Musings from Food Ingredients Europe

December 10, 2019

I returned Food Ingredients Europe in Paris last week with a solid reaffirmation – try to avoid industry events in France. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an indictment of many things French, it’s a response to my fourth business trip there being adversely impacted by strike or job action. This time it was a general strike impacting trains and transit, and made the airport just nasty coming back.

Aside from that, my two days on the Fi show floor affirmed my prediction that form and function would prevail over health across the entire floor. That shouldn’t really be surprising given the fact that it’s a food ingredients rather than health ingredients event. It’s the European equivalent to the U.S. IFT show. But just as IFT from time to time delves into health as well as function, so too in the past did Fi. This year though, the health proposition was very lean, perhaps made more obscure by EFSA and other challenging marketing environments.

I was reminded by colleagues that we are approaching the end of a decade in a couple weeks and was forced (cajoled) into reflecting on those ten years—both at the Fi event and industry as a whole. As a reference, it was in 2009 that I moved from Ontario to the US as part of New Hope. What a difference a decade makes. European tradeshows have changed significantly during that time, and what used to be a universe of dark blue suits and ties on the floor has become a true mélange of apparel with few ties to be found. Some companies booth presence on the floor has not altered much in a decade, but almost universally, messaging now includes more certifications, seals, and alignments, and the words ‘clean’ and ‘source’. It was interesting to acknowledge a couple new formal entities, for example, ‘Prinova by Nagase,’ as an example of recent M&A activity.

The industry has seen a significant cycle of M&A activity, and as the big get bigger, their agility diminishes, creating a larger entrepreneurial gap and opportunity behind and underneath them. This continuous cycle of entrepreneurial opportunity is not new, it’s always been the case when you have a wave of acquisitions, but the cycle this time is accelerated with great technologies coming out of universities and research parks covering everything from analogues, microbiome, algae tech, cannabinols, clean tech and more.

While the above is a comment on the general state of the industry, at Fi it was a struggle to locate something truly new. Company stories are certainly better, whether that’s clean label, sustainability or transparency. There also was a determined effort towards authenticity as a couple companies talked about sourcing and supply chains in a different, humble, yet proud manner. I was impressed by the Nexira rollout of their new inavea organic and sustainable ingredients brand and campaign and will be watching to see how they position that messaging and product mix in 2020.

From a product standpoint, it was easy to locate the expected hemp and CBD products, and the plant-forward alternatives.

Fi has always struggled to find its content place. The Vitafoods conference has always been more dynamic and insightful, and there are limitations to what you can accomplish in a show floor theater. I did not participate in the Fi ‘Nutrition Week’, but also found no compelling reason to do so. Finding the right mix of technical and marketing has got to be the ticket, albeit a challenging one.

A final thought: Hall 7 was almost a nutra-centric hall. While not the primary hall from a traffic standpoint, that was the area deliberately with a health first proposition. Next time out, with the re-merging of the Fi and Hi propositions, it will be interesting to see the mix between health and function, as well as what the organizers do to drive traffic to the far corners of the pavilion, where primarily Chinese companies are to be found.

See you next at Probiota.


Unlock the Power of Transparency: Schedule a Meeting Now

Ready to Illuminate Your Path?
Partner with Trust Transparency Today.

Get inTouch

Lori Diez

Lori Diez combines compassion and excellence to lead organizations to their next level. A small-town Texas childhood taught her the value of hard work and relationships, which she uses to foster teamwork that brings results that have transformed cultures and programs to their highest potential. Her successful career in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales leadership and event hosting has prepared her to deliver results as the COO of TrustTransparency, where she uses her industry knowledge to ensure that the company’s operations run smoothly as they support nutraceutical companies in their mission to help others. Lori’s passion for charity reflects her belief that individuals working together can change the world, no matter how small their contribution to the effort. This year, she looks forward to continuing over a decade of service at the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo, where she will be the Chairman of the Livestock Committee.

Conference Handouts

Conference Handouts

CoQ10 Statin Associated Myaglia Meta Study Barry Tan 0618 Case Study

CoQ10 Statin Associated Myaglia Meta Study Barry Tan 0618 (1)

Statin Q10 Effect Case Study

Statin Q10 Effect Case Study

Schedule Consultation with Trust Transparency

Glynnda Steinford

Glynnda Steinford, Trust Transparency Consulting’s Director of Customer Relations, brings over four decades of healthcare experience to her vital role in client engagement and relationship building. Her diverse background spans from administering medical groups to impactful stints in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales, all underlined by her degree in Healthcare Administration.

At the heart of Glynnda’s work is her talent for nurturing long-term connections, a skill she leverages to enhance client experiences and partnerships within the consultancy. Beyond her professional commitments, she enjoys life’s simple pleasures, whether it’s her love for cats and cooking or her ventures into golf, always prioritizing cherished moments with family and friends. Her personal interests echo the dedication and warmth she extends in her professional network, making her an invaluable asset to the team.

Caiti Dowden

Caiti Dowden stands as a crucial pillar at Trust Transparency Consulting, bringing invaluable insight and expertise to her role as Senior Executive Assistant’ since her start in 2018. With an academic background from Sam Houston University and a career shift from education to the nutraceutical sphere in 2010, Caiti has cultivated a sharp acumen for dissecting industry trends and bolstering strategic decision-making.

Her transition from Data Analyst reflects her growth and deep understanding of the business landscape. Caiti’s commitment goes beyond professional excellence; she thrives on balance, drawing from her rich life outside of work to enhance her organizational contributions. Whether it’s family time, volunteering, or rooting for Houston’s sports teams, she believes in embracing experiences to fuel her professional creativity and insight.

In her current role, Caiti’s dedication to dynamic business analysis and operational support proves her to be an irreplaceable asset to our team, embodying the synergy of personal enrichment and professional success.

Pam Hilpert

Pam Hilpert, Chief of Staff at Trust Transparency Consulting, has been instrumental in the firm since its inception, leveraging her 17 years of accounting experience, including a significant tenure in the nutrition sector. Her collaboration with Scott Steinford spans various successful ventures, emphasizing her integral role in the company’s financial and strategic initiatives.

An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Pam holds degrees in both Business Administration and Accounting, as well as an MBA, adding academic heft to her practical industry insights. Beyond her professional prowess, Pam is passionate about family, enjoys live music, delves into quilting, and volunteers at her church, reflecting her well-rounded life.

Her multifaceted expertise and longstanding dedication make Pam a cornerstone of Trust Transparency Consulting’s operational strength and team unity.

Scott Steinford

Scott Steinford, a trailblazer in strategic leadership, boasts a certified M&A background, having navigated companies from their genesis to industry prominence. His brainchild, Trust Transparency Consulting, born in 2007, stands as a testament to his dedication to ethical business practices and strategic foresight, offering industry stakeholders invaluable guidance.

Beyond founding and steering companies, Scott has enriched the business landscape with his insightful keynotes and prolific written contributions, emphasizing his commitment to elevating industry standards. His executive tenure shines in roles as CEO or President of for-profits like ZMC-USA and Doctor’s Best, extending to significant contributions in non-profit sectors.

Notably, Scott’s influence is a driving force in the CoQ10 market, where his leadership has significantly bolstered the ingredient’s global presence. His roles in various capacities, including as a New Hope Ambassador, keep the community informed, providing in-depth industry reports and insights.

An active advocate within professional associations and an Editorial Advisor for leading industry publications, Scott’s expertise is both recognized and sought after. With academic roots in Pre-Law and a Master’s in Law, his journey transcends textbooks, embodying real-world business acumen and transformative leadership.

Scott Steinford merges visionary entrepreneurship with principled leadership, creating a legacy of innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment to industry excellence.