FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Following its in-person trade show for technology for meat and alternative proteins, which ran from May 14 to 19, IFFA reported that the event exceeded expectations with high levels of visitors and exhibitors. The trade show was held at Messe Frankfurt in Germany.

Earlier this year, IFFA announced it would be in-person, detailing high registration and several COVID-19 safety measures.

According to IFFA, the trade show welcomed 49,173 visitors from 129 countries, 72% of which were international and 860 exhibitors from 44 countries, 58% of which were international. IFFA also detailed that its top visitors, other than Germany, came from the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, the United States, Brazil, Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and France. Visitors to IFFA spanned a variety of industries, including meat and alternative protein processing, butchers, foodstuff producers, retail, trade, meat suppliers, animal and pet food manufacturers.

"It was a pleasure to walk through the halls and meet industry participants again,” said Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt. “An almost euphoric mood dominated IFFA. You could clearly feel how relieved everyone was to finally be able to meet in person again. The industry was open to new topics and impressively demonstrated its innovative strength. The global family reunion once again set the trends for the coming years – not least due to the expansion to include alternative proteins."

During the six-day trade show, sustainable production, automation and digitalization were among the top trends in processing, packaging and sales, according to IFFA. With the European Union striving to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, many exhibitors showcased their sustainable processing solutions for increasing energy efficiency, as well as innovative resource-saving production methods. In regard to packaging, IFFA reported that innovations focused on more renewable-based packaging, including bio-based packaging made from fossil raw materials, in addition to recyclability.

IFFA expanded the product portfolio of its 2022 trade show to showcase meat alternatives made from plants and cell cultures. For the first time, IFFA focused on processing technology and ingredients needed to help advance the innovation in plant-based and cultured meat and proteins. Exhibitors like Trigea, a Crespel and Deiters Group brand, hopped on the plant-based protein bandwagon, showcasing its wheat-based proteins for use in animal and pet food formulations.

"IFFA 2022 has made it clear that alternative protein sources will continue to have a firm place at the leading international trade fair in the future, and that this topic will continue to grow in the coming years,” said Fabio Ziemßen, first chairman at the German Association for Alternative Protein Sources, an IFFA exhibitor. “It is therefore indispensable for producers and distributors of alternative protein sources to be present here in three years' time.”

With such a strong turnout, IFFA noted that attendee and exhibitor satisfaction reached an all-time high. According to IFFA’s visitor survey conducted by Messe Frankfurt, 96% of attendees expressed overall satisfaction, 95% expressed satisfaction with the range of exhibiting product and services, and 96% claimed they had achieved objectives by visiting the trade show.

IFFA also announced it is extending its digital space for show participants for the first time. The IFFA Digital Extension platform, which was available to participants during the show, will continue to be available until May 31, offering recorded IFFA presentations.

IFFA’s next trade show will occur May 3 to 8, 2025, at Messe Frankfurt.