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Vitafoods Europe joins the list of industry trade shows that are postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Following close consultation with its partners in the international nutraceutical industry, Vitafoods Europe has made the decision to reschedule this year’s event to September 1-3, 2020 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland.

Vitafoods Europe joins the list of industry trade shows that are postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Following close consultation with its partners in the international nutraceutical industry, Vitafoods Europe has made the decision to reschedule this year’s event to September 1-3, 2020 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland.

The move is a direct result of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In light of the news, the event’s exhibitors have responded with mixed feelings on the topic, as it delays launches and operations. Nonetheless, most companies are unanimous in stressing that health comes first.

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 health situation, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone Vitafoods Europe to September 2020. This conclusion is not one that has been reached easily. However, following consultation with our stakeholders, and taking the continually evolving health concerns and travel restrictions into consideration, we have agreed that the postponement is the best course of action,” note the organizers of the event.

By acting fast, the trade show hopes to remove the uncertainty affecting exhibitors and visitors and allow them to make more concrete business decisions. The event in September will still take place in the same venue it was originally intended and all existing registrations and commitments remain in place.

“We understand how important Vitafoods Europe is to the industry and how much effort goes into preparing for it and so, in this unprecedented situation and difficult time, thank our community for its understanding and support. We’re looking forward to coming together later in the year to continue to drive our industry forwards,” the event planners add.

On Monday, it was announced that Supply Side East will be postponed to June 23-24. Other affected events include Natural Products Expo West, hosted in Anaheim, US; Tokyo’s CPhI Japan; CFIA, held in Rennes, France; and Incosmetics Global, in Barcelona, Spain.

Industry’s response to the news

Despite the slew of shows being cancelled in recent weeks, Vitafoods Europe had made no comment until now. Industry has mostly commended the show for its early notification of the rescheduling, with Isabel Gómez, Lipofoods Marketing Manager of Lubrizol Life Science noting that safety and wellbeing are top priority.

“We totally support Vitafoods’ organizers decision and we are quickly adapting the original plan to make it work for the new dates. From rebooking hotels and flights to rescheduling marketing campaigns, events and meetings, we are experiencing a lot of flexibility and understanding from everyone which is truly helpful,” she states.

She continues that being virtually connected and digital tools at the company’s disposal has made reaching out to customers and partners in the current climate of restricted travel easier as well. “It’s all about how we embrace change in times of crisis, and we are trying to be proactive and make the best out of it,” Gómez adds.

Astareal’s Manager for Marketing and Sales, Andie Long has commented that the company is grateful to the Vitafoods Europe team, who have managed this situation effectively and with transparency – most importantly by giving early notice to avoid uncertainty. “For us and most other exhibitors, the planning phase for Vitafoods was quite far along, so we will simply transfer our planning and work until September,” she says.

“We had many exciting product concepts to launch in May at Vitafoods. We will now push ahead with those and find alternative ways to communicate our innovations with our current and potential customers,” she elaborates.

Over at Nexira, the company commented that the situation is still being reviewed. “We received the news yesterday evening and at the moment, we are analyzing the situation, estimating the financial impact and looking for the available options and their timing,” says Julie Imperato, Marketing Manager at Nexira.

“Kudos to the Vitafoods Europe team for a brave and prompt decision”, says Andrea Zangara, Head of Scientific Communications and Marketing at Euromed. Primarily concerned for the consequences of the coronavirus, he states it is “too early to confirm” if the current pandemic emergency will result in more profits or industry losses. “We should focus on what to learn from it. Events postponement is the most responsible choice and this emergency requires we all make an effort and adapt strategies.” He also envisions government support for potential industry losses as a “welcome tool to enhance risk reduction, literally and at all levels.”

The virus and its effect on the industry

According to Gomez, people are more aware of the importance of having a healthy and active lifestyle to successfully manage the disruption and impact that change due to crisis can have in their lives. “Many people are asking what they can do to help protect themselves from coronavirus and are focusing on building a stronger immune system. For this reason, we expect a growth in the consumption of health-promoting diets and nutritional supplements that provide consumers with vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals that boost their immune system,” she notes. This has also been echoed throughout the industry, with Kerry and Pharmactive both flagging increased interest in immunity.

However, Euromed’s Zangara says that the industry will be severely hit by the postponement of important events and the disruption of supply chains. It is a high price to pay for avoiding, hopefully, even more severe consequences in the future, connected to health, he notes. “We expect there will be supportive measures in place to help especially the small and medium businesses. A strategic rethinking of a number of processes in our industry will be crucial to address this and other such emergencies, likely to endure or reappear. This should happen at micro and macro levels,” he adds.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging and concerning time, the situation is changing so rapidly it is hard to predict what will happen from one day to the next. In terms of influencing the industry, there are clear indications that there is an emphasis on preventative health care specifically in the immunity category, which could present an opportunity for our industry to step up with solutions,” Long of Astareal concludes.

by Food Ingredients First – Innova Trend Network


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