With the inaugural food & drink technology Africa trade show only days away, show organisers Messe München insist the continent is the ‘market of the future’ but presents distinct challenges.
The inaugural show will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa March 18 and 19 2014, and follows other successful new drinktec shows – drink technology India in Mumbai and China Brew & China Beverage in Beijing.
Here, Petra Westphal, Project Group Director of MMI (pictured left) and Elaine Crewe, CEO of MMI South Africa (right) tell us about the African market, and how the show - click here for further details or to register - isn’t just a ‘carbon copy’ of drinktec in Munich.
Question: “Following India and China, drinktec is now getting involved in Africa too. How did that come about?”
Westphal: “Similar to India and China, Africa is a market of the future. If you take South Africa alone it has 50m inhabitants! People are moving into the cities, and consumption habits are adapting increasingly to Western standards.
“The per capita expenditures for food and beverages are increasing, and a growing middle class is consuming better and higher quality products.
“This scenario virtually demands a platform where local and regional producers of foodstuffs, liquid food and beverages can meet globally active manufacturers of food processing machines, beverage technology and packaging machines. This is precisely the purpose and objective of food & drink technology Africa.
Question: ‘In other words, is food & drink technology Africa a small version of the large drinktec in Munich?’
Crewe: “I wouldn't put it that way. We do not want to copy and export the large drinktec from Munich, and that would not make any sense either. food & drink technology Africa is pursuing its own concept adapted to the region.
“It’s going to take place every two years as a convention with supporting exhibition. In addition to the presentation of state-of-the-art technologies, it is above all a matter of sharing know-how, networking and further training.
“This format has already proven its value at drink technology India. In this way, the event can grow, and the focal point will certainly shift from a convention in the direction of a trade fair after some time.
Question: “So the name says it all in this case? Contrary to drinktec, the exhibitors are also going to present food engineering in addition to beverage and packaging technology…”
Westphal: “That's correct, and it makes a lot of sense in this case. In Africa, especially in South Africa, there is not only a growing need for bottled beverages, but also for safe and high quality foodstuffs.
“Substantial growth is predicted for both industry sectors, and both industry sectors need a common trade fair platform, especially since there is overlapping and common ground in the area of liquid food, for example.
“We have of course analyzed the market together with VDMA and our subsidiary MMI South Africa for this project. One of the results was to include the area of food.”
Question: What will the convention program be like?
Crewe: “It will be similar to that at drink technology India, but tailored specifically to the needs of the regional market in Southern Africa.
“The focus of the talks and discussions will be on technologies for safe, hygienic and resource-efficient production and packaging of foodstuffs, liquid food and beverages as well as current developments and trends along the complete added-value chain: from raw materials, handling, processing, bottling and packing all the way to logistics. Case studies of exhibitors will supplement the convention programme.
Question: “Is this the conclusion of drinktec’s internationalization strategy?”
Westphal: “Time will tell. Future plans will of course depend on the needs of the exhibiting industry. We are involved in a constant dialogue in this context. Our goal is to demonstrate presence at important markets of the future with the brand drinktec and consequently to strengthen drinktec in Munich too.
“We are already doing that very successfully in India, where we have held drink technology India since 2007, and in China, where we have a participating share in China Brew & China Beverage. Africa was now the next logical step. We are convinced that food & drink technology Africa will find fertile ground there.”
Messe München International (MMI) and its subsidiary MMI South Africa (based in Johannesburg), are organizing food & drink technology Africa.
The professional association Food Processing and Packaging Machinery in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) is acting as the conceptual sponsor.