IFFA 2022—Successful and emotionally intense restart edition exceeds expectations
IFFA 2022 signified the successful restart of the leading meat processing trade fair. The hybrid event held between 14.05.2022 and 19.05.2022 exceeded expectations. It received around 50,000 trade visitors from 129 countries. It also received 860 exhibitors from 44 nations. The atmosphere of the edition was highly jubilant. This is due to the opportunity for face-to-face networking and examination of innovations. Additionally, participants experienced great joy due to the absence of Covid-19 safety regulations. IFFA 2022 featured over 155 events, including the debut of a new sub-event and exhibition area.
IFFA 2022 took place at Messe Frankfurt in Germany as a hybrid event. The edition featured a live trade fair without Covid-19 restrictions and the Digital Extension.
The live aspect of IFFA 2022 did not feature a strict Covid-19 safety plan. This was because of the removal of such precautions throughout Germany in April 2022. The removal of the safeguards was possible due to the improved epidemiological situation. As a result, requirements such as mandatory pre-entry testing were not implemented by Messe Frankfurt. Also, the venue removed its strict distance rules. Furthermore, the location did not have stand construction or seating restrictions. The site retained the continuous supply of external air to the area. As a result, attendees could take part in the event in an atmosphere and setting like the one held during IFFA 2019.
The digital aspect of the event consisted of IFFA - Digital Extension. It was a virtual platform that enabled attendees to access the trade fair in remote form. The Extension was available from 14.05.2022 and remained accessible until 31.05.2022. The digital platform featured various services, including a matchmaking service for business networking purposes. Also, it enabled the arrangement of meetings via appointment sessions. Attendees could also download documents, access a chat function, and host conversations. Furthermore, participants could access the trade fair via a mobile app.
IFFA 2022 featured six central themes. These were automation, food safety, sustainability, food trends, digitalisation and individualisation. Many of the themes also featured sub-themes. For instance, Food Safety included six sub-thematics:
- chemical plastic recycling
- material savings
- combination packaging
- bio-based packaging
- intelligent packaging
Sustainability featured two sub-themes:
- a more-than-a-cover package
- resource- and energy-management machinery
Food Trends also included two sub-thematics:
- alternative protein processing technologies
- cultured meat/insect protein development issues
- Individualisation featured five sub-themes:
- well above average
- artisanal with technology
- knowing what is happening
- ingredients - tracking the aroma
- safety first
The support programme of IFFA 2022 included 155 events and lectures. Among the highlights were:
- The IFFA Forum
- The IFFA Factory Area
- The Discovery tours
- The DFV Special displays
- The IFFA Competitions
- The Exhibition
As mentioned, one highlight of the trade fair was the IFFA Forum. It was in Hall 12.0 at stand A11. It featured a diverse programme with exhibitors and leading experts as the speakers. The schedule featured lectures that focused on several topics. The subjects were automation, digitalisation, sustainability, food safety, packaging, craftsmanship and ingredients. It also featured practical application seminars detailing business, development, and technology questions. Among the example formats were exhibitor presentations by companies such as ADM. Example speakers included Michael Kimmich, Max Hesse and Dr Enrico Fuchs. Among the highlights of the programme were the sessions:
- Automated selling—without staff, adaptable, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- CleanAssist - Virtual cleaning assistance for cleaning optimisation
- Streamlined production through digital quality management
- Process-safe separation of hygienic zones
- Specifications for the employment of robotics in the meat processing sector
- Facilities in the food industry that do not use fossil fuels
- It is time to act: How to save energy costs and CO2 with modern exhaust air filtration systems
- Extrusion of meat and fish alternatives based on sustainable regional proteins
The novel addition known as the IFFA Factory Area debuted in Hall 11.1. It consisted of two sections: the IFFA Factory and the IFFA Factory Talks. The Factory was at stand B90. It featured a fully operational and assembled production line. The line produced a meat product and a plant-based one. Expert specialists moderated the process. They also provided information on the used processing techniques, ingredients, and recipes. Attendees could taste on-site the produced products. The Factory was available on all events days at set hours. This included a session between 10 and 11 am, another between 1 and 2 pm, and a third between 4 pm and 5 pm. There were exclusions, such as 15.05.2022, when the sessions were held between 1 pm and 2 pm and between 4 pm and 5 pm. The Factory Talks, situated at stand B80, presented high-quality lectures by various partners. The highlights of the programme included:
- Protein Diversification – Why, How, Who, When?
- How can you properly assess the ideal business opportunity or partner for you?
- Harnessing Alternative Proteins to Achieve Sustainability Goals
- Experience the future with live cooking using cultured meat
- Driving scale and innovation in the alternative protein industry
The Discovery Tours were among the highly popular sub-events of IFFA 2022. They consisted of a series of tours throughout the trade fair. During the circuit, leading experts provided insights about the displayed products. Each session focused on a specific topic. The Discovery Tours began from the registration counter in Hall 12. It overviewed different sections of the fair. The tours included:
- Processing Innovations Tour
- Modern Ingredients Tour
- Packaging Trends Tour
- Alternative Proteins Tour
- Trends in the Butchery Industry Tour
The IFFA Competitions were among the highlights of IFFA 2022. They occurred during the event days in a competition area within Hall 12.0. The German Butchers Association organised them. The competitions included:
- The International Quality Competition for Sausages
- The International Competition for Cans and Jars
- The Best small sausage—Grand Prix
- The International Quality Competition for Hams
Several of the competitions also took place as part of the DFV Special Displays:
- Butcher classes vocational school tournament
- International qualification competition Euroskills 2023
Each competition award the lauded products with gold, silver or bronze medals. The winners were selected among the participants with the most awards. The victorious in the International Quality Competition for Sausages was Genuss-Manufaktur Doll GmbH. They earned thirty-nine gold, four silver and one bronze medal. The International Competition for Cans winner was the Kohl-Kramer butcher shop (twenty gold and ten silver medals). PølseMageriet Brian Flink received first place in the Best small sausage – Grand Prix. They received twenty-seven gold, seven silver and one bronze medal. The International Quality Competition for Hams awarded first place to Hofmann's Fleischer (sixteen gold, three silver and one bronze medal). Additionally, Obere Metzgerei received the Great Cup of the IFFA Champion. The participant received over sixty-nine gold and seven bronze medals during their participation.
The DFV Special Displays area also served as a highlight of IFFA 2022. The location featured a series of displays, exhibitions and showcases. This included the special presentation “German sausage culture – technologies, recipes, spices”. During the lecture, international attendees could learn about German sausages. This included the technology and recipes used as well as the culture. The display “The Art of Craftsmanship” discussed cultivating the craftsmanship art. It also showcased butcher shop products that represent the topic.
The exhibition was also among the highlights of IFFA 2022. It presented the latest innovations related to the meat processing and packaging industries. This included wares that reflected the central themes and a novel addition – the pet food section. The show area was dedicated to pet food manufacturers and featured various trends. These include alternative proteins and grain-free recipes, as well as increased sustainability. The trends furthermore included supporting the holistic health management of pets.
The represented themes included Food Safety via the exhibitors Digi, Ishida, and Mondini. Another illustrated theme was Food trends via Food Ingredients, Euroduna and Viscofan. Among the presented products were the Scraped Surface Heat Exchangers. The machine allows maximum heat transfer between the cooling produce and the refrigerant fluid. The PID controls the temperature control and product flow, ensuring a continuous process. Additionally, it reduces the number of used resources through a uniform heat transfer. The product is suitable for raw materials such as fruit pulp and separated or recovered meat.
IFFA 2022 exceeded expectations due to the high participation numbers. The event received around 50,000 trade visitors from 129 countries. It furthermore featured 860 exhibitors from 44 nations. Additionally, the trade fair featured a high international participation rating. For instance, 72% of the visitors were from countries other than Germany. The ten foreign countries with the highest attendance in this regard were:
- the Netherlands
- the USA
- Great Britain
58% of the exhibitors were also from abroad. Many participants were eager to network in a face-to-face format. The total networking hours accumulated at the booth were 170. The event space for the event was 115,000 m2.