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The Event
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Snackex 2015
Snackex 2015

SNACKEX 2015 – Celebrating an overwhelming business success

Snackex 2013


Anyone lucky enough to be in Istanbul for this year’s SNACKEX conference and exhibition will have witnessed the coming together of a widest possible range of delegates, visitors and exhibitors from around the world, all converging to discover the latest trends, do business and celebrate the success of the vibrant savoury snacks industry.

 

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2015’s record-breaking SNACKEX was packed with 120 exhibiting companies, 31 of which were displaying their wares at SNACKEX for the first time. They were met with over 2,600 participants from 83 different countries and five continents. There was serious business to be done, but also fun to be had through networking with colleagues, business rivals and new friends.


Day one in particular saw many exhibitors almost overwhelmed by the volume of serious enquiries arriving at their booths. “Yesterday we had lines. They were so long that people were walking away and we couldn’t even talk to them,” says Andy Burningham, sales manager, EMEA, for American Extrusion. “I love the location… Being right next to the Middle East and North Africa too – we’ve seen a lot of people from there. I’ve been very impressed.”


“We’ve been tremendously busy – almost unable to cope with the amount of people,” agrees Coen van Oorschot, commercial director of spice ingredient specialist Intertaste. “We’ve been here with five people on the stand and we’ve all been continuously talking. Also the quality of visitors has been excellent so we’re really happy.”

 
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In some respects the high levels of activity should come as no surprise. As Euromonitor’s Pinar Hosafci told conference delegates, the European Snacks industry grew by around €5 billion since 2009 to reach €22 billion last year. This means it has been growing faster than the snacks industry almost anywhere else in the world, the sole exception being emerging markets in the Asia Pacific.
So the big question for snacks companies today is how to build on that success going forward? Other conference speakers identified potential opportunities in some of the key trends in snacking fashions, such as ‘naturalness’, protein enrichment and gluten-free treats, and these themes were also echoed throughout the exhibition hall.


For example, American Extrusion was especially keen to highlight the ability of its twin-screw extruders to enable rapid NPD. The company was showcasing the development of high-protein prototype snacks and formulations rich in a range of vegetables, as well as sorghum-based formulations that could be a cost-effective local raw material for extruded snacks in developing African markets.
Fellow extruder specialist Baker Perkins was among several other players showing high-fibre and protein-enriched formulations, as well as some new ideas developed using its co-extrusion technology. “[SNACKEX is] raising our profile and every time we come we get more people coming through the door to see us,” says Dave Symonds, area sales manager. In fact, he says that Baker Perkins had more enquiries on the first morning in Istanbul than during the entire two days of previous events: “We’ve got more people coming to talk about specific projects and that’s very encouraging.”


Pellet manufacturers were also out in force, with each company highlighting a slightly different range of new developments to complement the latest trends. For instance, Pasta Foods reckoned that its long-term bet on pulses is finally paying off, thanks largely to the demand for protein-rich snacks. “It was a slow-burner for us,” says head of development Gary Thurlow. “But over the past three or four years it’s grown a huge amount.”


Quality Pellets’ factory general manager Thomas Pedersen agrees that protein is one to watch, with the firm offering a protein- and fibre-enriched multigrain option. However, he reflects the views of conference speakers such as Mintel’s David Jago when he cautions that flavour must always be the first consideration: “The focus is still on making a good product that can be considered by the normal consumer. We try to do as many of things as possible to make things healthier, like lower salt and fat, but it’s really all about taste, taste, taste.”

 
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It’s a message that resonated successfully with visitors. “Yesterday was really good and today it’s picking up again. We’ve had a good turnout of different people, including the usual European visitors,” says Pedersen.


Meanwhile Leng D’Or tapped into other major trends by offering a gluten-free pellet solution, as well as showing off its first organic pellets. So-called ‘superfood’ ingredients also were high on the agenda, suggesting a positive health benefit instead of making consumers feel like they’re depriving themselves by opting for the more-negative messaging of ‘low in’ snack products. Jorge Marin says: “We’ve been trying quinoa and kale. In the US people are getting crazy about kale like they did about quinoa a few years ago.”


Leng D’Or’s reward was a high level of interest from the SNACKEX crowd. “It’s been very good. The fact that the show is in Istanbul makes it very accessible for people coming from other places. We still had the European crowd coming over but also adding the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa – it’s all you want in a show.”


Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients was another firm tapping into the gluten-free trend with its range of Westhove functional flours. “LCI’s pre-cooked pulse flours offer many functionalities such as water absorption, viscosity, and a longer shelf-life - and the range is gluten free,” says marketing manager Patricia Panel-Dusséaux.


LCI was also among several exhibitors riding the current wave of interest in popped chips with its growing range of micro-pellets. “Our range now includes multi-cereal, maize and potato pellets and, more recently, wheat and rice and pulse options. Expanded at high temperature in a mould, these light chips have a major advantage over all their rivals: they contain no cooking fats but remain just as crunchy and melt-in-the-mouth,” says Panel-Dusseaux.


Both of the biggest suppliers of equipment for popped chips were in Istanbul – Incomec-Cerex and Re Pietro – and both stands were buzzing with activity. “The market is requiring a lot of such snacks because they are very healthy and low in fat so there is quite a great demand,” says Re Pietro’s Laura Paternesi Meloni. “The demand is coming from all regions but the equipment is quite expensive for some. SNACKEX has given us a good chance to meet our customers and it was very good to see people coming from the east and not only from Europe.”

 
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For many suppliers, the message seemed to be that the quality of visitors was exceptional this time, as well as the numbers. Joop Tegels, area sales manager for Key Technology, says: “We had more visitors before the end of the first day than we had last time for the whole show. And they weren’t just here to chit chat. There were also the ones with an interesting project for the near future.”
Speaking on day two, Goran Wadsten of Rosenqvists reports a similar experience: “We’ve been to a lot of SNACKEX’s over many years and yesterday was the single busiest day we’ve had at any of them in terms not only of people coming but also of leads for concrete projects.”


“This time we expected a lot of people but our expectations were surpassed. We already know a lot of European companies but we’ve also seen new people from the Far East, Middle East, North Africa and so on,” he adds.


While the exhibitors may have been impressed with the international line-up of visitors, visitors in turn were treated to a line-up of exhibitors that ranged far beyond the familiar confines of Europe and North America. There were nut and seed suppliers from China and Latin America, plus the Philippines Department of Agriculture. There were also pellet manufacturers from India, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few.

 
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Ultimately, however, for visitors, delegates and exhibitors alike, there’s simply nowhere else like SNACKEX this side of the Atlantic where you can be guaranteed that pretty much everyone you meet will be as relevant to the same industry. Conference delegate Richard Burrell, healthy oils market manager with Dow AgroSciences explains: “For me, networking is the biggest thing and seeing the trends in the industry. SNACKEX is always useful from a networking point of view and having it here is quite interesting because it’s dragged people in from further afield. If you’re looking to make a big investment in capital equipment to expand or enter the industry, it’s the one place where you can see everyone face-to-face.”


“Having the conference and exhibition running side by side is good because seeing the trends is the other big thing. Everything I’ve seen in terms of presentations say that health is still a big part of the agenda, although taste is foremost.”


 


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"We had more enquiries on the first morning in Istanbul than during the entire two days of previous events"

Dave Symonds, area sales manager, Baker Perkins

“We’ve been to a lot of SNACKEX’s over many years and yesterday was the single busiest day we’ve had at any of them in terms not only of people coming but also of leads for concrete projects.”

Goran Wadsten, sales director, Rosenqvists Food Technologies

“SNACKEX has given us a good chance to meet our customers and it was very good to see people coming from the east and not only from Europe.”
Laura Paternesi Melonis
, Re Pietro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snackex 2015
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