opened its doors to reveal a vibrant show floor that was to become a hive of networking activity for the next three days. Over 1400 exhibition stands occupied four halls packed with ingredients and solutions from all over the world, providing a sensory spectacle and a wealth of sourcing opportunities. Many attendees also took advantage of the additional inspiration offered by the Innovation Tours, New Product Zone and Innovation Hub.

The first day culminated with the announcement of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards and Startup Innovation Challenge winners. Honoured at a special ceremony, the recipients were chosen by an expert judging panel for their outstanding contributions to the F&B ingredients industry.

The two-day Fi Europe Conference, which ran in parallel to the exhibition, provided a further forum for exchanges on the latest advancements and future trends in the F&B industry. The agenda revolved around four topical themes: plant-based, health & wellbeing, alternative ingredients & protein, and reformulation & ingredient innovation. Speakers from a broad cross-section of commercial, academic and research organisations, including Mintel, Euromonitor, NIZO, Wageningen University, Rabobank and Cultivated Biosciences, made for a varied and insightful programme.

Sustainability as an industry challenge was a thematic thread throughout this year’s event, with dedicated features such as the Sustainability Hub and content that focused on ethical sourcing, transparency, regulatory compliance, ESG and gender equity, creating a forum for constructive discussions in this important area.

The industry’s challenge of cultivating a strong pipeline of emerging talent was addressed at Fi Europe 2023 through the introduction of a new programme designed to facilitate connections between students and businesses. The Future Food Leaders Day, which took place on 30 November, gave university students valuable insight into the potential trajectory of a career in the F&B industry.

Yannick Verry, Brand Manager, Food ingredients Europe & Americas, at Informa Markets, says: “For me, feeling the buzz of this year’s show reinforced the important role that Fi Europe fulfils for the global food & beverage community. Not only does it provide a forum for making meaningful connections and discovering new ingredients and technologies, it also makes an important contribution to advancing discussions and thinking around innovation, sustainability and the future of the industry. We are already looking forward to 2024, when Fi Europe will return to Frankfurt, from 19-21 November.”

At this year’s Food ingredients Europe & Ni, trade show organiser Fi Global will highlight the most exciting new F&B startups  in the Startup Innovation Challenge. Entrants to the competition are invited to apply now, with the winners receiving business advice and coaching from top industry experts.

Innovation is the secret of success in the F&B industry, and nowhere is that more evident than at Fi Europe & Ni. Yet not all startups, no matter how good their offering, have the resources to make a significant impact on the market.

That’s why the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge aims to provide budding entrepreneurs with a springboard to success by showcasing their innovations, bringing them to the attention of ingredient professionals and potential investors.

Fi Europe & Ni 2019 will welcome more than 30,000 visitors and over 1,700 exhibitors, making it a must-attend trade event for sourcing food ingredients.

All shortlisted young enterprises will have access to a Startup Lounge, situated in the heart of the exhibition. This will give them the chance to network and demonstrate their offering. They will also be invited to pitch their innovation live on 2 December to the expert jury and on 3 December to Fi Europe visitors at Fi Europe’s Industry Insights Theatre.

Top prizes include a fully equipped stand at Fi Europe 2020, a marketing campaign within “Ingredients Network” or access to the “Conciergerie” innovation platform from Startup Challenge Partner Presans.

Startups wishing to enter the competition should be less than 5 years old, have a solid business plan and innovations targeting the food and drink sector, with a focus on ingredients or additives that improve taste, texture, appearance and/or nutritional value, or technologies and/or services that support the sector.

This year’s categories (competitors can enter more than one) are:

  1. Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient
  2. Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-based Food or Beverage Ingredient
  3. Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient
  4. Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting F&B

The judging panel will be comprised of industry experts, investors and company representatives from the food ingredients industry.

Entries must be received by 20 September. Find out more about entering the Startup Innovation Challenge here:

With record breaking visitor numbers, Fi Europe & Ni (Frankfurt, Germany) was the place to be for decision makers, product developers, market strategists and scientists

A marketplace for innovation, a source of inspiration and a trend barometer. The world’s most important trade show for food and beverage ingredients, Fi Europe & Ni 2017 welcomed more visitors than ever before.

More than 26,000 attendees from over 135 nations worldwide used the three-day trade show to discover innovative new concepts and novel solutions. Boasting an abundance of excellent, high quality delegates, post-event analysis showed that almost 78 % of the attendees had budget responsibility, with approximately 30 % having higher management roles – an ideal mix to generate promising leads at more than 1,600 stands. In total, show organizer UBM recorded 50,000+ visits.

Oliver Wolf, Head of B2B Marketing at GELITA, gave a very positive review, stating: “The sheer volume of visitors at the GELITA stand was immense – and the overall quality of enquiries was very high. That’s why Fi Europe was, once again, the perfect setting for us to introduce our latest innovations in gelatine and collagen peptides to a broad expert audience.” Peter Hennebichler, Director Corporate Sales & Marketing at AGRANA, added: “We counted a record number of attendees at our stand this year. Because of the highly relevant contacts we make here, AGRANA has exhibited at FiE for many years.” Key players such as Cargill, FrieslandCampina, BENEO, Roquette, Avebe, Kerry and Naturex all presented innovative new products and solutions. In addition, several start-ups and first-time exhibitors used Fi Europe & Ni as a platform to further expand their brand.

Fi Europe Brand Director Richard Joyce’s conclusion was also positive. Sharing his excitement for the reservations numbers for the 2019 edition in Paris, he said “Currently, 80 % of the exhibitors have already booked a stand for the next show. This clearly indicates that Fi Europe & Ni is a must-attend event for food ingredient companies. We are already looking forward to 2019 and will do our utmost to arrange another top-class agenda.”

Value adding extras

Far more than just a supporting program, this year’s Fi Europe & Ni once again offered a variety of additional attractions, including 20+ country pavilions and themed areas – such as the Expo FoodTec Pavilion – and daily Innovation Tours. In the Industry Insights Theater and Supplier Solution Sessions, attendees were able to get up close and personal with interesting companies and their concepts. Furthermore, the New Product Zone and Ingredients in Action, hosted by Innova Market Insights, provided an overview on the latest products that made their way into consumers’ shopping carts.

With the second Future of Nutrition Summit, the pre-show one day summit, show organizer UBM EMEA offered detailed insight into the future of the industry; social and technological developments that will impact the ingredients industry during the next 5 years were put under the spotlight. In addition, the three-day Fi Conference covered everything from clean label to regulatory issues. Jennifer Arthur of Leatherhead Food Research introduced the possibilities and challenges of personalized nutrition, whereas Dr Laurice Pouvreau, Senior Project Manager, Protein Functionality at Nizo, explained how promising sensory results can be achieved by blending different protein sources. With more than 250 delegates, the conference program also reached a record-breaking number.

Post-show is pre-show: Hi Europe 2018 in Frankfurt, Fi Europe & Ni 2019 in Paris

Next year, Hi Europe will open its doors on November 27 in Frankfurt for three days. In times when functional ingredients with added health benefits are becoming increasingly important, Europe’s leading trade show for health and nutrition is the meeting place for manufacturers and decision makers in the food and nutraceuticals industry. The following year, Fi Europe & Ni will return to Paris (3–5 December 2019) and take place at the Parc des Expositions Villepinte.

Entry now open: The world’s leading food and beverage ingredients show rewards companies for outstanding innovations, whilst the Start-up Innovation Challenge offers a platform for cutting-edge newcomers to the industry. Non-exhibitors are welcome to enter selected categories.

“Thought Leadership”, the guiding concept for this year’s Food ingredients Europe, is echoed in the 2017 Fi Europe Innovation Awards. With ten newly created categories spanning all industry sectors, the Awards recognise and reward the ability to demonstrate and stimulate innovation. Especially for young start-ups, FiE offers an exclusive platform: After last year’s inaugural success, the second Start-up Innovation Challenge invites companies to share a pioneering project with a broader audience.

Both the Start-up Innovation Challenge and the Future of Nutrition Award, one of the ten 
Fi Europe Innovation Awards categories, are open to FiE exhibitors and non-exhibitors alike. The other nine Fi Europe Innovation Awards categories are open exclusively to Fi Europe & Ni 2017 exhibitors. Closing date for entries is 22 September for the Innovation Awards and 23 October for the Start-up Innovation Challenge.

Eyes on industry drivers: Fi Europe Innovation Awards

With a record of more than 1,500 exhibitors, FiE & Ni 2017 is the place to detect and define tomorrow’s trends at a glance. Over the last decade, a top-level jury panel has sought out and recognised innovative thinkers and creators who act as market catalysts. Their awards go to the most inspiring products or services – from ingredients and applications through processes, technology and machinery to strategy and initiative. “During our pre-selection weeks, the jury is presented with a reflection of the great innovative power of the food and beverage industry. This year, our newly created categories are geared towards the main developments in the sector, which spur it on like few others. With the Fi Europe Innovation Awards, we want to acknowledge trend-setting new ideas and move them into the focus of a professional audience,” says Richard Joyce, Brand Director for event organiser UBM EMEA. Jeroen Dekkers, Maketing Manager at Scelta Mushrooms, winner of the Most Innovative Food Ingredient Award in 2015, adds: “Winning this award gave our new product a flying start in the market.”

Interested companies can enter one or more of the following Fi Europe Innovation Awards categories:

  1. Future of Nutrition Award for pioneering innovation by contributing to an environment that supports and nurtures progressive ideas likely to change the face of the food and beverage industry in the long term. Entry is open to all companies, whether exhibiting at FiE or not.
  2. Sustainability Champion Award for a measurable sustainability strategy that champions environmental or social sustainability in the food and beverage industry.
  3. Organic Champion Award for promotion of the organic category through marketing, improvement of traceability, growth of product lines or any other innovative ways of raising awareness and availability of organic products.
  4. Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award for developing the best Clean Label ingredient or process with functionality equal to a synthetic ingredient.
  5. Life Stages Innovation Award for the proven effectiveness of an ingredient or application that best promotes or supports health at one or more life stage, from conception to old age.
  6. Performance Nutrition Innovation Award for the proven effectiveness of a product that best promotes or supports an active lifestyle.
  7. Growth Categories Innovation Award for developing a high impact, innovative product for application in any of the following three fast-growing categories: dairy, bakery, beverages.
  8. Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Award for developing the best solution (natural or synthetic) within the last two years for reducing salt, sugar or fat whilst maintaining flavour, texture and functionality of the ingredient replaced.
  9. Expo FoodTec Innovation Award for developing high-tech/advanced services, technology or machinery for food ingredients processing or packaging.
  10. Workforce Equality Award for creating a work environment that offers equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their gender, race, religious background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability.

After the closing date, the judges will generate a shortlist from the most promising applications. The day before FiE starts, those shortlisters will present their entries to the jury behind closed doors; the ten winners will then be announced to the public at an evening ceremony on 28 November. To enter the competition, projects must have been launched between 1 September 2015 and 1 September 2017. The assessment criteria as well as the application form can be found at

Start-up Innovation Challenge: a stage for convincing industry newcomers

The first ever Start-up Innovation Challenge took place during last year’s Health ingredients Europe. This year, young food and beverage ingredients companies will have a chance to present their excellence during FiE & Ni to a specialist audience of 25,000 trade visitors. In partnership with Naturex, Presans and Vaucluse Provence Attractivité, the Fi Global team will reward ten companies who have been in business for less than four years for innovative ingredients projects with a ground-breaking impact on the industry.

For young companies, the Start–up Innovation Challenge offers a unique chance to present their projects to a jury panel of experienced manufacturers, R&D specialists, investors and start-up incubators for constructive feedback and consultancy. Above all, the ten shortlisted start-ups will be given the opportunity to pitch their innovations live at FiE & Ni in the bustling New Product Zone, and the winners will receive a personalised support program to further their growth. Start-ups can enter the Challenge via

The Start-up Innovation Challenge is split into two categories:

  1. Best Innovation Award for stand-out ingredients projects. A personalised support programme combined with a lead generation campaign or a stand at HiE 2018 or FiE & Ni 2019 will help to boost the winner’s product or development.
  2. Best Natural Ingredient Award is offered to innovative projects promoting, amongst other things, new green tech extraction methods, plant extracts or natural ingredients concepts. The winning start-up will gain six months access to offices at Naturex’s headquarters with use of equipment and laboratories, complemented by regulatory and marketing resources.