«taste09»: The innovation competition at Anuga

Cologne / DE. (km) The taste innovation competition, which will be held for the fourth time as part of Anuga, will be the place where the best of the Anuga exhibitors´ products will be presented to the international trade public and the press as part of a focused special show. New products and innovations are key drivers of growth in the food business, and they will therefore be an important highlight at the sector´s largest and most important trade fair. «taste09», the innovation platform of Anuga, presents the best and most innovative products and makes them accessible to a specialist public of 160’000 buyers from across the world. The fair takes place from 10 to 14 October in Cologne.

Exhibitors at Anuga 2009 can apply to participate by submitting their innovations and trend products online on the website at anuga.de and anuga.com from May. The deadline for submissions is 31st August 2009. As in past years, a panel of experts will select the best products for «taste09». These products will be on show as part of an attractive exhibition in the northern section of the Boulevard. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be available on the Internet at the same time.

«taste09» – the innovation competition at Anuga – presents products not only for the trade but also for the food service and catering market and new sales channels. The products selected by the jury will reflect the main trends in the food business and serve as a guide for trend scouts.

In 2007, nearly 500 exhibiting companies participated, submitting nearly 1’100 ideas. In the end, the jury selected 61 products and concepts that stood out among the numerous great ideas, innovations and creative solutions entered by exhibitors in all ten of the Anuga specialized food fairs. Because many of the products presented at Anuga in Cologne were not just designed for the German or European market, the range of products was correspondingly broad. It spanned all of Anuga´s ten specialized trade fairs, from drinks, frozen products, dairy products and baked goods to delicatessen products, chilled food and meat products, right through to technology for the grocery trade and the catering sector.

The «taste09» jury utilises very diverse criteria for the selection process. A new, original recipe – or one that has been rediscovered – can be a reason for selecting a particular product. Packaging is another key element in successful sales and marketing, and the «taste09» jury also strongly considers aspects such as consumer and environmental friendliness, appearance, convenience and originality. Successful implementation of a current trend – especially in a way that focuses on a target group – can also impress the jury. The criteria used to judge technical products from Anuga RetailTec and Anuga CateringTec include user-friendliness, cost savings, quality improvement and successful visual design.

Some of the products selected in 2007 are now among the top sellers in the retail trade – for instance, schnitzel that can be prepared in a toaster, pizza in a cone and soft cheese packaged in slices.

Although not all the products manage to get on the shelves of the supermarkets or in the cooking pots of the chefs, innovations are still a particularly good way to energize business. The drivers of innovation include the desire for greater convenience when preparing food, increased health consciousness, growing mobility, more frequent meals outside the home, and increased awareness of environmental and sustainability issues. One clear trend is that none of them exclude the others. This way, convenience products can also be organic and beverages can be tasty but also boost your health.

Products that have been developed for a specific target group and that target group´s nutrition needs are also a growing trend. These include products for children and «best agers», as well as items that consider specific medical or religious food regulations.

Consumers are always curious and eager to experience new taste sensations and trend concepts. After all, it´s the consumers who finally decide whether a new idea will be successful – and sometimes this even goes against the market trends. For the manufacturers, the development and introduction of new products is an expensive yet necessary undertaking. It is also a reason to invest in new technologies and processes.

Trends and insights into consumer behaviour are presented by GfK (Society for Consumer Research) and BVE (Federation of German Food and Drink Industries) in their study «Consumers´ Choice 2009», which was conducted for Anuga 2009. The «taste09» products selected by the jury will be presented to the press on 09th October 2009 – one day before Anuga opens.

The signs for the coming Anuga are excellent. Leading companies from Germany and abroad have already registered for all ten specialized trade fairs. From July, a list of exhibitors that is updated daily will be available on the Anuga website at anuga.de and anuga.com.