The fifth edition of Fruit Attraction, organized by IFEMA and FEPEX from October 16th to the 18th, welcomed 35,000 professionals from 83 countries, i.e. up 25% with respect to the previous edition. Business participation expanded by 13% year-on-year, with 674 exhibitors from 16 countries. These figures evidence the fruit and vegetable sector's interest in, and support for, Fruit Attraction as a commercial tool and a meeting point for the industry.
The number of professional visitors rose by 27%, to 24,829, of which 5,318 (+61%) were foreigners, coming from more than 80 countries. Visitors from France, Italy, Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland accounted for 69% of the total, confirming Fruit Attraction's importance as a key event for the distribution sector in Europe.
In addition to the trade fair, many activities, conferences and roundtable discussion were organized, providing the more than 1,500 professionals a platform for debate and knowledge exchange.
These included the Stone Fruit Attraction workshop, which sought to highlight Spanish stone fruit production and which was held within the Fruit Forum.
Another workshop, on prepared fruits and vegetables, was entitled "Trends and innovation in prepared fruit and vegetables in the US and Europe", and a forum was organized to discuss issues in Spain's potato sector. Other activities included the 2nd Fruit Retail Workshop, Global Gap tour 2013 Spain, and the event entitled "A new scenario for fruits and vegetables".
In the Innova Foro area, companies presented their latest innovations.
Another very popular area was Pasarela Innova, a meeting point for cutting-edge creations where a mix of 40 products, varieties and brands were presented for the very first time.
For the fifth year in a row, Fruit Fusion—a gastronomic area organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment along with madridfusion—provided a forum for information, innovation and interpretation of the best fruits and vegetables at the service of gastronomy.
Also as part of Fruit Fusion, the 3rd edition of the Vegetable Dish of the Year award was presented. This time around, Galician chef Iago Castrillón from Acio restaurant in Santiago de Compostela took home the distinction for his dish, Verdina beans with hints of aniseed.
As in previous years, Fruit Attraction extended beyond the fair venue with "The Vegetable Week Route", in which 33 restaurants in Madrid and the surrounding areas served a special Fruit Fusion Menu comprising fruit- and vegetable-based dishes.
The spirit of solidarity was also present at this edition: excess food was donated to the Food Bank of Madrid, 30,000 kilos of fruits and vegetables in total, far outstripping last year's 22,000 kilos, to be distributed among charities in Madrid.
Noteworthy new products from sector companies:
The strawberry and other berry sector in Huelva celebrates its 30-year anniversary at the fair
Freshuelva, the Association of Strawberry Producers and Exporters of Huelva, returned to Fruit Attraction. The sector, which is celebrating its 30 year anniversary, aims "to open new markets which are not yet relevant and to decongest other countries which are currently saturated," according to the President, Alberto Garrocho. The goal is to explore markets such as Eastern Europe, where the sector has not been able to gain a foothold thus far, and emerging markets such as Asia.
The strawberry sector has attended all five editions of Fruit Attraction, where it has consistently developed sales contacts in leading international markets, as the fair is held during a favorable time of year, i.e. during strawberry planting season in Huelva.
Another Freshuelva objective at the fair was to relaunch its products featurign other berries with a view to enhancing their positioning and importance over time.
Bio Marlene®, VOG's organic brand apples
The VOG Consortium, one of the largest producer organizations in Alto Adige/Südtirol (Italy), presented its Bio Marlene® brand at this year's Fruit Attraction, under which it has been selling organic products since October. The Bio Marlene® sticker indicates that the apples were grown in accordance with EEC regulation 834/2007 and according to the standards of organic producer associations such as Bioland, AIAB and many others, which require that all members use natural growing methods that ensure ecological balance in apple orchards so as to protect the soil and the environment.
Bio Marlene® stands out in the sector for its unparalleled, extensive range of apples. Royal Gala, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Topaz, Pinova and Gold Rush: eight cultivars in the VOG Consortium's organic apple range, which also includes club varieties such as Kanzi®, Pink Lady®, Evelina® and Jazz®.
Gerhard Dichgans, Director of the VOG Consortium: "We have an extensive, excellent selection of organic apples which we can now monetize in the Spanish market with the right brand strategy, the goal being to meet growing demand by consumers for healthy and environmentally-friendly products."
Canary Island Bananas promotes solidarity and healthy habits
Canary Island Bananas participated in the fair as a member of the organization 5 a Day with a view to strengthening its commitment to fruit and vegetable consumption as part of a healthy diet, in line with recent actions it has been implementing.
The Canary Islands' Association of Banana Producers (ASPROCAN) initiative "Every three-pointer is worth more" (Cada triple vale más), for games in the Endesa League, is now open to the general public. Like the campaign, for any chosen contestant who scores a three-pointer, the association will donate five kilos of bananas to food banks.
In another campaign, It's raining bananas, Canary Island Bananas aims to send consumers a positive message about their product, highlight the hard work and care involved in production, and underline its qualities.
One of the nutritional properties of Canary Island Bananas which is underscored is their high level of tryptophan, an amino acid that is essential for the central nervous system. It is transported to the brain and converted into a hormone which promotes feelings of comfort, pleasure and positivity. Bananas also contain B group vitamins as well as vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and magnesium.
It also focuses on Canary Island Banana production, which uses sustainable, environmentally-friendly methods with a priority focus on quality.
Vegetales Línea Verde presents the latest creations in its super-fresh product line
This includes its new Campesina Salad, a delicious mix of frisée, carrots, beets, rocket and leek. The salad is pre-washed and ready to eat, and comes in an easy-to-open, transparent container with a lid.
In the fresh soup and cream soup segment, the company presented its latest creation: Fresh Soup - Cream of Potato and Leek. This cream soup has a delicate potato flavor, enhanced with leek and nutmeg. Made exclusively with the freshest vegetables, it is has a delicious homemade flavor. This soup, which comes in a 620 gram bowl (2 servings), is made entirely from vegetables and does not contain MSG or preservatives. Just three minutes are needed to heat it up, and it's ready to eat.
Another of the company's innovative, interesting products is its new Fresh Vegetable Broth and Fresh Meat and Vegetable Broth, both of which are flavorful, ready to eat, and have that homemade appeal. They are made with fresh vegetables and veal, with no MSG, preservatives or artificial coloring. They come in a practical 750 ml (3 serving) bottle that is easy to open and close.
PGI Tomate La Cañada achieves its objective at the fair
The PGI tomato made an impression at Fruit Attraction 2013. Its stand received more than 2,000 visitors during the three-day event.
The PGI Regulatory Council worked tirelessly during Fruit Attraction, participating in Pasarela Innova, where it presented its new packaging; offering samples in the 5 a Day area, where its stand was located; and capitalizing on opportunities at Fruit Fusion.
The Council's experience at Fruit Attraction was positive as it achieved its objective: "This event went extremely well. We are leaving on a high note, as we attained our objective of promoting ourselves in Spain and in other countries, and establishing many new contacts and strengthening existing ones", said Francisco López Martínez, Council President.
El Campo kicks off the academic year with support for sport
In line with previous years, Precocinados El Campo showcased its products, innovations and campaigns at Fruit Attraction.
Hijos de Teodoro Muñoz started the 2013-2014 academic year by promoting, once again, a healthy lifestyle through its "Enjoy eating healthy" campaign, which highlights a diet based on natural products and sports activities for children.
The company, specialized in vegetable production and sales, encourages children and adults to get involved in sports and to walk every day to remain active and feel good.
Tabuenca launches a new product: TABUENCA SCHOOL!
Fresh fruit and vegetable company Tabuenca, aware of the current problem in connection with overweight children, has developed a new product for that segment. Tabuenca School promotes a healthy diet through carrots. The original, attractive package for kids contains several small carrots with outstanding color and flavor.
Tabuenca School was officially launched at Fruit Attraction as one of the Segovia-based company's leading new products. The goal is to provide kids with a different way of eating; to this end, the company has implemented several actions, including the creation of:
• This product for kids as lunch or a snack, the goal being to eliminate current eating habits which are based on industrial baked goods
• A workbook with content for children, where they learn how to eat healthier and about the properties and origins of vegetables.