Business Bites: Fi Europe 2023 highlights sustainability, sets record attendance

On this week’s plate: Food ingredients Europe 2023 attracts more than 32,000 global attendees and 1,400 exhibitors; The Kraft Heinz Co. launches vegan mac & cheese; Land to Market announces impressive milestone for preserving land for regenerative agriculture.

Heather Carter, Associate editor

December 4, 2023

4 Min Read
Steve Burden Photography

At a Glance

  • The Kraft Heinz Co. releases third plant-based collaboration with NotCo, known as KraftNotMac&Cheese.
  • Fi Europe highlighted importance of sustainable ingredients and experienced significant increased attendance from 2022.
  • Land to Market is dedicated to promoting regenerative agriculture and collaborates with more than 80 global brands.

Fi Europe was a huge success this fall. Drawing in record attendance, the global event highlighted sustainable ingredients, products and solutions transforming the industry. Also, The Kraft Heinz Co. released a new vegan iteration of a household classic to help further its commitment to creating sustainable F&B products. Read more in this week’s column. 

Fi Europe attracts thousands of attendees, exhibitors 

Held in Frankfurt, Germany, the last week of November, Fi Europe 2023 was a success, with more than 32,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors. The event featured a variety of innovative ingredients and solutions, including a new protein flour from EQUII and a cocoa pulp product from Koa Switzerland. Sustainable solutions were a recurring theme throughout the event, with panel discussions during the “Future of Nutrition Summit” on AgTech, seaweed, data science, AI in plant-based foods and alt-proteins. Read our recap by Food & Beverage Insider Content Director Audarshia Townsend. 

Plant-based mac & cheese new at Kraft Heinz 

The Kraft Heinz Co. is focused on creating cleaner, greener versions of its staple products. The F&B behemoth recently launched its first-ever, plant-based rendition of Kraft Mac & Cheese, known as Kraft NotMac&Cheese. The new product, a joint venture between The Kraft Heinz Co. and food tech startup The Not Co. Inc. (NotCo), is the duo’s third collaboration to launch over the last year. KraftNotMac&Cheese, like the other plant-based products the companies have created together, is developed using NotCo’s patented artificial intelligence (AI) technology Guiseppe. Guiseppe combines data from thousands of plants and identifies combinations to replicate animal products on a molecular level, according to NotCo, showing the vast capabilities of innovative technologies being utilized in the industry. In February 2022, the duo announced the joint venture, followed by the launches of NotCheese Slices in October 2022 and NotMayo in March 2023. The Kraft Heinz Co. plans to continue expanding into the plant-based industry in several categories in 2024. 

Related:Salmonella cases soar to 230 as pre-cut cantaloupe recall continues

More than 6 million acres of land monitored for regenerative agricultural practices 

Land to Market is dedicated to championing regenerative agriculture. The Colorado-based company works with more than 80 food, fashion, and health and wellness brands around the world to “heal the planet by regenerating its grasslands.” As the first verified sourcing solution for raw materials, including meat, dairy, leather and wool, the company recently announced more than 6 million acres of land around the world are currently being monitored for regenerative outcomes—a milestone that pays homage to World Soil Day. Land to Market utilizes Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV), a scientific data collection and protocol—developed by Savory Institute, Michigan State University, Texas A&M, Ovis 21, The Nature Conservancy and others—that measures and tracks soil health, water infiltration rates, sequestered carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem function to help mitigate the current climate crisis. To date, the company has verified more than 1,000 products. 

Related:20% of seniors face food insecurity at some point

Asiros Nordic launches prebiotic berry ingredients 

Denmark-based ingredient company Asiros Nordic is expanding its berry-derived offerings. The Danish grower, manufacturer and supplier of farm-to-finish Nordic berries recently introduced a lineup of berry ingredients, including berry concentrates, prebiotic juice powders, berry extracts and liquid shots. The new ingredients feature the company’s BerryShield technology, a solvent-free protective processing method. They are also maltodextrin-free, as Asiros Nordic utilizes Sunfiber and other similar products, which are prebiotic fibers available in organic and conventional formats. The BerryShield line includes tart cherry, bilberry, aronia, elderberry, lingonberry, strawberry, and red and black currant. The ingredients can be used in a variety of delivery forms, including tablets, capsules, soft gels, gummies, sachets and stick packs, as well as in foods and beverages. 

Related:2 studies report positive health outcomes from mango consumption

IFT, Seeding The Future Foundation announce winners of annual competition 

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Seeding The Future Foundation collaborated a few years ago to create the Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge. The annual competition supports high-impact innovations in the realm of nutrition, sustainability, accessibility and affordability that can lead to significant food system advancements. It taps scientists, product developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, and professionals from nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, social enterprises, universities and research institutions to submit “game-changing innovations that will help transform the food system.” This year, IFT and Seeding The Future Foundation received more than 900 submissions from 78 countries, and selected eight Seed Grant winners, which each received $25,000. The organizations also recognized three Growth Grant finalists and two Seeding The Future grand prize finalists, which each received $100,000 and $250,000, respectively; winners will be announced in January 2024. Grant winners and finalists include: 

Seed Grant winners 

  • Aquagenius 

  • Feeding Albania Foundation 

  • Global Seed Savers 

  • Ndalo Heritage Trust 

  • Safe Environment Hub 

  • Tiny Seed Project 

  • Urban Being Inc. 

  • UV4Good 

Seeding The Future grand prize finalists 

  • Green America 

  • INMED South Africa 

  • International Food Policy Research Institute 

  • Naandi Foundation 

  • Savory Institute 

Growth Grant finalists 

  • Association 3535 

  • International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology 

  • Ignitia 

  • Kopernik 

  • Nurture Posterity International 

About the Author(s)

Heather Carter

Associate editor, Food & Beverage Insider

With over a decade of diverse professional experience under her belt, Heather has journeyed from the bustling world of local news reporting to the intricate realms of trade publishing. She has covered a wide array of topics, ranging from architecture and design to the food and beverage industry.

During her illustrious career, Heather also ventured into the realm of public relations, where she gleaned invaluable insights into the art of strategic communication and brand storytelling. Yet, her heart has always been anchored in the vibrant world of F&B, a passion deeply ingrained in her roots as the daughter of a seasoned chef. She has always held a profound appreciation for the role food plays in shaping cultures and connecting people.

With each story she tells, Heather seeks to illuminate the profound impact of food and beverage on people’s lives, celebrating its ability to evoke emotions, foster connections and weave the fabric of our shared human experience.

As Food & Beverage Insider's associate editor, she co-publishes a weekly news column, Business Bites, which showcases the latest industry news, highlighting key business updates, food and beverage innovation, industry events and more. Some of her other articles touch on important topics, such as ultra-processed foods, plant-based foods primed to change the food landscape, international flavors and ingredients, as well as better-for-you CPGs. She also frequently covers top trends at various industry events and has moderated first-of-their-kind education sessions at Informa events.

She can be reached at [email protected].

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