New meat snack formats were on display Anuga, most notably meat chips.
COLOGNE, Germany — Anuga took place Oct. 7-11 at Koelnmesse in Cologne. This biennial fair is the world’s largest food exposition for the retail trade and the food service and catering markets. It is a central business and communications platform for all players involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of food and beverage. It’s where new products make their debut to complement today’s and tomorrow’s trends. For many product developers, it’s where they go to observe innovations and generate ideas for the future.

This 34th Anuga was impressive and a record setter. More than 7,400 companies from 107 countries presented products from all over the world and all categories over the course of five days. Around 165,000 trade visitors from 198 countries took advantage of this unique offer for sourcing, information and ordering at top level.

“Anuga is the world’s biggest and most important business platform for the international food industry,” said Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse. “The trade fair brings the global supply and demand together very precisely. With its clear concept and focus on relevant themes, it is a reliable marketplace for the global food world for customers from Germany and abroad.”

Anuga prides itself on being 10 trade shows under one roof. This design is a well-arranged layout divided into themed areas, which makes it easy to focus and get work done. The halls are: 1) Bread & Bakery, 2) Chilled & Fresh Food, 3) Culinary Concepts, 4) Dairy, 5) Drinks, 6) Fine Food, 7) Frozen Food, 8) Meat, 9) Hot Beverages and 10) Organic.

The Anuga taste Innovation Show competition is part of the exposition. Nearly 900 companies placed more than 2,300 products in the new products database on the Anuga website for consideration for the taste recognition. In total, the jury selected 67 products and concepts. Many of those products are featured in the accompanying slideshow.

The Anuga taste Innovation Show program, along with Innova Market Insights analysts, identified numerous trends that will drive future innovation. As expected, protein was one of the recurring keywords among the new products. Clean label and various certifications — from halal to vegan to organic/bio — also dominated the discussion.

Anuga prides itself on being 10 trade shows under one roof.
When it comes to protein, anything and everything is possible, as demonstrated by Anuga exhibitors. Whether meat products, vegetarian/vegan products, complete meals, snacks or beverages, the array of products that contain an extra portion of protein was impressive. There were numerous milk-coffee drinks enhanced with high-quality protein, some marketed as refuel and energize shots. Vegetarian burgers made of white champignons (75 percent) and free of artificial ingredients and soy came in natural, black pepper, five spices and smoky barbecue flavors.

Individual grilled chicken breast filets were packaged like a refrigerated nutritional bar. Single units for the convenience channel may be merchandised in display boxes, while five single units come perforated together for supermarkets. Rich in protein, low in saturated fats, salt and calories, the packet is perfect for on-the-go dining. Simply tear it open and take a bite.

The so-called superfoods — chia, aronia, acai, but also ginger, green tea, citrus fruits and guarana — were strongly represented at Anuga and rounded off many products in terms of taste and ingredients. In this way, many classics are being redefined. For example, jellies, jams and varied bread spreads now include hydrated chia seeds. A ready-to-drink power beverage is based on green tea, ginger, mint and lime.

More than 7,400 companies from 107 countries presented products at Anuga 2017.
Completely readymade meals are nothing new, but Anuga exhibitors showed new versions, clever packaging sizes and fresh formats. Frozen breakfast bowls consist of fruit, yogurt and cereal. These single-serve bowls may be defrosted in the microwave or at room temperature. One dairy processor offered grill-ready burgers made completely from cheese. And ethnic vegan frozen meals came in varieties such as cocktail samosa (Indian pastries with a spicy potato and pea filling) and onion pakora (spicy onions coated with chickpea flour and fried crispy).

Fruits and vegetables took on new forms. Jackfruit, which is becoming increasingly popular, however, because of its immense size, is challenging for consumers to work with. It was showcased in convenient, ready-to-use formats. For example, jackfruit with mango or tomato sauce comes in cans and refrigerated vacuum packs. There were colorful, flavorful flatbreads based on vegetables. Varieties included cauliflower, pumpkin, beet, root vegetables and cabbage. Chilled soups in combinations such as tomato, peach and apricot may be found in grab-and-go bottles.

The next Anuga will take place Oct. 5-9, 2019.