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Trendsetters of frozen food industry gathering in Cologne for Anuga Fair: they're having an Oktoberfest for frozens at the "food capital" of Germany.

Frozen food is on the move. Despite a weak economy, the sector continues to expand in Europe. Innovations are creating added value especially in baked goods, pizzas, baguettes, ready-meals and snack items.

Helping generate momentum for even further growth will be Anuga Frozen Food, one of ten specialized trade fairs under the common umbrella of the Anuga Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, October 11-15. Leading frozen food companies will be there. So will Quick Frozen Foods International at Stand T009, Hall 14.2.

QFFI will again present the prestigious Golden Ice Crystal award, in ceremonies taking place at the K0inmesse Messe Club at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 12. In addition, the German Frozen Food Institute (DTI) will use its traditional Anuga press conference to present the latest statistics and its outlook for the German frozen food industry.

Anuga Frozen Food will occupy Hall 14.2 and cover a total area of 22,500 square meters. Among companies taking part are Ardo, Pinguin, Schne-Frost, Dr. Schnetkamp, Freiberger, Lamb Weston, Oerlemans, Frenzel, Wagner and Wernsing. In spite of the difficult economic conditions at present, ten German exhibitors will be present for the first time.

According to a trend survey of 1,000 food industry managers conducted by the German trade magazine Lebensmittel Praxis, the frozen food sector is expected to experience the strongest growth in the food business this year.

Potential for further growth is still enormous. Whereas consumption levels in Germany and France are pretty much at the European average of over 30 kg annually, consumers in Sweden, Norway and the UK eat more than 40 kg of frozen foods per year. However, consumption is much lower in the Netherlands (19.8 kg) and Italy (12.4 kg).

The frozen food area will be in the immediate vicinity of the other temperature-controlled segments at the show: Anuga Dairy in Hall 14.1; Anuga Meat in Halls 9.1, 9.2 and 10.1; and Anuga Chilled Food in Hall 10.2.

The profile of all ten trade fairs will be distinctive in terms of both visual appeal and content and be extensively featured in all communication channels, including a specific pictogram. The symbol of Anuga Frozen Food will be--very appropriately--a stylized ice crystal. The newly conceived navigation system will ensure direct communication and the fastest routes to exhibitor stands.

Organic Products Galore is a special show, new this year, organized by bioPress Verlag. Buyers for the catering trade will be able to see thousands of different organic items under one roof, all of which are also available to the food retail trade.

What follows is a preview of some of the frozen food products to be showcased at the fair.

Traditional Potato Cubes and Traditional Wedges are two new items that Lamb Weston/Meijer, Kruiningen, the Netherlands (Fax: 31-113-394280) will be bringing to Hall 14.2, Stand R08.

Their home made look, the company says, "adds an element of traditional goodness for people already seeking more natural, full-flavored products." The "skin-off" appeal goes with just about every menu, from burgers to roast prune rib, beef or fish. The products, winch work well as second choice of potatoes for menu makers, take 4 to 5 1/2 minutes to prepare in a commercial fryer, or 20-25 minutes in an oven.

Also available at the Lamb Weston/Meijer stand will be the company's full assortment of french fries and other potato products, ranging from Stealth Fries with a coating that lets them stay hot and crispy for more than 20 minutes, to upscale Private Reserve (including Steakhouse and skin-on varieties) and American Specialties--including Twisters, Crinkle Cuts and such recent innovations as seasoned Wavelength fries, Mild Curry Wedges and Garlic, Pepper & Onion Wedges.

Orogel Surgelati, Pievesestina di Cesena, Italy (Fax: 39-0547-317551), will present a wealth of ready meals, pizza, snacks, meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, herbs mid even ice cream at Stands Q031-R098, Hail 14.2.

Orogel recently invested 25 million euros in its production operation. Sales for 2002 rose eight percent to EUR 125 million, with shipments of more than 62,000 tons (up 10%), establishing itself as the number three retail brand in Italy.

Orogel concentrates on its core business of producing added value meal components. Its La Cucina Italiana brand, launched in 2001, is used to market premium products like Verduri, a chef's choice vegetable puree, available in drops and ready in only six minutes. The additive-free product has been the best selling ready dish in Italy for the last six months.

With 14 branches and a network of dealers Orogel serves retail, catering and industrial clients throughout Italy. Frozen meal components of the traditional Mediterranean menu have also been made available in Europe, the United States and Japan.

Scheme-Frost of Loningen, Germany (Fax: 49-5432-9481-19) is adapting a very traditional national dish to the exotic tastes that are now going over well in Germany. Its crisp Kartoffel-Tasche Asia is a potato pancake stuffed with a sweet-sour mixture of bamboo and mango shoots.

One of Germany's leading frozen potato specialty suppliers, Schne-Frost is a major supplier to catering and the home delivery services. By its own reckoning, the company processes more than 130,000 tons of potatoes annually, of which nearly 90% come from German contract farmers.

Its new Rostoppers--potatoes stuffed with four sweet or savory fillings (cream cheese, salmon and herbs, turkey and broccoli, and apples and nuts)--have won several DLG (German Agricultural Society) awards, including Best Prize. Before the Asian variety, there were introductions of country-style potato pancakes with potato skins, smoked ham and onions; and gourmet potato pancakes with skins, eggs and onions.

Although it specializes in potato products, the company, which will hold forth at Stands O0814-89, also makes ready meals and ingredients for same, and frozen snacks. Also on the scene will be sister company Dr. Schnetkamp with a new Avita range of crispy vegetable pancakes made from potatoes, broccoli and almonds.

There's a great abundance of new products from Ardo NV, Ardooie, Belgium (Fax: 32-51-305997). Just two examples at Stand O009-P009, under the A Table brand, are Pasta Pollo (chicken with pre-cooked pasta with tomatoes, onions, red peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese and spices) and Spinach Filanti (leaf spinach with mozzarella cheese and cream).

Poelee Champetre, also under the A Table brand, is a blend of cut beans, broccoli, cut mushrooms, diced red peppers and diced onions in a mix of palm- and sunflower oil. Other new products from the versatile Belgian processor include Brussels sprouts with creamy bacon sauce (A Table), Farfalle Prosciutto (A Table), cauliflower and cheese nuggets (Les Tapas), fried sliced onions (Express, Salsifies with bechamel sauce (A Table), and more.

Ardo produces high quality frozen products for various markets under its proprietary brand ms well as raider customers' own labels. Vertical integration of the production cycle, geographical positioning of its organization, and a pan-European distribution are among its assets.

C.P. Interfood Co., Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand (Fax: 62-694 4446), may be best known for chicken, but it's bringing much more to Hall 8.1, Stands BG004-C025. Would you believe ostrich meat, for example? Even in the chicken realm, there are items like chicken red curry and chicken green curry with rice, and stir-fried chicken with basil and rice.

"CPIF takes pride in being among the largest producers and exporters of frozen prepared chicken, duck, ready to eat meals and black tiger or white shrimp products," said a company spokesman. "Our mission is to work hand-in-hand with companies worldwide in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality food products to stringent international production standards. Our factories comply with all the prerequisite ISO and Halal (Muslim religious) certifications."

Ratatouille with penne and turkey, Canadian vegetables with potatoes and turkey sausage, Mexican vegetables with chicken, Thai vegetables with scampis and Tex-Mex vegetarian mix--they all come from d'LIS Food N.V., Ieper, Belgium (Fax:32-51-637985).

At Hall 14.2, Stand M/N41-40, along with parent company Pinguin, d'LIS will be showing off its range of ready meals in international styles: Mediterranean, Montreal, Latino, Siam and Tex-Mex. All are in keeping with a mission to deliver healthy, high quality, delicious food in a convenient way that accords with the consumers' individuality and independence.

Pinguin, meanwhile, will be showcasing a wide assortment of fresh-frozen vegetables, fruits, herbs, potato and rice products, steam bowls and meal components.

D'LIS takes pride in its technology. The IQF process used to produce stir-fry meals preserves the structure, taste, vitamins and nutritional value of each ingredient in D'LIS recipe dishes. The various meal components such as vegetables, meat, fish, potatoes, rice or pasta are individually cooked in advance and frozen using the IQF process. Later they are mixed, seasoned or sauced in an ideal ratio, under strictly controlled conditions.

Herbs, herbs, herbs! Daregal S.A., Milly-la-Foret, France (Fax: 33-1-64982957), will have just about every kind imaginable at Hall 14.2, Stand N061. A pioneer in the category, Daregal supplies herbs to supermarkets, freezer centers and home service groups, plus the catering sector.

Its basic range in 250g and 1 kg bags: includes basil, chervil, chive, dill, garlic, parsley, shallot, tarragon, mixed herbs and other varieties. There is also a pellet line in 250g bags with garlic and parsley, court-bouillon, sorrel, pesto, provengal and more. And there's the Bitemperaturer[R] range: basil, chives, tarragon, oregano, parsley, all in dispenser-jars of 100g and 150g.

From homestyle plum cake and apfel kuchen to gooseberry cake and red currant kuchen, making fruit-filled baked goods in the authentic Thuringian style is what the Waltershausen, Germany-based Thoks GmbH (Fax: 49-3622-20995-25) is all about. It does so in accordance with recipes dating back more than 80 years.

THOKS is an abbreviation for Thuringer Obstkuchen Spezialitaten, or Thuringian Cake Specialist. Its range also includes cheese cake studded with raisins, rhubarb fruit slices, German Winterdream cake with raisins and almonds, nut cake with cherries, and poppyseed cake. All these and more will be on display at Hall 14.2, Stand N080.

The basis of all THOKS cakes is traditionally made yeast dough, rolled onto baking trays and then thinly lined with pudding and covered with poppy seed cream, fruit or cream cheese. The filling is topped off with a finish made from sour cream, eggs and sugar.

Organic as well as basic vegetables are the forte of Oerlemans Foods BV, Venlo, the Netherlands (Fax: 31-77-3821448). And there's more to the former, displayed at Hall 14.2, Stand P041-P049, than you might realize.

Sure, Oerlemans sources organic vegetables in die Netherlands (cauliflower florets, peas, sweet corn, beans, celeriac, leeks, onions, carrots, mixes, potato products, white cabbage, freely chopped spinach , leaf spinach, red cabbage with apple, mushrooms, herbs and turnips). But it also gets fruits and vegetables for its Bio range from Hungary (tomatoes, raspberries, blackberries, black currants, apricots, peas, corn, courgettes, carrots, plums and cut green beans) and Poland (strawberries, blueberries, black currants, red currants, leeks, carrots, beans, onions).

Oerlemans produces vegetables for the retail and catering markets, and for industrial use in ready meals.

Frozen meat and poultry supplier Salomon Hitburger GmbH, Grobostheim-Ringheim, Germany (Fax: 49-6026-506-299), will be busy at Hall 14.2, Stand R011-S010, showing off everything from beef Hitburgers and chicken and vegi Sunny Burgers to Naturland organic beef and a broad range of finger foods.

The trendy Salomon Finger Food World range and the Basics & Toppings range are now also available in one kilogram mid 2.5 kg bulk consumer packaging for the cash and carry market, and for small restaurant operators and caterers. This includes the hits of the Finger Food World such as Western Chik'n Wings and Chik'n Fingers Coconut. Basics & Toppings weigh in with innovative high-convenience products such as ready-grilled vegetables or precooked beef as well as the Chik'n Breast, which comes already marinated and sliced.

Oriental shrimp croquettes are the latest thing front Slothouber Seafood B.V., Den Haag, the Netherlands (Fax: 31-703-609345). But the company is skewering the seafood market with, among other things, skewers.

Shrimp products are the bread-and-butter of the company, which will receive visitors at Hall 10.2, Stand R028. There are entire lines devoted to black tiger, freshwater and white shrimp. But there are also shrimp rings, tempura shrimp, and shrimp dim sum.

Skewers include halibut satay, with 50 skewers mid a packet of sauce; seafood skewers, made with a mix of salmon, red snapper, squid, prawns and Pacific halibut; and black tiger shrimp skewers, 51-60 count, 70-100g per skewer. All come in 1 kg packs under the Fishermans Choice brand.

Breaded squid portions are available from Vichiunai Europe B.V., Brugge, Belgium (Fax: 32-50-397825), the Western European arm of Lithuania's Viciuani.

Called Skwiddy's, they were introduced this year. They look just like fish fingers, but they're made from Dodsidicus gigas, a giant squid which hitherto hasn't been exploited much and is therefore in good supply--which can't be said for a lot of whitefish species in Europe. They come in 250g retail and 5 kg foodservice packs, and will be available at Hall 10.2, Stand T039, along with other Viciunai specialties like surimi.

Van den Broeke-Lutosa S.A., Leuze-en-Hainaut Belgimn (Fax: 32-69-668200), has gone into the antiques business. Antique is a line of potato products that will be shown off at Hall 14.2, Stands Q031-Q033, and includes:

* Antique Potato Puffs, with "the Chinch and the authenticity of the Potato Slices of yesteryear thanks to their preparation with great care."

* Antique Roast Potatoes, cut in unequal parts and prefried in selected sunflower oil.

* Antique Mashed Potatoes, prepared with traditional choice ingredients: Bintje potatoes, milk, butter and finely seasoned.

* Antique French Flies, irregularly cut, with a golden and "homemade" aspect

Frozen desserts and pastries are the thing at Poppies International NV, Zonnebeke, Belgium (Fax: 32-57460202), which will be holding forth at Hall 14.2, Stand S020.

Offerings include: six-count Eclairs Cafe (200g), filled with mokka-creme; chou-pops (325g) filled with dairy cream, with a separate serving of chocolate sauce; Rollinis (240g) Mini Blackforest Swiss Rolls; Mini Cream Puffs filled with dairy cream; Doughnuts with granulated sugar (60g per piece); and Beignets with chocolate hazelnut filling (85g per piece).

Thai Union Frozen Products Public Co., Bangkok, Thailand (Fax: 66-2-298 0548), is well known for canned tuna, but it does a lot of business in frozen seafood as well. Visitors can check it all out at Hall 10.2, Stand T021-T029.

Frozen tuna is defrosted, filleted, cleaned, vacuum-packed and refrozen before being exported, mostly to the USA and Japan. Raw materials used come from different species, including skipjack, yellowfin and albacore. Cephalopod are filleted and then frozen, or used in value-added sashimi, breaded and other end products. Raw cuttlefish and squid are sourced domestically while octopus is wholly imported. Japan is the top export market. Wholly domestic farmed black tiger shrimp is boiled, frozen and packed, respectively, in different forms--whole, headless, tail-on, headless and shelled, boiled and value-added (sushi and breaded).

Enrofreez N.V., Proven, Belgium (Fax: 32-57-301308), is another player in the potato products business. But it has also gotten into frozen croquette, vegetarian foods and other products that will be on view at Hall 14.2, Stand N089.

Besides fries (standard, crinkle cut, steak and oven), the company's potato products include noisettes, croquettes, pommes duchesse, parisiennes and dauphine, plus wedges, sliced and diced spuds. Beyond potatoes, there are cheese croquettes (some with herbs or ham, some made with goat cheese), mushroom croquettes, chicken croquettes, shrimp croquettes (North Sea or Malaysian), vegetable fingers and vegetable burgers.

Potato specialist Mydibel of Mouscron, Belgium (Fax: 32-56-334945), specializes in everything from planting and harvesting to finished products, and turns out 100,000 tons a year in accordance with the BRC specifications.

Its frozen range runs the gamut, from standard steakhouse and crinkle cut fries to diced potatoes, slices, baby roast potatoes, skin-on wedges, croquettes, duchess potatoes, round croquettes, pommes Ardennaise, potatoes dauphine, and flakes and granules.

Products are packed under the Mydibel brand as well as under private label, and are distributed in 62 countries. The range will be on display at Hall 14.2, Stand R080.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
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Date:Oct 1, 2003
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