Thursday, March 26, 2015

Anuga FoodTec Recap: Two Packages and One Product Concept You Must Read About

I just returned from attending the 7th Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany. Also known simply as AFT, this expo is not to be confused with Anuga, the world’s largest finished food fair taking place later this year (October 10 to 14) in the same location.

The AFT is held every three years. It is the only trade fair in the world that covers all aspects of food production. Five exhibition segments of AFT--Food Processing, Food Packaging, Food Safety, Ingredients (new for 2015) and Services/Solutions--form one transparent information system for all areas of the industry and for all levels of resources. For the industry visitor, AFT encompasses all the synergies of a process-orientated production chain, from raw material to delivery-ready end product.

The expo ends today, March 27, and final numbers are expected to show that more than 43,000 highly qualified trade visitors traveled from around 130 countries to view the more than 1,500 supplier exhibitors representing 49 countries.

Both the dairy and meat industries showed the most growth in terms of exhibitor numbers and space, as compared to the 2012 expo. To read some highlights from the dairy sector, as reported by Koelnmesse, a co-organizer of the event, link HERE.

As an attendee of many, many trade shows, I am exposed to a lot of innovation. The AFT was no exception; however, there were definitely some innovations that stood out. Here are two of them.

This gadget from the German packaging company Poppelmann GmbH & Co., takes the foon (fork plus spoon), also sometimes called spork (spoon plus fork), to a new level, as it has a foldable design so that it fits into the dome of a single-serve cup container. When removed, the consumer straightens it, snapping together the two halves of the handle to form a foon that is 125 millimeters long. It is also stable and long enough to reach the bottom of the container without effort and without getting hands dirty.

The company supplies the cup, the dome and the foon, but the pieces are available individually, too. This type of container is ideal for high-protein dairy foods such as cottage cheese (with delicious inclusions), yogurt blended with grains such as chia, oats and quinoa, and desserts such as rice pudding and quark. 
To read more about the foon, link HERE.
The foon recently won a German Packaging Award. Read more HERE.

The second show stopper for me comes from Ecolean, a Swedish aseptic filling and packaging company that markets a uniquely shaped stand-up plastic pouch for refrigerated and shelf-stable beverages, including milk and drinkable yogurt. During AFT, the company sponsored a seminar entitled “Packaging innovation and brand regeneration,” and showed attendees through customer testimonials how the stand-up pouch can help a dairy increase sales of fluid milk.

“We have been able to double the sales of the brand since the launch of the Ecolean package and this can be attributed to the new innovative package format,” said Syed Waqas Azhar, general marketing-dairy, Engro Foods Ltd., Pakistan, marketers of the Olper's brand of milk.

The flexible stand-up package is shaped like a pitcher. It has an air-filled handle that adds to the stability of the package, as well as makes it convenient for pouring. It comes in varied sizes, from single serve to family size. It can be colored or clear, and even have an attached straw. The flexible packaging has a well-suited surface for high-quality print, which together with a generous primary display panel, functions as a billboard to get the attention of today’s fast-paced consumer. To read more about the package, link HERE.

Now here’s the yummy product concept. Whenever and wherever I travel, I make supermarket visits. Germany always has some of the most innovative dairy products, and this one is definitely new, as I did not see it the last time I visited the country in October 2013 for Anuga.

It’s a cream cheese- and butter-based bread spread with large and plentiful flavorful inclusions. It is designed to be spread on bread or a baguette and then baked in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes. The spread bubbles and firms up on the bread, which simultaneously gets toasted.

Hochland offers five varieties: Bruschetta, Chicken Tuscany, Mediterranean Vegetable, Pizza and Tarte (ham, onions and a touch of black pepper.)

Edelweiss is rolling out three varieties under its Milkana brand. There’s Hawaii, (ham and pineapple), Salami and Tarte.

This TV commercial—there’s two, and it’s the second one—shows you exactly how the spread bakes up. Watch it HERE.

I purchased the Hochland Tarte product and did not have an oven handy. But I spread it on some bread and it was super delicious even chilled. I would really love this product in America. Hint, hint.

There will not be a blog next Friday, April 3rd, in respect for Good Friday. Have a lovely Easter and Passover holiday, and for many, a sunny and warm spring break. Watch out Key Largo, the Berry’s will arrive soon!

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