Friday, October 13, 2023

Anuga 2023: Seven Observations and a Bunch of Cool Dairy-Related Products


Anuga, the world’s largest food and beverage exposition, took place this past week in Cologne, Germany. Boasting around 140,000 trade visitors from 200 countries and about 7,900 exhibitors from 118 countries, Anuga 2023 exceeded all expectations. The expo was sold out and the halls were packed. 

The share of foreign exhibitors was 94% and at 80%, there was a record share of foreign visitors. This made Anuga 2023 more international than ever. All of the relevant players from the most important food retailers were represented: Amazon, Aeon Co, Aldi, Auchan, Carrefour, Coop, Costco, Colruyt Group, Lidl, Metro, Mercadona, Migros, Rewe, Spar and Walmart. The highest numbers of visitors from European countries were registered from Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey. Beyond Europe, the most well-represented nations included Brazil, China, Japan, Korea and the USA. I was there.


Here are seven key observations.

1. While plant-based products played a dominant role at Anuga 2023, there was a greater emphasis on the “whole plant” aspect to many of these products. It’s more about the inclusion of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Veg of Lund, Sweden, manufacturers of potato-based beverages, debuted ready-to-drink Dug Smoothies made with fruit juice and potatoes.

Minimal processing and clean label were key differentiators between expo booths that were busy with visitors and those that were not. Upcycling also was often part of the plant-based conversation. Austria’s Kern Tec was an Anuga Trend finalist for its yogurt alternative made from upcycled apricot nuts. Flavors are Blueberry, Peach-Maracuja, Natural and Vanilla.

2. Within the dairy segment, protein callouts on all types of products were prevalent, in particular cheese. Products packaged as snacks—or not—included protein in the brand name. This was true of everyday cheeses, as well as cheeses produced to contain extra protein. Cheese snacks were being embraced as powerful protein products. 

Australia’s oldest dairy—Brownes Dairy—debuted Cheesies. Made with Australian milk, Cheesies come in Original, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors. They are sold in packs of five, with each 20 gram Cheesie containing 60 calories and 1.8 grams of protein. Cheesies are about 60% real cheese and also contain butter, skim milk powder, milk protein concentrate and other ingredients to form the cheesie “lolly on a stick.” They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and are a good source of calcium. 

Latterie Inalpi introduced Protein+. These first-of-its-kind cheese slices are enriched with zinc, selenium and postbiotics. They are made with 100% Italian milk. The company describes the product as “Protein+ slices are not just a food. They are a real ally for your daily well-being and your vitality. These are high-protein processed cheese slices enriched with postbiotics, with an amazing content of 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of product. These slices are an invaluable source of nourishment, ideal for fitness lovers and for anyone who wants to nourish their body without sacrificing taste. The slices have an elastic and peelable consistency, a delicate smell of melted cheese and an equally delicate and enveloping flavor.”

3. Refrigerated single-serve desserts—mostly dairy based, but also some plant-based—were crafted to be indulgent and better-for-you all at the same time. Protein-enhanced, single-serve refrigerated desserts provide consumers permission to indulge through portion control packaging. 

4. Without a doubt the most dairy excitement was in the cheese sector, with new flavors and formats all the talk. The protein push with cheese was not just in snacking. It was also in making cheese the center-of-plate protein. Grillable cheeses were prevalent. 

Güntensperger Käse AG of Germany debuted Cheese Bangers. The product received accolades from Anuga Taste contest. According to the company, “Sausage doesn‘t always have to be meat. No, it can also be cheese and is therefore the perfect meat alternative for the frying pan, the oven or, of course, the grill. The Cheese Bangers are made from real Swiss-quality cheese, which creates an unmistakable umami taste in the mouth in the fried Cheese Bangers.” There are three varieties. They are Original, Spicy and Hot Spicy. 

5. In the beverage space, ready-to-drink tea milks and coffee milks were booming. And, ready-to-drink boba beverages, with or without dairy, were introduced by a number of European and Asia beverage processors. 

Emmi introduced Caffe Latte--Hey, What’s Poppin? Packages read, “Our new flavor is theater at its best. Popcorn takes the lead role with coffee flavor as the supporting role. And no worries, you’ll still get your coffee boost. So be the star of your own day, or night. Everything you love. Nothing you don’t need. 100% natural ingredients.” The lactose-free beverage contains 58 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbohydrates and 3.2 grams of protein. 

6. The most creative frozen desserts pushed boundaries. Lithuania’s Dadu Ice Cream is putting gummy bears into ice cream while Galana Frozen Food, Belgium, is making cheesecake scoopable. Pleese Freezecakes are made with more than 35% cream cheese and come in three varieties. Butterscotch Caramel is frozen butterscotch-flavored cheesecake swirled with caramel-flavored sauce and chocolate pieces coated in chocolate. Double Chocolate is frozen chocolate-flavored cheesecake swirled with chocolate-flavored sauce and chocolate biscuit pieces coated in chocolate and topped with flakes of chocolate. Lemon Raspberry is frozen lemon-flavored cheesecake swirled with raspberry-flavored sauce and biscuit pieces coated in white chocolate and topped with freeze-dried raspberry pieces. Each package is said to be four servings, with one serving containing about 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 23 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein. Freezecakes is best served when it has been out of the freezer for about 10 minutes for silky smooth scoopability, much like ice cream. 

7. While cultivated, lab grown, cell-based products were present and a hot topic of conversation in the educational program, I am happy to report that science is alive in real dairy, too. One of the 10 winners of the Anuga Trends contest was The Garum Project srl, Italy. The company created Milk Garum: a sustainable, 100% natural umami-rich flavor enhancer for in-home use. It is made from cheese whey and has a creamy, honey-like texture and authentic umami akin to aged parmigiano cheese. The product has a two-year shelf life and can be used to enhance the flavor of foods while keeping sodium levels down. The flavor enhancer also allows for a reduction in dairy usage in recipes to better manage calorie and saturated fat content. 

Mark your calendar. The next Anuga will take place October 4-8, 2025.


No comments:

Post a Comment