What’s trending in health and nutrition: Key takeaways from Food Matters Live 2016

What’s trending in health and nutrition: Key takeaways from Food Matters Live 2016

(Posted on 20/12/16)

Food Matters Live in November was a hotbed for all things related to food, health and nutrition. The three-day annual event showcased over 600 exhibitors and captivated 13,500 industry experts with countless thought-provoking debates, conferences and seminars. 

Cornelius had a great show at the UK’s leading multi sector food and drink exhibition, which, as ever, did not disappoint. As well as exhibiting alongside some of our major Principals in the Cornelius Pavilion ‘Feel Good Factory’, we hosted an array of presentations and talks over the three days. We showcased unique concepts, which were developed specifically for the show.  And finally, we gave delegates the opportunity to even look around our headquarters and test the senses whilst consuming our products with the use of virtual reality headsets.

What we love about FML is looking at what’s going on the industry. Here are a few key trends that we spotted at the show:

Protein, protein everywhere

Or so it was at Food Matters Live this year. Here are the developments we picked up within the alternative proteins category: 

  • In connection with the growing sustainability trend, we saw the number of stalls showcasing insects increase to 12 from just 2 last year. This highlights the growing popularity of the sector and the fact that consumers are beginning to warm to the idea. We saw examples of insect powder used in familiar snack foods such as biscuits. However, we also witnessed some more adventurous recipes for those looking to experience something new. Jimini’s, One Hop Kitchen and French company Micronutris were some standout examples who showed off their culinary expertise with these crunchy arthropods.
  • Vegetable protein is on the rise and is becoming well established in snacks, dairy and even drinks. As well as witnessing this at FML, we’ve noticed vegetarian butchers appearing in the Netherlands and France and we’re predicting that they’ll be popping up in the UK before long. Planet hemp displayed their impressive range of high protein hemp based products at the show this year.
  • Flexitarian’ tendencies (flexible attitudes to meat eating) are on the increase. At the show, we saw product ranges such as Waitrose Funky Flexitarian. As an extension of this, Pret A Manger has launched an all-vegetarian store in London this summer. Originally this concept was foreseen to last for only one month, however, due to high demand it’s now a permanent feature. Meatless were also exhibiting their “ready to use” products which can be added to existing meat replacement products.
  • We witnessed other innovative ideas for alternative protein sources, such as lab grown (in vitro) meat, which taps into the health and animal welfare preferences of consumers.
  • Nutrineo also showcased a new range of protein puddings to fuel the growing sports nutrition trend by contributing to growth and maintenance of muscle mass.

Healthy indulgence 

Addressing challenges such as obesity and high sugar content to contribute to health was another topic in the spotlight at FML. During the event, there were numerous seminars and panel discussions based around finding solutions to health issues. Food and drink manufacturers are reacting accordingly by incorporating healthier alternatives such as stevia to allow consumers to indulge in sweet treats with fewer health implications. Raw Chocolate Company revealed its 100% natural, vegan, gluten free and Fairtrade certified Raw Chocolate coated range featuring wild Mulberries from Turkey. Irish company Sáile showed off its range of ready-made healthy seaweed sweet snacks such as chocolate mousse mixes.                                                                                                               

Thriving Fortification

With consumers becoming increasingly health conscious, ingredients and food manufacturers are adding extra value to their products by fortifying them with nutrients such as proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Organic still and sparkling soft fruit drinks were displayed by Berrywhite, including superfruits and white tea extract. This trend carried on into natural energy beverages. TranQuini for example presented its relaxation drink that incorporates natural ingredients proven to reduce stress and anxiety without the drowsiness.  

Crossing cultural boundaries

We saw a great range of food innovation inspirations from all over the world, such as Limpopo Biltong South African meats and Soulful Food Company with its One Pots from all corners of globe. Ingredients such as the powerful superfood nopal cactus from the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and superfood organic powders from Peru, Mexico, Romania and Scandinavia could also be found. We were also very impressed with the number of projects trying to improve the world’s food supply. CrossModalism was a great example of how improved learning about non-traditional disciplines and ideas can help to secure our future.

More on the hot topic of the future of food could be found in panel discussions such as “Tomorrow’s foods: what will consumers accept” and seminars such as “The future of global, sustainable, nutritious diets”. 

Reflecting the above trends and more, our very own Marketing Director, Jo Stephenson, talked ‘Global trends in Food and Drink’ at Food Matters Live, which was a big hit and gathered a large crowd at the show. Some additional major global trends she touched upon were social responsibility, experience-led preferences, performance nutrition becoming mainstream and the rise in bottled food and drink innovations.

The inspirational show wowed us yet again and filled us with an abundance of innovative concepts and trends to keep us going until the 2017 show comes around – we can’t wait!