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from Katherine & Jessica

The latest food trends at Biofach 2020

Biofach is the world’s largest trade fair for organic food, organic drinks and other non-food organic products. It opened its doors again this year in Nuremberg from February 12 to 15. The international trade fair for natural cosmetics “Vivaness” also took place at the same time. We, Katherine and Jessica, project managers at Eberle, were also there to keep an eye out for interesting new products and food trends. Here is our review:

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Always up to date: sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging was a hot topic at this year’s Biofach. Many different plastic-free packaging solutions based on various materials were on display: for example, made from sugar cane, palm leaf, bamboo, cellulose or various mixtures of these. The packaging for Dutch Harvest teas, for example, uses a mix of paper made from agricultural waste (e.g. from sugar cane production) and a cellulose-based bioplastic.

The food manufacturers themselves have also heavily advertised their new packaging solution. The bottles for AlmaWin cleaning products, for example, are made from 100% recycled PE or PET plastic and are themselves 100% recyclable.
Another company at Biofach that has been advertising its new packaging concept for some time is Alb-Gold Teigwaren. They pack their products in 100% paper, not plastic.

However, the fact that such paper packaging is not always better for the environment was hotly debated in the panel discussion “A life without packaging”, in which our Managing Director Bernd Eberle also took part as an expert. Packaging specialist Carolina Schweig said that a packaging film made of 100% plastic is still more environmentally friendly than paper packaging if the latter is either fully coated or consists of long-fiber paper grades that emit more greenhouse gases during raw material procurement and processing. Plastic packaging can be 100% recycled, whereas there is no complete recycling loop for coated paper packaging. The same also applies to packaging solutions that are advertised as “compostable”, because “compostable” here means industrial compost and not domestic compost.

It was also discussed that there is not yet THE solution that meets the requirements for the protection and shelf life of food and the environment. Especially because the recycling cycle is often not given. Other factors such as weight/transport costs must also be taken into account.

It is precisely because of these discussions that the topic of “unpackaged shopping” is gaining in importance. This was also evident at Biofach. In addition to the panel discussion with our Managing Director, there were other events on the topic of “unpackaged”, for example “Unpackaged shopping at SEH: experiences and challenges”.

The topic of “zero waste” has also arrived in the cosmetics sector, so many Vivaness exhibitors also presented their soaps and shampoos in solid form this year in order to get away from plastic packaging.

As far as this topic is concerned, it will remain exciting and we will be reporting regularly on this topic in our blog.
In addition to new packaging solutions, we naturally also looked around to see what trend products were on show at this year’s Biofach.

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Hemp: the controversial plant continues to be a trend product

Whether hemp seeds on their own, processed into flour and oil or as an ingredient in teas, muesli or chewing gum, products containing hemp are all the rage. Hemp products were already on show at last year’s Biofach and this year there were even more innovative products with the useful plant.

The seeds are the main basis for the many uses of the hemp plant in food, but the leaves and flowers are also used for hemp flower tea or hemp beer, for example.
Hemp seeds themselves were on display in different varieties: raw, hulled, unhulled or roasted. They are ideal as a topping for muesli, soups and salads. We have also found the seeds in ground form, for example as protein powder or as flour. The flour can be used as a (partial) substitute for wheat flour in baking.
Exhibitors also showed oil made from pressed hemp seeds, which is good for pestos or dressings.
But hemp has not only found its way into the food sector, but also into natural cosmetics, for example as face and body oil or as hand cream.

It is not surprising that hemp is being presented as the new superfood: hemp seeds are rich in protein and contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.1 What industrial hemp does not contain: THC. Products with and made from hemp therefore have no intoxicating effect.
Another advantage of the plant is that it grows here and does not have to be imported from overseas like chia seeds, for example. A truly regional superfood.

Hemp also convinced visitors to Biofach/Vivaness. Several hemp products were named Best New Product, including the hemp bites from HANS Brainfood in the Dry Products, Snacks & Sweets category and the hemp seed oil from Primavera Life in the Special Cosmetics / Care category.

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Healthy roots: Ginger and turmeric

Ginger has also experienced a hype in recent years and is particularly popular in the cold season as a cold killer. It contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus and vitamin C (good for the immune system). Ginger is also said to have a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. The root is a real all-rounder.

At Biofach, we discovered a huge number of teas containing ginger, combined with many different ingredients (for example, ginger and lemon tea). The combination of ginger and turmeric was very popular. Turmeric is also said to have a health-promoting effect.
Above all, ginger was also available in raw form this year, such as the ginger shot from Kloster Kitchen with pieces of ginger or the shots from Voelkel. The spicy root was also used in honey and chocolate.

Ginger and turmeric have also established themselves in cosmetics. The “Ginger Tooth Powder” and “Turmeric Tooth Oil” – both from Eliah Sahil Organic Care – were also named Best New Product.

Our conclusion

There were once again many exciting products to discover at Biofach and Vivaness in 2020. Every year we are surprised anew at how much innovative spirit the organic sector shows at the trade fair. The mood was better than it has been for a long time – perhaps because the organic sector did very well last year and its importance continues to grow.
We are definitely looking forward to Biofach 2021 and are excited to see what new trends we will discover.

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