Food Ingredients Europe 2019 takes place at Paris’ Parc des Expositions de Villepinte from 3 to 5 December. This food and beverages exhibition will present visitors with a whole range of innovative ingredients and services. But who are the people behind this huge event? We put our questions to one of FIE’s organisers, Emi Kashiwara.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your career?
I joined the UBM Group which organises the exhibition in May 2018 but, before that, I was a sales director at IamExpt.nl, a business that supplies digital marketing solutions and targets expats living in the Netherlands.
Why did you decide to focus on organising events on this kind of scale?
I actually applied for a job in online sales at UBM. Over the course of the interview, I was directed more towards another job with the team behind UBM’s FI (Food Ingredients) and HI (Health Ingredients) events. I had hardly any experience organising exhibitions, in fact I’d only done local ones that mainly targeted BtoC markets.
On a personal level, I’m very interested in health ingredients because I only eat organic, locally grown products. I also think the market is becoming more and more oriented towards options that are healthier for both the consumer and farmer, and more environmentally-friendly too. Consumers are increasingly well-informed, and I’m happy to be able to say that lots of businesses are becoming sustainable and producing organic ingredients. I’d like our organic section to expand.
What is FIE’s story?
FIE was founded in the Netherlands in 1986. Our type of exhibition hadn’t been invented back then - there weren’t any dedicated to food ingredients - so its Dutch founders decided to change that.
What can you tell us about the exhibition itself?
Over the years, FIE has become the world’s leading exhibition for food ingredients (as opposed to finished food products). It is unique in terms of the sector it targets and because it welcomes exhibitors and visitors from all around the world. We are working with the following pavilion organisers:
What are your aims for the 2020 exhibition?
This will be the last FIE to be organised separately from HIE. Starting in 2020, FI and HI Europe will be grouped together and held as a single yearly event, rather than alternating.
My objective is to connect my clients (the exhibitors) with potential customers (the visitors) through their stands and promotional work. In parallel to this, we are aware that trade fairs tend to generate a lot of waste, so we want to avoid creating rubbish where we don’t have to and to reduce our CO2 emissions.
How do you picture FIE’s future?
FIE is going to be increasingly interested in health, as consumers are already demanding healthier ingredients. More and more businesses want to find nutritious ingredients for customers who are keen to take care of their bodies. The exhibition will also become more sustainable, and we are promoting digital marketing as a strategy for exhibitors who want to pique potential customers’ interest before they even come to the show.
If you had to give us a 30-second rundown of FIE, what would it be?
What’s new this year?
On the whole, the exhibition is organised in much the same way as it was in previous years, although you will be excited to see a few developments and innovations. This year, however, we have decided to really focus on digitising the event, particularly thanks to our special app designed to give visitors a smoother experience. We have also created a platform to help businesses organise meetings with customers and partners before the show even begins.
Why have you fused FIE and HIE?
Consumers are increasingly aware of how food affects their health. As a result, businesses in this sector have to find healthier ingredients. Nutritional and functional ingredients are becoming indistinguishable. Innovation is accelerating because of this trend for healthier eating.
Is the show purely European, or is it open to the wider world too?
FIE is European, but we organise other exhibitions on every continent. Here’s our schedule for this season:
3 to 5 December 2019 Paris, France
15 to 17 March 2020 Cairo, Egypt
22 to 24 June 2020 Shangai, China
1 to 3 July 2020 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
18 to 20 August 2020 Sao Paulo, Brazil
9 to 11 September 2020 Jakarta, Indonesia
8 to 10 October 2020 New Delhi, India
29 to 30 October 2020 Las Vegas, USA
16 to 18 November 2020 Tokyo, Japan
1 to 3 December 2020 Frankfurt, Germany