Like a fish in water at Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global
All right, the pun intended in the title is an easy one. But I must admit that I was happy to finally visit a trade fair as lately illnesses and other surprises prevented me to visit events that were on my agenda (MDD Expo, Sandwich&Snack Show just to name a few). So I really felt back like a fish in the sea when visiting Seafood Global Expo and Seafood Processing Global.
The bits to remember
Convenience was the keyword
In the preview, three main trends were mentioned: convenience, the predominance of fish and seafood as side dish, and products developed for kids. (See previous post: http://20100retail.be/en/articles/53/the-fish-industry-meets-in-brussels)
Well one could find all these represented over the exhibition area, but the one trend that was omnipresent was “Convenience” in my opinion. Kits for sushi or BBQ ready to use, innovative packaging for snacks, …are just a few concrete examples. The most impressive example of the trend for me was the microwaveable Lobster. A lobster already cooked that can be prepared in a few instants. I noticed the concept at the booths of Roem van Yerseke B.V. (Netherlands) and Elafood (USA).
The Seafood Prix d’Elite
The jury of the award decided to crown Salmon Brands (Norway) for their ready to eat sashimi kit composed of salmon-sashimi, ponzu sauce and sesame seeds, with specially designed cutleries.
Let’s be a bit chauvinistic for Belgium and congratulate one of our own. With five nominated products, Marine Harvest from Bruges managed to seduce the jury and win the award for Health and Nutrition for their Norwegian duo in the oven (a combination of salmon and cod). Not just healthy, but also conveniently packaged (I told you the trend was followed by many.)
Some other discoveries
To the main trends, I feel we should add the “Specialty trend”. Many companies also proposed different products for which the focus was put on the culinary experience: e.g. smoked products, matured or aged, special spice combinations…
Also, it felt that in the offer of exhibitors, more attention was paid to Sustainability. More exhibitors were putting it forward; even the EU had a pavilion dedicated to it.
A job well done
Concerning the fair itself in its organization, one must admit it was a job well done. At my arrival, parking was almost full but traffic was well redirected and managed. The security checks were like the weather, with bright and sunny smiles on the menu. So well done Brussels Expo.
And obviously also well done to Diversified Communication. The biggest event in history was indeed a challenge. Especially with the national strike organized by Belgian syndicates making the event a bit more unpredictable. But no glitches were felt during my visit: communication about alternative transportation to avoid the strike seemed to be working, the signs on the event were more clear and present than on previous editions, the backstage for exhibitor support was hardly noticeable for visitors (but crucial, especially with perishable products such as seafood), … Also, I must not forget to mention the lounge areas were visitors could stop to get a quick rest, a quick coffee, recharge their strengths…and phone or laptop batteries even.
My 20/Cent on this year’s edition
It was definitely worth to visit this year’s edition. Even just to see the Seafood Prix d’Elite, part or check out some impressive country pavilions (Scotland and USA caught my eye). The organization did deliver and fulfilled the expectations I usually have for a fair (content, networking, information…you readers must start to see a pattern in what I like at such events, no?).
Maybe I can add one note for buyers, importers and agents among you. Take into consideration the “frozen vs chilled” aspect. I visited a few booths showcasing a couple of very nice appetizing and innovative products. However, once questioned about their export plans, a lot of the products were not available frozen, and so aimed only at the exhibitor’s local market. So you can save yourself quite some visiting time by analyzing the offer and exhibitors beforehand.
Definitely, next year’s event is on my ‘to visit’-list. But for those who cant wait next edition end of April 2016, you can always visit the Seafood Expo Asia in September in Hong Kong.
The Seafood Prix d’Elite finalists: http://20100retail.be/en/articles/48/the-finalists-of-the-seafood-prix-d-elite-2015-%E2%80%A8are-known
Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global: http://www.seafoodexpo.com/global/
Next edition: From 26th till 28th of April 2016
Seafood Expo Asia, from 8th till 10th of September 2015: http://www.seafoodexpo.com/asia/en/Diversified CommunicationsSeafoodBrussels ExpoFairTradefairConvenienceSustainability