Anuga 2021 exceeds all expectations

20/10/2021 – Event / Anuga / Food / Beverage / Trade / Expo / Cologne

Anuga 2021 exceeds all expectations

A spirit of optimism characterised this year’s ANUGA – the leading global trade fair for food and beverages – with a high level of satisfaction observed among exhibitors and visitors alike.


Returning to Cologne from 9–13 October with over 70,000 visitors from 169 countries and more than 4,600 exhibitors from 98 nations, leading global F&B expo and conference ANUGA once again demonstrated that trade fairs of these dimensions are possible again. 


“We are delighted with this result. It underlines the global significance of Anuga and the trust that is placed in us as a trade fair organisation. Furthermore, it also shows that Germany as a trade fair location continues to hold a leading and attractive position in terms of the global competition,” explained Gerald Böse, President and CEO of Koelnmesse, the event organiser.


“Also, the hybrid approach worked very well and proved very popular,” he continued. “In the scope of Anuga @home, we were able to offer above all those people, who were not able to travel to the trade fair, a good opportunity to inform themselves about specialised themes and engage in intensive networking,” Mr Böse added.


Making the international world of food personal again


Anuga also set a benchmark in terms of its level of internationality in the post-Covid era: 97 per cent of exhibitors came from abroad. And at 76 per cent, the degree of internationality of the visitors remained at a consistent level (2019: 75 per cent). “People from 169 nations – that is a strong signal and shows, at the same time, how much the international food industry needs trade fairs to do business again,” remarked Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer at Koelnmesse GmbH. “Our exhibitors, who reported about outstanding customer dialogues and the high quality of the trade visitors, also recognised this fact. The discussions with the buyers also confirmed how highly they estimate the time for intense, personal dialogues with their customers,” he asserted. 


“Anuga 2021 simply made the international world of food personal again. And this euphoria and spirit of optimism was noticeable all over the trade fair,” Mr Frese emphasised.


Top buyers on board


Above all, the quality and preparation of the buyers – as well as the serious interest in generating business again – convinced the exhibitors. Countless buyers with high decision-making competence from the trade and food service, including the relevant top buyers of important chain stores, attended the trade fair in Cologne. An initial evaluation of the visitor survey shows that over 70 per cent of the respondents use Anuga to nurture existing and build up new business relationships.


A hybrid future


As a hybrid event, Anuga also offered a digital platform for the exhibitors, visitors and media representatives: Anuga @home. In addition to intensive networking, the digitally streamed event and congress programme – comprising a variety of lectures, discussions and presentations by renowned trade experts and companies of the food industry – were met with great interest. 


In total, 353 formats with more than 6,380 broadcasting minutes were streamed over the three days of the trade fair. The live streams of the two conferences – the Newtrition X and the New Food Conference – proved particularly popular. Moreover, the presentations and the networking offers of Anuga @home continue to be available on-demand following the conclusion of the in-person trade fair.


Transformation course set to be pursued resolutely


The spirit of optimism was also tangible in the themes of this year's trade fair, and in those of the digital event, Anuga @home. 


Under the key theme ‘Transform’, exhibitors from all over the world showed that the international food industry is taking further steps towards a more sustainable and more efficient global food system. Such developments were confirmed by a significant rise in the number of plant-based or purely vegetable products, alternative protein products as well as new products with a health-oriented additional benefit on show at the event. However, the show also revealed that many manufacturers are betting on sustainable production, animal welfare and climate protection in the classic section of milk and dairy, fish and meat products.


“Innovative power” of the F&B industry


The President of the Association of the German Retail Grocery Trade (BVLH), Friedhelm Dornseifer, also drew a positive balance: “With Anuga 2021 we have successfully brought the world of food fairs out of the Corona lockdown. My special thanks go to Koelnmesse, which made this possible thanks to the great commitment and efforts of all its employees. Anuga 2021 impressively demonstrated that we have to resolutely continue pursuing the set course of transformation for our food system. The numerous new, sustainably produced and processed products presented here at Anuga highlight the innovative power of the industry and make me very confident that the food industry can make an effective contribution towards reducing the greenhouse emissions and thus combating climate change.”


Christoph Minhoff, Chief Executive Director of the German Food and Drink Industries (BVE), described the success of Anuga 2021 as “an important step back towards normality”. “Koelnmesse has proved that the world's largest trade fair for food can also be carried out safely under Corona regulations,” he remarked. “The exhibitors and trade visitors were finally allowed to meet up again personally, present goods and conclude contracts. As such, this is the first leading trade fair to be staged after the outbreak of Covid-19, an important encourager and stimulus for the worldwide trade with foodstuffs. The food industry has, in line with Anuga's motto ‘Taste the future’, impressively demonstrated that innovation, sustainability and connoisseur enjoyment also belong together in the future.”


Powerful players in hospitality


Ingrid Harges, Chief Executive Director of the German DEHOGA association, added that Anuga 2021 conveyed “a strong and important spirit of optimism” – both for the trade fair industry as well as for the hospitality sector. “In our DEHOGA Lounge in Hall 7, we greeted visitors from all areas of the industry – food professionals from individual gastronomy establishments, food service and system catering businesses – who informed themselves about new products and benefited from the direct exchange with their industry colleagues,” she reported, adding that she observed a confidence in discussions and the “great joy” of in-person encounters – of such enormous importance to the hospitality industry in particular – that was noticeable everywhere.


“With its diversified, powerful programme, the 30th Food Service Forum of the DEHOGA food service initiative was once again a special highlight in Cologne,” she continued. “Alongside Wolfgang Bosbach, one of Germany's most well-known and renowned politicians, a number company heads – Stephan von Bülow (Block Gruppe), Jörg Gilcher (Five Guys) and Jürgen Vogl (Aramark) – and market researcher Jochen Pinsker took to the stage and convinced with stimulating lectures in challenging times.”


The next Anuga will take place in Cologne from 7–11 October 2023. For more information, visit: www.anuga.com

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