Innovation rewarded at SIAL

Related tags Cent Milk Marketing

Nearly 150,000 visitors streamed through the doors of Europe's
major food fair SIAL 2004 in Paris last week that presented more
than 460 product innovations from 40 countries.

Held every two years, SIAL​ organisers said the 'pleasure syndrome' took the largest slice of innovations in Europe for 2004 marking some 46.6 per cent of total launches, followed by convenience with 24.2 per cent and health with 16.2 per cent.

"Health is the axis that progressed the most on a world level, especially in Asia Pacific, even if pleasure innovation remained very dominant,"​ said the organisers.

But dairy products and soft drinks proved the most dynamic markets with one innovation in five launched onto the world market in 2003 belonging to one of these categories. In Europe 12.4 per cent of innovations were dairy products, versus 11.6 per cent in 2002.

A handful of innovative products were rewarded with a 'coup de coeur' or 'favourite' label by the SIAL judges that had previously selected some 469 products from 40 countries and 1,850 items submitted by exhibitors. From the dairy launches, the jury opted for 'Bag in Box' drum milk produced by Belgian firm INEX​, decorated with cow's pictures and selected by the committee for the drum conditioning and the design.

In Europe cheeses and ready made meal innovation launches fell slightly, 6.6 per cent for the former and 6.4 per cent for ready meals. Frozen products were stable while soft drinks stayed in fifth place going from 5.5 per cent in 2002 to 6 per cent in 2003.

In the cheese arena the judges pinpointed a couple of products for the 'coup de coeur' category, notably 'Parmi Petals' and 'Parmi grated', essentially lumps of parmesan cheese packaged in a mill box. According to the company behind the product, Italian firm Dalter​ a cutting system is integrated into the packaging lid meaning that consumers can cut directly onto their plates while holding the container. Targeted at the easy to handle and time saving trends - the product was only launched onto the market in September this year.

Parmesan gained further recognition from the jury, also rewarding the Italian firm Merli for a block of the Italian celebrated cheese marketed in a stand-up flexible re-sealable doy-pack with zip fastener and the product name written in several languages.

Ready-made meals given a 'coup de coeur' include 'babylicious' product line, a frozen dessert in removable portions for babies manufactured by UK firm Babylicious​ and marketed with 'natural premium ingredients.'

French firm Clarelia​ also fell into this category with 'Plats Natama', ready to use menus - along the lines of an airline dinner - designed for people with food allergies and intolerances. The committee rewarded the product for 'its interesting concept and precise information on the allergen ingredients.' The concept, that comes in some 37 varieties, is comprised of an entrée, a main dish, a dessert, cutlery and a cleaning wipe.

The organisers of SIAL claim that some 135,000 visitors passed through 5259 exhibitors this year in Paris.

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