Success of Vitafoods Europe reflects strength of nutraceutical industry

12 June 2018


The success of Vitafoods Europe 2018, which attracted over 20,000 visitors for the first time, reflects the strength of the industry, the organisers say.

A total of 21,132 visitors passed through the doors at Palexpo, Geneva between 15th and 17thMay. The numbers were the highest in the event’s 21-year history and represented a 6% increase on the 2017 event. Exhibitor numbers were also up, with 1,119 companies showcasing their products and services, 8% more than in 2017.

Commenting on the figures, Chris Lee, Managing Director, Global Health & Nutrition Network Europe, Informa Exhibitions, said:“The success of Vitafoods lies in the role we play in a vibrant, fast-moving industry that is committed to innovation. There’s enormous thirst for knowledge and we offer a space where people can learn, as well as coming together to do business. By providing opportunities to discover new products and gain insights into the trends and science shaping nutrition, we hope to help drive innovation. The big focus now is on building our role as an industry partner, supporting its growth and helping it adapt to challenges.”

The organisers of Vitafoods Europe are now planning for its next edition (7-9 May, 2019 at Palexpo) as well as Vitafoods Asia (11-12 September, 2018 in Singapore). In addition, they offer Vitafoods Insights ― a year-round digital engagement platform that explores key issues in the global health and nutrition industry.

Traditional categories converging

One trend that was apparent at Vitafoods Europe was the convergence of traditional categories.

“Old categories have begun to blur,” said Chris Lee. “There’s now a really interesting space, for example, between nutrition and pharma. Companies are starting to understand the role functional foods can play in addressing global health problems such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. As a result, we’re seeing an increasing number of products that are hard to pigeon-hole as either food or pharma. Another interesting example is the convergence of food and cosmetics, with ingestible skincare and nutricosmetics becoming more mainstream.”

Exhibitors and visitors also enjoyed the emergence of innovative new categories. “This year, we saw a lot of synergy between food and nutraceuticals, and a lot of innovations and new forms of delivery” said Antoine Dauby, Marketing Communications Director at Naturex, one of the event exhibitors. “So it's definitely a great place to learn.”

“It was pretty amazing to see food and supplements coming together,” said Pawel Ciuraj, Managing Partner of Foods by Ann, who was visiting Vitafoods Europe for the first time.“It was really worth visiting because of the many different ways in which the industry is growing and developing.”

"From a medical perspective, there was a lot of variety and a lot of new products I didn't know about," said Ernst-Jan Van Gellicum, owner of Primelab, and another first-time visitor.  "I practise orthomolecular medicine so I found some interesting products that could help with that. And I'm also planning to launch a specific product line of supplements so in that respect the packaging and contract manufacturing part of the event was very valuable."

Making personalised nutrition mainstream

Another big theme was personalised nutrition, which was the subject a new interactive workshop in the Vitafoods Europe Education Programme. A key question for delegates was how the category can become more accessible.

“I found the workshop very valuable because I think personalised nutrition is a space where there’s not a lot of knowledge in terms of commercial applications” said Katherine Martinez, AVP at United Laboratories. “From where I sit – because the Philippines is pretty much a third world country ― the challenge is how to make personalised nutrition accessible, and there was a particularly interesting question about whether science is outpacing the commercialisation opportunities.”

The introduction of the workshop was part of a drive to make the Education Programme a more interactive experience. Other changes, such as the introduction of round table discussions, were also well received by delegates.

“I’ve been coming to Vitafoods since 2014 and I think the Education Programme gets better and better every year,” said Dr Mohammed Gulrez Zariwala, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster. “It’s always useful, and I think the organisation was particularly good this year.”

Visitors enjoy theatre attractions

A total of 4635 people attended presentations at the several theatres on the show floor, again indicating visitors’ desire to learn. One of the most popular features was the new Sports Nutrition Theatre, where 869 people attended presentations.

“The quality of our educational offering is very important to us,” said Chris Lee. “We work hard to adapt to trends in order to deliver the most relevant information and sports nutrition is a good example of that. We’ve seen the category evolve from something that was the preserve of professional athletes into something much more mainstream – it’s now very common for everyday cyclists and runners to use specialised nutrition products. In recent years, we’ve added considerably to our sports nutrition offering and it was great to see the new theatre being so popular on its debut.”

A global meeting place

Vitafoods Europe attracted visitors from 112 different countries and the global nature of the event was appreciated by exhibitors.

“Our booth was continually busy,” said Noa Yonish, Marketing Manager, Natural Solutions, Frutarom. “Most of the conversations we had were with customers who needed something and we generated around 200 leads, which is a lot! Vitafoods lends itself to these business opportunities because it’s the place where ingredient companies come together from all over the world. There were people from the Far East, people from the States and, of course, people from Europe – it’s very international.”

“It’s the biggest event in the nutraceutical industry,” said Véronique Sancéau, Marketing Manager at Polaris. “We’ve been exhibiting for many years and this year in particular was very interesting in terms of contacts and innovation. There seemed to be more people this year and more international people too ― Mexican, Mauritian, Saudi Arabian...The value of the event is both in the contacts we make and the new things we learn.”

“Vitafoods Europe is a huge event for our industry” said Antoine Dauby, Marketing Communications Director at Naturex. “It’s a good way for us to launch our products and definitely a great platform to network. In terms of the footfall, we had a good flow of people ― the right profile as well.”

"Vitafoods continues to be an epicentre of deal flow in nutraceutical business" said one of the visitors, Diogo Sousa-Martins, CEO at ELS Solutions. "We're a pipeline and M&A strategic advisory firm, so our team gets a lot of value from meeting with suppliers and customers throughout the event. This is definitely a must-go event."

“The experience as a visitor was excellent,” added Arun Kedia, Managing Director at VAV Life Sciences. “It was useful because we had a lot of meaningful business meetings. We came from India and it was definitely worth the journey.”




About Vitafoods Europe

Vitafoods Europe is the global nutraceutical event, featuring exhibitors from all over the world in four key market areas: ingredients & raw materials; branded finished products; contract manufacturing & private label; and services & equipment. The event offers a range of visitor attractions, including an industry-leading Education Programme.

If you would like to enquire about booking a stand for Vitafoods Europe 2018 then please click here

Vitafoods Europe is part of Informa Exhibitions’ Global Health & Nutrition Network (GHNN), which brings together a portfolio of events, digital media and publishing for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of nutrition and dietary supplements, healthy foods/beverages and personal care products. GHNN’s events include Vitafoods Europe, Vitafoods Asia, SupplySide West, SupplySide East and SupplySide China.

Natural Products INSIDER is the global media brand covering healthy ingredients and finished applications. Vitafoods Insights offers expert online content and a series of topic-specific digital magazines that bring highlights of the Vitafoods events to a global audience. SupplySide Connect is the always-on directory of ingredients, products and services that provides in-depth information about the companies that supply to the market. For more information. For more information, visit

Informa’s Global Exhibitions Division organises transaction-oriented exhibitions and trade shows, which provide buyers and sellers across different industries and communities with a powerful platform to meet face-to-face, build relationships and conduct business. Informa has a portfolio of more than 150 exhibitions, serving a number of core verticals, including Health & Nutrition, Beauty, Property & Construction and Pop Culture.


For more information, please contact:

Richard Clarke

Ingredient Communications

Tel: +44 7766 256176