This week's Ingredients Russia show in Moscow will highlight the importance of healthy food, a sector which has seen spectacular growth in western Europe over the last few years. But structural problems continue to dominate the Russian market, where local ingredients suppliers are in short supply, Angela Drujinina reports.
Experts from the food and ingredients sectors will discuss the health trend at the 'Food Ingredients of the 21st Century' forum which is running alongside the ingredients show. A keynote presentation will be made by Dutch firm DSM Nutritional Products, focusing on new international trends in health foods, while local nutritional experts include Professor V. B. Spirichev and Professor L. N. Shatnyuk of the Russian Institute for Food, which helps develop new food ingredients.
Healthy eating options will not be the only subject under discussion at the show. The Russian meat sector will also be debated, although the emphasis will be on the use of technology to improve quality rather than on the much publicised problems of boosting domestic demand.
Despite ongoing structural problems, Russia's food industry is expanding rapidly, and the food ingredients sector has been forced to keep pace. According to Ross Stobie, director of ITE LLC, the organiser of Ingredients Russia, this year's exhibition is 15 per cent larger than the previous event - clear evidence of the rapid growth in the food industry.
Two major supplier nations have also taken pavilions this year. "The appearance of the Chinese and US national groups is a significant development for the event and is further proof of the growing international importance of the Russian market," said Touby.
More than 250 companies from over 30 countries will demonstrate their products and technologies at the exhibition, including 30 newcomers to the show. International exhibitors include Barry Callebaut, Schwartau Ingredients, DSM Nutritional Products, Dolina and Ingria.
But the increasing international presence at the show also underlines the lack of major Russian players in the food ingredients market - a potential cause for concern for local food processors increasingly who have worked hard to lift their quality levels and are now keen to stress their Russian credentials as a major competitive advantage.
CEE-foodindustry.com journalists are at the Ingredients Russia exhibition, and will be reporting in more detail from there in the next few days.