If the growth of Vitafoods is any indication of the growth of the functional-foods marketplace, the industry is in a great spot, even despite the economy. The overall size of the show has grown by 50 per cent in the last four years. Hosts believe the growth has a direct correlation to a growing interest in health and wellness, juxtaposed with the obesity crisis.
"As waistlines grow alarmingly, so do concerns regarding the impact that an unhealthy population could have on everything from medicine to the economy," says Chris Lee, event director for Vitafoods International and Finished Products Expo 2009. Vitafoods will touch on this theme with VitaTrend, a joint initiative between Innova Market Insights and Vitafoods, with four presentations on trends in nutraceuticals and functional foods, demographic challenges, and marketing specific ingredients to specific segments of the population.
In addition, experts from EAS, a private consultancy that provides regulatory advice to both companies and government bodies, will offer free advisory sessions on the latest in regulatory and strategic advice on marketing, health-claims, novel-food and labelling requirements.
Lee affirms that the show is the best bet for the money in these trying times. "Gone are the days of hopping plane after plane to visit potential partners across the globe," he says, adding that because every penny must be justified, trade shows offer the "best way to get the most out of a tight budget."