Katharina C. Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse GmbH
Interview with Katharina C. Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse GmbH

Interest in the Anuga continues unabated

Europe’s consumers are becoming ever more demanding when it comes to the subject of food. As well as wanting transparency and safety in the production chain, they also expect food and drink of the very highest quality. The food sector is responding to these demands and at the Anuga 2013 its focus is increasingly on the subject of Food Values and Fairtrade products. European Business Journal (EBJ) talked to Katharina C. Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse GmbH, about this and other trends and also about the recipe for success of the world’s leading exhibition for the food sector.

EBJ: “Ms. Hamma, how important is the Anuga for Koelnmesse?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “With regards to the number of exhibitors and the number of halls it fills, the Anuga is the biggest exhibition in Koelnmesse’s calendar of events. With more than 6,700 exhibitors from roughly 100 countries and approximately 160,000 industry insiders from around 180 countries expected to visit, it is also one of the most international events in Cologne. 82% of exhibitors and more than 60% of visitors come from abroad. The Anuga is extremely important for Koelnmesse because of its history and its market message. It does not matter where you go in the world: Everyone who has anything to do with food has heard of the Anuga.”

EBJ: “Why do you think the Anuga has become the leading trade fair worldwide for the food and beverage sector? What is the secret to the fair’s success?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “Throughout its more than 60-year history, the Anuga has always changed in response to the market. A good example is the specialist fair-within-a-fair concept: Since 2003 it has ensured transparency in what we have to offer and enabled visitors to plan an effective visit to the fair. The separate specialist fairs provide a thorough and international perspective of the various industry sectors in a way that no other trade fair in the world can match. Its clear structure, excellent organization, central and attractive location, and close partnerships with industry associations are important ingredients in the Anuga’s recipe for success.”

EBJ: “What do you expect from the Anuga 2013?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “Koelnmesse announced in May of this year that the Anuga was already sold out. This gives us every reason to have high expectations that this year’s exhibition will be successful for both exhibitors and trade buyers. The programme of events will also ensure that the need for information and networking opportunities is amply served.”

EBJ: “What is the focus of this year’s exhibition?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “An international trade fair such as the Anuga can hardly be boiled down to a single theme. We have several topics on the agenda this year. One of the most important themes is food values, which is about safeguarding an adequate supply of high-quality, safe food and drink for the world market. Other issues such as halal foodstuffs, health foods and functional foods or organic products will be discussed, as well. Events also play an important role in adding to the diversity of the Anuga fair. For example, the finals of the professional cooking competition ‘Chef of the Year’ will be held here as well as the competition for up-and-coming cooks ‘Grips & Co.’ In our FoodService center, which focuses on the catering and gastronomy sector, we have arranged an informative programme of events.”

EBJ: “What has changed or is new this year in comparison to Anuga 2011?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “One of the most important changes has been to our opening times. Anuga 2013 is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except on the last day when we close the doors at 6 p.m. By pushing back our opening times to later in the day, we are responding to the change in travelling and visiting preferences of our customers.

We have also implemented changes to various specialist fairs. For example, organic products can only be presented at the Anuga Organic if they can demonstrate that they are certified to an appropriate and recognized market standard. Another change affects the specialist fair Anuga FoodService. This fair is for food, technology and equipment for the catering sector or the outside-the-home market. We have introduced new elements that ensure that this fair caters better to the needs of industry visitors. The third innovation concerns the Anuga’s services across all products: From this year on, Fairtrade products will be one of the ten trend topics at the Anuga.”

EBJ: “Why is the German Frozen Food Institute an exclusive partner to the Anuga this year?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “We are exploiting synergies with the German Frozen Food Institute in order to improve the way suppliers and customers are brought together because one thing is certain for both partners: Growth in the frozen food sector is ongoing on an international stage. Bearing this in mind, the Anuga is an ideal platform for conducting trade in frozen products both for supermarkets and customers in the Foodservice sector.”

EBJ: “What developments have you seen regarding the participation of foreign exhibitors? From which countries is interest growing and from which is it declining?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “Once again we will be welcoming exhibitors from around 100 countries to the Anuga. The countries that are sending smaller numbers of exhibitors this year are unsurprisingly crisis-torn countries currently in the grip of political instability, in other words Syria, Libya and Egypt. With the exception of these countries, we can say that interest in the Anuga from international exhibitors continues unabated.

EBJ: “What do you think are the latest trends and developments in the food and drink sector?”

Katharina C. Hamma: “We are seeing a number of fundamental changes worldwide that are setting the agenda for new trends. Here in Europe, demographic change is one of the factors to be taken into account: It is driving an increase in demand for products aimed at pensioners and singletons. At the same time, the market for organic and Fairtrade products is also growing. Obesity and lifestyle diseases are also throwing up challenges for the food sector such as the desire on the part of consumers for greater transparency, responsibility and food safety. These are also issues that the food economy is currently addressing.”

EBJ: “Ms Hamma, thank you for the interview.”

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European Food

Food Special 1/2017

In this issue: Zordel Fischhandels GmbH - Big fish in the Black Forest / Cavendish & Harvey Confectionery GmbH - Success is sweet / Werner Kenkel Spółka z o.o. - The perfect package / SIMON SAS - Coming back to butter

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