Local over global, biodiversity and sustainable packaging: Our trip to BIOFACH 2020

  • Local over global, biodiversity and sustainable packaging Our trip to BIOFACH 2020 (biofach-trends_all_1.jpg)

Photos: Júlia Dalmadi

On February 12th, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food BIOFACH opened its doors to more than 47 000 visitors coming from 136 countries.

The 31st edition of the annual trade fair — with two additional halls this year — hosted 3500 exhibitors showcasing how the organic food sector along the entire supply chain is approaching the challenges of our global food system worldwide.

The congress theme “Organic Delivers!” explored the positive impact of organic production methods. The knowledge-sharing platform offered 149 sessions for almost 10 000 participants to demonstrate the potential of ecological strategies to fight climate change.

BIOFACH 2020 focused on four trends. We tooked a closer look at them and found a few companies that work successfully in these directions.

Innovative packaging solutions

Innovative packaging solutions — environmentally friendly packaging or unpackaged products — are more and more in demand. Food manufacturers are trying to use as little material as possible or sell their products in reusable packaging. Consumers are actively driving this trend: their daily grocery choices are highly influenced by the sustainability of packaging. This explains the growing number of bulk supermarkets.

The German Package-free Association (Unverpackt Verband e.G.) has 106 operating stores and 190 in the planning stage as of February 2020.

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The only consumer perceived risk of package-free shopping is related to hygiene. The most critical categories are dairy and meat. That is why we can observe that the package-free trend is leaning towards veganism.

Vegan 2.0

The number of vegan products in the refrigerator has multiplied. The second big wave brought a bigger variety of innovative raw materials like jackfruit, plant-based barista milk and dairy varieties. No vegan sweet tooth goes unsatisfied after the recent explosion of the dessert category.

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Open-pollinated varieties

In order to stimulate similar changes in our biodiversity, we need to use natural means by which plants can reproduce and exchange characteristics from generation to generation.

Open-pollinated varieties are naturally pollinated by insects or wind, not by enforced pollination or in-breeding. They carry wide genetic diversity and contribute to biodiversity within food crops. This trend can decrease our dependence on global suppliers and empower farmers to develop local varieties of plants.

Region 2.0

Region 2.0 is about having an emotional connection with food origin through the history of food. More and more cooperatives are building end-to-end regional supply networks.

The Lüneburg-based WirGarten introduced a new level of convenience in their community by placing pickup points in supermarkets. This way their products complement the store assortment and improve the shopping experience.

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This year's BIOFACH Novelty Stand featured 629 new products. Visitors could vote for the Best New Product Award in seven categories. Next to freeze-dried fruits, protein-rich snacks and drinks we discovered more legume-based products — lupin beans are finally claiming their place back in our diet. Familiar, yet still quite niche ingredients like seaweed and hemp will appear in everyday products, for instance pesto.

Quite a few companies introduce a new trend for our supermarket shelves — products with a mission — while other products serve as great examples of of transparent and consumer engaging brands.

Berlin-based RETTERGUT, the winner of the "Other Dry Products" category, turns industry surplus into delicious soups and vegetable spreads and brings us one step closer to a food system where nothing gets wasted.

Rebelicious makes whole grain great again and disrupts the breakfast tables with healthier cornflakes and cereals for kids. Their products contain 40-50% less sugar than competitive products.

Fairment helps consumers turn their kitchens into fermentation labs and educate consumers about gut health with their starter kits and online academy.

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Pumperlgsund recently extended their portfolio of protein bread and liquid egg white with the first 11-star egg on the German market. Using the Eaternity 3-star score system, they help their consumers make better food choices.

The stars are based on a yearly reviewed LCA database. It is currently the largest and most comprehensive database for carrying out environmental calculations. The food products are rated by climate score, water footprint, rainforest score and animal welfare score.

We hope to see their egg white in more bars to reduce the number of egg yolks landing in the garbage upon every whiskey sour order.

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The dates for BIOFACH 2021 are already confirmed. Start planning your trip to Nuremberg on February 17th-20th to keep up with the news from the rapidly changing organic food sector.

About the author

About Júlia Dalmadi (jd_profile.jpg)

Júlia Dalmadi

Júlia Dalmadi is a Food Futurist with digital and food innovation expertise and proven track record in project management and concept development. Equipped with human-centered design and system thinking, plus a global network of food protagonists Júlia's vision is to engage, cross-pollinate, and build the sustainable future of our food system.

Since her Food Innovation Masters, she has been active as the Ambassador of the Future Food Institute, designing and facilitating multiple educational projects.

Currently, Júlia is working on the Climate Shaper Bootcamps, their joint project with FAO. In her free time, she is engaged in the opening of SuperCoop, the first member-only cooperative supermarket in Berlin, and building a circular economy startup in her home country, Hungary.

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