Anuga's Taste 15: highlighting innovation from millions of SKUs
People come to Anuga for many reasons. Aside from hard-nosed business, one which appeals to most is INNOVATION - to look, source, find, discover, be inspired by things NEW. That is certainly the case for this journalist and, luckily, the Anuga organisers give a helping hand via their innovation event, Taste 2015, that aims to uncover top new products in various categories.
IN total, over 830 companies applied to have over 2 000 ideas included in this special event, with a jury of trade journalists selecting 61 products and concepts spanning across all ten of Anuga's trade shows-in-one. These were presented at a convenient glance in an attractive showcase exhibition on an open boulevard at the North entrance, and that's where I headed first.
The diverse array of products was a curious mix of Ha! and Huh? With so many options to choose from so many countries, and their winning qualities often lost in translation of culture, perhaps this no surprise.
What stood out immediately was convenience as USP (unique selling point). More and more single or small households, all households perchance, are purchasing ready-made, ready-cut, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks, preferably in smaller portions.
In fact, while every food known to man was likely on display here in extraordinary numbers and diversity, I found the element of convenience very striking: easy-to-open/close, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook, just heat, just-add-one-vegetable, easy pour, ready cut, sliced, diced, minced, portioned, finger food, on-the-go, shake and cook.... and so the descriptors go for this almighty trend.
And in no way does convenience triumph other attributes such as healthy, bio/organic, clean label, artisanal quality, natural, and so on.
Here's a little showcase of some sandwich snacking items for microwave or toaster that are among the Anuga Taste 15 finalists, and not one such concept, but three. Clearly this idea moved the judges' combined sentiments.
No spilling, no mess, no dripping. These Austrian toasts, in three savoury and three sweet variants, can be prepared easily.
Subtly seasoned salami sandwiches of high quality Swiss meat between two lightly toasted slices of bread - the ideal companion for hunger on the go.
The new microwave snack, Ping!, from Tillman's is quickly prepared and available in five varieties.
So convenience is a BIG thing, as mentioned, but there are plenty of other trends/USPs at play here too: premium/indulgent quality; organic or bio is still big; meat alternatives or vegetarian/vegan friendly; wheat alternatives or use of ancient/novel grains; "free-from" products, ie preservatives, artificial flavourants and additives, gluten and so on. Some meet several of these demands at the same time.
There are also some really weird and wonderful ideas, among them: battered and breaded avocado slices for foodservice; a bread-bake mix 'from the Stone Age'; chicken gelati, a savoury/sweet ice-cream that incorporates chicken meat; and another line of vegetable-based ice-creams (Heston Blumenthal's ideas brought to protype life); frozen herbal teas and number of functional drinks, including those based on algae and one incorporating extracts of olive leaves.
The world’s first organic drink with olive leaf extract. Has polyphenols and flavonoids, blended with the cool and sophisticated flavours of cucumber and juniper. Low calorie, no artificial sweeteners, flavourings or colourings, no preservatives, vegan, vegetarian and organic certified in UK.
Line of vegetable based ice-creams, composed of three items: Tomato & Strawberry Sauce, Pumpkin & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce, Carrott & Lemon Sauce.
Smoothie with spinach & coconut milk. Naturally without added sugar, artificial additives, preservatives and concentrates; vegan and lactose-free.
You can view all these Taste 15 products online here:
And there's a handy database of all the new products at Anuga listed here, some 104 pages of them!::26418