Free From/Functional Food Expo 2018 reflects rapidly evolving free-from sector

Free From/Functional Food Expo 2018 reflects rapidly evolving free-from sector

The sixth edition of Europe’s leading free from trade show, Free From/Functional Food Expo, welcomed 3,184 top food and drink professionals to Stockholm this May.

Over two days, they visited 306 international exhibitors and attended a packed conference programme, discovering key drivers and future trends in the flourishing free from market.

Free From Worldwide Buyers travelled to take advantage of the unique platform that the show provides. Producers from around the world, including exhibited their latest NPD.

UK producers included: Moo Free Chocolates; Bute Island Foods; Foodheaven; Glebe Farm Foods and King Soba. Products included; wheat and gluten free bakery, dairy free, vegan cheeses, and gluten free noodles.

As the gluten intolerance centre of Europe, Italy was represented by many more exhibitors this year. Gluten-free pasta, breads and pizza bases; reduced salt and reduced fat cold cuts and free from ingredients, generated high demand from buyers.

Better Connected Top buyers and producers were introduced through the popular Matchmaking Programme, hosted by Enterprise Europe Network. A range of Innovation Guided Tours gave visitors the opportunity to learn how leading companies are responding to consumer trends in free from, functional and food solutions.

Market Leading Insights – ‘Full of’ Not Free From 55 industry experts gave insightful presentations in the two conference theatres, revealing key trends and the consumer habits driving future NPD; as well as practical advice on testing and labelling free from food and drink. Olena Rogulis, Senior Research Analyst – Drinks at Euromonitor International highlighted the rise of natural sweetners, as sugar comes increasingly under the spotlight.

Ronald Holman, Exhibition Director said; “Each show is at the forefront of the dynamic free from sector, and this year’s edition was no exception. We welcomed visitors from all of the major retailers from across Europe including Ocado and Sainsburys.

“As long as free from and functional food continue to follow the now established pathway onto retailer’s shelves, operator’s menus and ultimately onto consumer’s plates, we will continue to provide one of the best platforms in the world to reflect and drive this.

“The buyers we welcomed this year were targeted and exhibitors responded well to this. 22% have signed up for next year, and Mintel have confirmed again as content partners.”

Free From/Functional Food Expo 2019 will return to Barcelona May 28 – 29.