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Vitafoods International and Finished Products Expo 2009: vital insights for your business.

It's a fact. Consumers are more interested than ever before in the health benefits of foods. Not just that, they have taken their intrigue that one step further and have begun to look beyond the basic nutritional benefits of food to the disease prevention and health enhancing compounds contained in many foods. This, combined with a more widespread understanding of how diet affects health, and an ageing population have created a market for functional foods and natural health products like never before.

By 2008, for example, the entire functional foods market alone was worth more than $80 billion, with the US holding a majority share in the nutraceuticals market (35%), followed by Japan (25%). Included in this is the ever-growing European market (currently estimated to be $8 billion), which, in recent years, has witnessed something of a revolution. However, not everyone is taking their health and well-being as seriously as they should be. According to reports, the world is being gripped by an intense obesity crisis that has been described as the next deadly global pandemic. Projected to be a bigger threat to life than AIDS and malaria combined, obesity is quickly becoming the world's most severe healthcare crisis. As waistlines grow alarmingly, so do concerns regarding the impact that an unhealthy population could have on everything from medicine to the economy. But it's not an irreversible situation. Yes, the onus is on the individual to take reasonable control of their diet ... but a commitment by the food industry to produce healthier food is also essential. And what better way to go about sourcing ideas and inspiration on how to give products that health kick than by visiting Vitafoods International 2009.

Taking place at GEVEVA PALEXPO, Switzerland (5-7 May), Vitafoods International and Finished Products Expo are the leading exhibitions of their kind in the world. Vitafoods International uniquely combines raw ingredients and materials from nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, functional foods and functional drinks into an unrivalled market-leading event for all those involved in the industry, whereas Finished Products Expo is Europe's leading dedicated exhibition for the dietary supplement, functional foods and functional drinks industries. The growth of the functional food and drink industry during recent years is reflected in the changing nature of the event. In the last 4 years alone, the overall size of the show has increased by more than 50% and this is predicted to grow even further as the consumer health dilemma moves further up companies' boardroom agenda across the globe.

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And Vitafoods International truly is a global show. The 2008 event welcomed exhibitors in their droves from countries as far flung as Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and India, and visitors from more than 81 countries worldwide. And this year, a more eclectic mix of nationalities is expected than ever before as the organizers anticipate visitor numbers in the thousands. The international element of the exhibition is certainly one of the secrets to its success, which is why a number of international pavilions have been set up for 2009 to ensure that visitors can locate products and suppliers from different areas of the world. Joining the established pavilions from the USA, China and New Zealand will be SIPPO (Swiss Import Promotion Programme), AWEX, Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board), France--Bretagne, WUSATA (Western US Agricultural Trade Association) and Korea.

As one of last year's exhibitors, Mike Dewey, the Marketing Manager at Algaecal put it: "Vitafoods International is a quality show. This is our third year exhibiting and we are once again impressed with the interesting cultural and international mix of exhibitors and visitors alike. It is definitely worth the investment." As Mike points out, exhibiting at events such as Vitafoods International can certainly prove to be a sound business decision. The international nature of the show opens up a previously tough market to penetrate; the sheer volume of exhibitors and visitors enables more contact with potential business partners than would usually be possible in a whole year, whilst the direct nature of the exhibition facilitates that all-important face-to-face contact and expert networking opportunities. And at this year's event, there will be more opportunities to make the most of these benefits than ever before.

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The previously successful free-to-attend Supplier Seminar Theatre will once again offer visitors the opportunity to hear from key industry figures who will take to the stage to inform the audience about new product launches, innovations and revolutionary research. In 2008, the theatre attracted more than 800 attendees across 29 sessions. The New Products Zone will once again act as a unique product sourcing facility for visitors. This service allows exhibitors to showcase the most innovative and cutting-edge developments in the industry and act as a route-planner for the overall visit. In 2008, 84% of visitors indicated they attended the exhibition on a 'product-sourcing' mission. The Vitafoods Discussion Forum on the third day will provide an opportunity for exhibitors, visitors and delegates to question a panel of experts on the latest and most groundbreaking developments in the industry and see how they will affect business. Finally, the Service Pavilion, which was set up to enable visitors to easily find and target service and equipment suppliers for the nutraceutical industry, will also be back for 2009.

VitaTrend, a joint initiative between Innova Market Insights and Vitafoods International, will wow visitors at this year's event. Central trends in nutraceuticals and functional foods will be brought together in several presentations, indicating where we are heading in the health and wellness world. Innova Market Insights analysts will give major presentations on four of the current themes and trends that are driving new nutrition development. The presentations will include key insights into how current demographic challenges should be addressed and which ingredients should be marketed to each specific segment of the population. A further presentation will focus on novel methods to tackle the spiraling obesity crisis, including an examination of the hottest key trends driving the weight management category today. Five further presentations will provide additional insights and key health and wellness themes. To provide added value to the pavilion, the themes will be supported by a collection of the most innovative functional foods and nutraceuticals in the market today. Free tailored advisory sessions run by experts from EAS will also be on offer to visitors at Vitafoods International and Finished Products Expo. A limited number of pre-bookable sessions on the very latest regulatory and strategic advice on getting into the functional foods market, health claims, novel foods and labelling requirements are among the many topics that the experts will be discussing.

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Vitafoods International Conference

By delivering the right mix of industry experts, visitors and exhibitors for the past 12 years, Vitafoods International has grown into the world's leading international networking event for nutraceuticals in the trade calendar. The three-day conference alone attracts some of the world's leading experts and academics in health and nutrition, and boasted more than 250 delegates in 2008. Organized by Leatherhead Food International, the conference invites senior industry speakers to highlight the latest and ongoing developments and innovations in the field. New for 2008, on the third day, will be the interactive workshop session, which promises to improve and enhance the overall quality of the conference experience. Technical stream topics that are NEW for this year's show include life-stage nutrition, beauty foods/cosmeceuticals and new technologies. These will be joined by sessions on gut, heart and mental health, weight management/satiety and marketing.

Finished Products Expo 2009

This year, Finished Products Expo, Europe's leading dedicated exhibition for the dietary supplement, functional foods and functional drinks industries, is set for glory in its own right, as it gains independence from Vitafoods International. With a whole host of brand new features, including a Polish Pavilion, free advisory clinics hosted by EAS and the much-anticipated "Tasting Bar Awards," this year's event promises to be even more successful than before. And this is well on its way, with the number of stands set to increase to more than 100 companies supplying quality dietary supplements, cosmeceuticals, functional foods, drinks and contract manufacturing services. Since its launch in 2006, the show, which is colocated with Vitafoods International, has gone from strength to strength, increasing in size by more than 50%, drawing in more than 80 exhibitors and 2000 attendees at the last event. And it's not just the calibre of the exhibitors that will attract visitors to the show this year. A whole host of added-value features designed specifically to appeal to the diverse audience at Finished Products Expo will form the backbone of the 2009 event.

The Tasting Bar @ FPE continues to be one of the most popular and well-visited attractions at the show. It offers hundreds of visitors the opportunity to sample a host of the latest innovations in the functional foods and drinks market and provides accompanying information, offering all the background information required to make that all-important purchasing decision. Some of the health foods and drinks that the visitors to last year's show could taste in 2008 included KIX Energy Gummy, XyliDent Duo 100% Xylitol Chewing Gum, NOW Crunch Clusters, SANKOM Chews, EDEL-TONIC, Liquid Joint and Novita. This year, visitors can even vote for their favourite product, culminating in a results announcement at the end of each show day.

New for this year will be the Polish Pavilion--an area dedicated to Polish exhibitors--making it easier for visitors to find all they need from one country. With the rapidly expanding dietary supplement, functional food and nutrient market in Poland establishing itself, a pavilion dedicated entirely to Polish companies, organized by The Polish Council for Supplements and Nutritional Foods (KRSiO), at Finished Products Expo, was a natural choice. In addition, the New Products Zone, a showcase dedicated to innovation in the industry, will act as a guide and route planner to the latest developments in the market. Alongside this, the successful online matchmaking scheme, "Distributors Wanted," will return, allowing distributors to get in contact with FPE exhibitors ahead of the show and arrange to meet onsite and develop new partnerships.

Commenting on the growth of the event and with his predictions for this year, Event Director at Finished Products Expo, Chris Lee, said: "Finished Products Expo has grown exponentially in recent years and we're really keen to capitalize on its growing reputation as a leading exhibition in its field. The functional food and drink industry continues to grow and we're always looking at the best ways to work with our visitors and exhibitors to enhance their business and ensure they get real value out of Finished Products Expo. If statistics from previous years are anything to go by, the show will continue to grow well into the future."

For more information

Katie Morris

IIR Exhibitions

Tel. +44 207 017 7026

kmorris@iirx.co.uk.

For further information on exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities at Finished Products Expo, or for information on visiting the shows, please visit www. finishedproductsexpo.com/pr or www.vitafoods.eu.com/pr.
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Title Annotation:vitafoods preview
Author:Morris, Katie
Publication:Nutraceutical Business & Technology
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2009
Words:1830
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