GERMANY, Frankfurt am Main. Sustainable production, automated processes and digitalisation in all areas of processing, packaging and retail were the main trends at this year’s IFFA, while the industry also showed heightened interest in the growing alt protein market.
Around 50,000 visitors from 129 countries travelled to Frankfurt am Main for the leading international trade fair IFFA – Technology for Meat and Alternative Proteins. For six days, the exhibitors presented their innovations for sustainable and efficient production and packaging of meat and alternative proteins. The visitors were more than satisfied with 'their' industry meeting, which took place following its usual three-year cycle.
Wolfgang Marzin, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt, expressed his enthusiasm: "It was a pleasure to walk through the halls and meet industry participants again. 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."
Innovations driven by resource efficiency
Automation and digitalisation were the driving topics in meat and protein processing and were at the centre of the innovations. The industry presented solutions and ideas for increasing energy efficiency and resource-saving production to achieve the EU's climate neutrality targets by 2050.
As for the packaging industry, the innovations followed the motto: “As much as necessary, as little as possible". In addition to recyclability, manufacturers focused on renewable raw materials: bio-based packaging as an alternative to plastic made from fossil raw materials points to a more environmentally friendly future.
The German Butchers' Association (DFV), supported by the National Team of the Butchers' Trade, centred on the promotion of young professional talent. Herbert Dohrmann, President of the DFV, emphasised the importance of the fair for the butcher’s trade: "I am an optimist, but I would certainly not have expected that we would meet so many of our colleagues here and that there would be such a great atmosphere at the fair. More than 25% increase in the number of products at the international quality competitions, two brand new competitions for young professionals and a strong performance by our national squad have brought a lot of life to our areas.”
Heightened interest in the alt protein industry
For the first time, IFFA included process technology and ingredients for alternative proteins, and visitors showed great interest in plant-based meat alternatives, hybrid products and cell-cultured meat. The conference by ProVeg and the Discovery Tours led by the Good Food Institute Europe, for example, were very popular.
Fabio Ziemßen, first chairman of the German Association for Alternative Protein Sources, was positive that "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. It is therefore indispensable for producers and distributors of alternative protein sources to be present here in three years. Being the German industry association, we look forward to continuing to accompany and shape this development in the future."
According to the visitor survey conducted by Messe Frankfurt, 95% were satisfied with the range of products and services, and 96% said they had achieved their trade fair visit objectives. Despite the difficult travelling conditions, visitors came to Frankfurt from 129 countries. With a total share of 72% international visitors, IFFA maintains its high relevance to the global industry. The top visitor nations included the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, USA, Brazil, Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland and France.
For the first time, IFFA was also extended into the digital space. On the IFFA Digital Extension platform, participants could contact each other in advance, make appointments and find out about exhibitors' innovations before the fair began.
Source: Messe Frankfurt