The global industry is eagerly viewing the enormous Indian consumer market with its huge 1.21 billion population and venturing into the country in search of capturing this market, or looking at the “Make in India” option – following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful international visits – alongside promoting sales of their products and setting up related agencies, besides even sending their people to reside in India for promoting their industry. Germany is one of these countries with the representatives of its ANUGA Trade Fair 2015 showcasing this event on their global whistle-stop tours which included India.
Describing India as a country of many facets that are fascinating, moving and challenging, and a history as rich and big as its future, Katharina C Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH which is organising ANUGA 2015 at Cologne in Germany, said in Mumbai recently that India’s relevance as one of the world’s leading economies made it compulsory for Koelnmesse and its flagship ANUGA – the world’s leading food and beverage fair – to highlight itself in Mumbai.
“India has distinguished itself on the global market with countless products and <g data-gr-id="79">its</g> lively and versatile culinary tradition. Companies that serve this global market exhibit regularly at Anuga, the most important trading platform. The India offer at Anuga includes tea, spices, general provisions like rice, millet, lentils and also Indian specialties. Indian specialties and dishes are sought after around the world, not only by the large Indian communities in countries like Great Britain or the United States of America, but also by the growing fans of Indian Cuisine,” she said.
Noting that in recent years there has been a continual expansion of India participation in Anuga, she said that in 2005, there were 45 companies from India in this Fair, and by 2013 this number had grown to 126. “The visitor figures also show that Indian buyers interest in Anuga has steadily increased in recent years and, in 2005, we welcomed 304 Indian visitors to Anuga with the figures growing to 529 two years ago. India distinguishes itself on the global market with countless products and <g data-gr-id="118">its</g> lively and versatile culinary tradition has shown an approximate of 48 per cent increase in the exports of coffee, nuts and dried fruits and oleaginous fruits from the preceding year and there is a hope that it will keep growing,” Hamma said.
Additionally, in 2013, several Indian delegations visited the Fair and not only took the opportunity to talk to a number of leading companies, but also got together with other foreign representatives, she said while expressing confidence that in this point of time, the Indian exhibitors, trade visitors and official delegations would be there at Anuga 2015. Creativity is the key to change a perception and Anuga 2015 offers world class technology and a wide spread of products from different parts of the world that are opening a new horizon for Indian businesses. This event will bring about a change in demand, supply and preference that will change the perception of food and create a platform for India Food Industry on an International Standard, she said. Hamma said Anuga would be held this year for the 33rd time and the signs were already positive as, five months before the Fair begins, the exhibition area is already completely booked.
“I am very happy to be able to state that this year, Anuga will present around 6,800 exhibitors from approximately 100 countries. Anuga will once again play host as the world’s largest and most important trading and information platform for the international food business. Anuga – accessible exclusively to trade visitors from within the industry – also functions as a reflection of the international food industry with 86 per cent of the exhibitors and 66 <g data-gr-id="98">per cent</g> of the industry visitors coming from foreign countries. This means that global as well as regional collaborations and commercial relationships are agreed upon at Anuga which – at the same time – showcases nutritional and product trends for food retailing and the food service trade.”
She said social and political challenges of the food industry would be broached and discussed at the Fair. “For instance, a number of ministers and political delegations from numerous countries participate in the opening of Anuga and use the opportunity to engage in essential international networking. Our goal to maintain both quality and quantity of exhibitors and visitors alike at Anuga ensures that conceptual adjustments are continually carried out and will be in the future.”
She said the proven concept of “10 trade shows in One” would be maintained in 2015 and Anuga Meat – with 850 exhibitors from around 50 countries – is one of the largest trade fairs and also the world’s most extensive information and ordering platform for meat, sausage, game and poultry. The largest joint exhibitor community participation is expected from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa and the USA.
The Fair’s Anuga Dairy segment will be witnessing international pavilions from France, Belgium, Greece, UK, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain and Cyprus displaying their expertise, besides first time participants including groups from Argentina, Australia and Thailand.
Vegan products have become one of the fastest-growing nutrition trends in recent years. “Around one million consumers in Germany eat vegan, according to the German Vegan Association and this trend is growing in other western countries including UK and Netherlands.” Pointing out that in the food industry, innovation is a particularly important growth factor, Hamma said Anuga’s “Anuga Taste” innovation competition offered exhibitors and visitors an opportunity to research new products, concepts and trends. Narrating the case of an Austrian meat producer who – two years ago – was able to win over the “Anuga Taste” jury with a meat-free sausage, she said this man obviously heralded the beginning of a far-reaching movement, which has in the meantime been adopted by other companies. “The success of a leading German sausage manufacturer with their meat-free sausage is one of the proofs of the significance of this movement. The Austrian company succeeded in convincing buyers and has for some time now been listed by one of Germany’s largest discount stores.”
Another current growing trend witnessed in the food industry is convenience. “Growing numbers of single or small households are choosing ready-made meals with a preference for reduced packaging. The fact that they are buying readymade meals however does not stop the consumer from paying attention to quality, sustainable production as well as target group-specific offers like “Free-from” products. These trends are continuing to grow, according to our partners from industry and trade as well as reports from leading marketing research institutes.
Meanwhile, the “Anuga Olive Market” is expected to prove a concentrated platform for olive oil suppliers at the Fair where testing and consultation takes place, alongside highlighting the large and multi-faceted range of olive oils from the Mediterranean, South Africa and other olive oil producing regions. Hamma said that several years ago, based on the success of these Cologne Fairs, the organisers began to extend their portfolio abroad, in the area of food and beverages, besides also in relation to the associate supplier industries. “In Asia, we successfully established a variety of events such as in India, China, Japan and Thailand. Here in India, we have been staging since 2006, the trade fair “Annapoorna – World of Food India” in Mumbai in coordination with our partner – the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) which brings together supply and demand in the India food and beverage market as a pure B2B platform.”
“A similar pattern of growing success can be seen in the other trade fairs staged by Koelnmesse in India, where the 2nd edition of the India International Dairy Expo 2015 closed with very good results. Another successfully operating trade fair is the International FoodTec India whose 2014 edition witnessed growth in both visitor and exhibitor numbers.”
Hamma also announced that, starting from 2015, this Trade Fair will become an annual show – that alternates between New Delhi and Mumbai – where the new schedule will even better cover the complete need for new technology in the food and drink industry and packaging industry of the India
subcontinent. “The next edition of International Foodtec India along with its concurrent trade fairs “Sweet and SnackTec India, Dairy Universe India and PackEx India” will be organized in September 10-12 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.”
India and its rich cultural heritage
“India has a rich cultural heritage and has been known for its love and appreciation for food,” Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, told Millennium Post while pointing out that the Anuga Expo had 40 global ministers including India’s Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar attending the previous edition of this trade show. “We will be inviting India’s Union Minister for Food Processing to the five-day Anuga 2015 in October,” she said.
“Food from India is still a delicacy appreciated all over the world and products from not just small but also large companies make their way to Anuga in growing numbers. Fine food takes up the most space followed by Meat at Anuga. The most important themes today are Vegan (excluding milk and egg but including garlic), which is a fast-growing trend and a hot topic today, especially in countries like UK, the Netherlands, Germany and USA.” Organic produce plays a very important role for Indian farmers and it is more evident here in India than abroad, she said while indicating that Indian organic producers could become future <g data-gr-id="170">trend-setters</g>. Olive oil has become a fashion in the nutrition industry, she noted while urging Indian producers and companies to enter the “Innovations Competition” with their best efforts in organic produce.
The India Pavilion in Anuga 2015 would highlight spices and beverages, besides also other industry sectors with companies like Mother Dairy, Allana being the participants. The Indian participation has seen a three-fold growth in five editions during the period 2005 to 2013 with rice and spice being the most popular, and meat and beverage coming second. However, Indian mangoes were very much popular among all the countries in the show, she said.
To another question, she said about two-thirds of this trade show’s visitors are from outside Germany and 60 per cent of them are sole decision-makers for their companies. The Expo is expecting about 1,55,000 visitors this year, she said. “There will be 15-20 per cent growth rate in the process food industry which, when coupled with technology and new food practices, will bring a significant boost to the Indian food industry,” said Ashwani Pande, Foreign Representation, Koelnmesse YA Tradefair Pvt Ltd.
To a question about what were the social and political challenges and trends being raised at Anuga 2015, Pande said this Expo would provide a platform for all the various countries’ attending ministers where they would be raising all sorts of issues – connected with the food industry – and solutions to them. “A lot of Indians are settling abroad and these expatriates’ tastes keep changing and increasing,” he said while noting that there were no figures available about the amount of business generated by Indian participants at previous Anuga Expos and that the emphasis at present was only on creating awareness about Anuga.
India, an important trading partner
India is an increasingly important trading partner for Germany in Asia and is placed at 80 for exports and 25 for imports. In 2014, India delivered processed foods with a value of around 279.9 million Euros to Germany – representing a slight increase of 0.1 <g data-gr-id="196">per cent</g> – with the products including nuts and dried fruit, coffee and plant oils and fats. In 2014, Germany exported Euros 22.8 million worth processed foods to India including sugar, milk, milk products and spirits.