Visitors at this year's Vitafoods exhibition reached more than 3,400 according to the organisers, and attracted many of the world's leadingscientists and experts who presented research on the scientific basis and benefits of nutraceuticals and functional foods.
The exhibition, which took place at Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland from 14 to 16 May, was the fifth Vitafoods trade show in as many years, and involved 294 exhibitors and 290 conference delegates from 80 countries around the world.
The organisers said that in the context of a fragile global economy since 11 September and an international political uneasiness which has dramatically reduced the issue of entry visas into many countriesin Europe, the results of Vitafoods International 2002 are very positive.
They added that exhibitors seemed very satisfied with the quality of the professional visitors, which included many food and pharmaceutical multinationals, and over 50 per cent of exhibitors confirmed their participation for next year's event.
Finished products were dominated by the makers of raw materials and ingredients, which were represented by players from the pharmaceutical, food and ingredients sectors.
NutraIngredients.com spoke to some of the exhibitors during the show. Karen Wilson, technical manager with UK health ingredients manufacturer Gee Lawson, said: "A lot of our English customers are here so it has been good for us, and we've also caught up with many of our suppliers. We were especially busy on Wednesday."
She said that it had been noticeably quieter on Thursday, but this was not necessarily a bad thing. "You only need to get one good person on the stand for some business to develop."
French seaweed company Setalg was exhibiting for the first time. Area export manager Pascal Goossens said: "The success of the show for us will only be evident in a few months time when we see if it results in sales."
The global nutraceuticals and functional food sector has experienced considerable growth over recent years, and according to Vitafoods, is currently estimated to be worth US$500 billion (€537bn) annually.
The sixth Vitafoods exhibition and conference will take place at Palexpo from 13 to 15 May 2003.