Donna Berry 2019COLOGNE, GERMANY — A record-breaking 7,400 exhibitors and 170,000 visitors gathered Oct. 5-8 in Cologne, Germany, for Anuga. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the biennial event put the global food and beverage marketplace in the spotlight. While plant-based, often vegan, products dominated much of the conversation, there was still a very strong presence of premium, gourmet and indulgent finer foods, including cheeses, meats, confections and baked foods.

Insect-based products were quite the buzz, with several start-up companies showcasing their innovations in a special pavilion in the trade show’s “meat hall.” Finland-based Entis debuted its new chocolate-covered dried Finnish crickets in flavors such as milk chocolate, salty chocolate and licorice. The company also offers BugBites protein snacks. SensFoods, Germany, added dark chocolate sour cherry to its line of Sens brand cricket protein bars, joining dark chocolate orange, dark chocolate sesame, peanut butter cinnamon and pineapple coconut.

Switzerland’s Essento Food Ag offered Essento Bio Insect Balls, which are a meatball-like protein. The balls come in three varieties — beetroot, spinach and turmeric — and are based on organic Swiss Tenebrio (mealworms), along with chickpeas, bulgur and onions.

Entis chocolate-covered dried Finnish cricketsMicarna, also in Switzerland, combines 30% mealworm larvae with quinoa to make its Pop-Bugs burgers. There is also new Pop-Bugs Angry Nuggets made with 25% mealworm larvae and pea and wheat protein.

Meat-free burger and sausage concepts were well represented at Anuga, while blended products were garnering attention for their trendy names, market positions and flavorful recipes. Jan Zandbergen BV, The Netherlands, features a range of products that are half meat and half vegetables, aptly branded FiftyFifty. The products may contain beef, chicken or pork. The range includes balls, burgers, sausages, schnitzel and even cordon bleu.

The Big Al’s brand from Kepak, Ireland, now offers Burgers with a Blend. They are 70% Irish grass-fed beef combined with vegetables. The line made its debut in Beetroot Burger (with beets and quinoa) and Moo-shroom Burger (with chestnut mushrooms).

On the beverage side, manufacturers showcased innovative ways to enjoy aloe, coffee and tea. Hemp was also prominent in beverages, right along upscale mocktail concepts.

Swiss-based Mövenpick Schweiz AG rolled out Mövenpick Sparkling Coffee, which combines cold-brew coffee with flavor and sparkling water. Varieties are ginger, lime, original and strawberry.

LivelyUp GmbH, Germany, debuted Hemponade. This is a pure 50% juice beverage made from cold-pressed hemp, along with grape, lemon and lime juices with a hint of mint and no added sugar. It is described as sweet, sour and dry and loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

Naturally High Moringa Bio Energy Drink

The Naturally High Moringa Bio Energy Drink from Rhodius Mineralquellen und Getränke GmbH & Co., Germany, is fortified with natural caffeine from the green coffee bean. It is marketed as 100% natural, organic, vegan and with half as much sugar as a regular energy drink. It wakes you up, but in a natural way.

Seagull Trading GmbH, Austria, introduced CSwiss, a cannabis iced tea that combines black tea with the aroma of the cannabis plant. The unusual combination of ingredients appeals to young and trend-conscious people who are looking for an extraordinary taste experience without the intoxicating effects of alcohol or T.H.C., according to the company. CSwiss does not get its unique, slightly bitter aroma from ordinary cannabis, but rather from the flowers of female cannabis plants.

Sparkling Juicy Tea from Van Nahman GmbH, Germany, is a new line of non-alcoholic beverages. The three varieties are: verbena jasmine Riesling, rhubarb Darjeeling rose and peach lemongrass earl grey.

HemponadeReal Tropical Food, The Netherlands, showcased its iced teas with mini aloe vera cubes and fruit juice. Flavors are lychee, pomegranate and watermelon. Also brand new for the company is the Basil Seed drinks line. The fruit-flavored beverage contains hydrated basil seeds for an interesting texture. Flavors are blueberry, mango pineapple and strawberry pomegranate.

“Anuga has once again succeeded in presenting the diversity of the food industry in an impressive way,” said Friedhelm Dornseifer, president of the German Association of the Retail Grocery Trade. “In spite of the high importance of social responsibility and sustainability that goes hand in hand with the manufacturing and sales of food, with its wide variety of new products, Anuga 2019 demonstrated impressively that the appreciation of food is above all a matter of taste. Offering products that comply with the ethical needs of the consumers that also provide them with the highest possible degree of enjoyment is a big challenge for food manufacturers and distributors.

The next Anuga will take place from Oct. 9 to 13, 2021.

View slideshow of innovations from Anuga.