Food and DrinkHospitalityNewsTrade Events

Free From Functional Food & Health Ingredients Returns to Demonstrate Sector Opportunities as Plant-based Trends Hold Firm With Consumers

The free-from and plant-based food market has witnessed a transformation over the past 12-24 months, with the pandemic helping to drive greater consumer awareness of the environmental and health benefits of a free-from diet. In just two years, the European plant-based food industry is reported to have grown an astonishing 49%, transforming the perception of plant-based options from novelty to a promising market segment.

And there is further optimism for the future, with the pandemic firmly in the rearview mirror, consumers continue to remain steadfast in their approach to diet and wellbeing, putting the European free from market on a path of continued growth, with projections outlining a CAGR rate of 8.7% to 2025.

Helping brands, retailers and food manufacturers discover the next big free-from, organic or vegan food trend, Free From Functional Food & Health Ingredients (FFF&HI) returns to Amsterdam from 22-23 November 2022. It is set to welcome more than 275 exhibitors, from over 42 countries globally, who will showcase their latest innovations. Registration for the 2022 event in Amsterdam is now open.

Already confirmed to exhibit, Portuguese gluten and GMO-free pasta brand Belvida will showcase its range of legume pasta products including its Fusilli Brown Rice, Rigati Pea and Corn and Fusilli Chickpea. Israel’s Carmit Candy will promote its gluten-free, vegan, no-added-sugar, kosher range of candy and confectionery products. Germany-based Döhler will return with its wide range of top quality free from ingredients which span natural flavours and colours, sugar-free sweetening systems and gluten-free barley malt extracts and beers. Meanwhile, Dutch brand Soof Drinks will entice attendees with its syrups and soft drinks made from 100% all-natural fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Brands and ingredients will also be on show by location, with the event’s country pavilions capturing the trends and innovations in Indonesia Pavilion, Tunisia Pavilion, Seaweed Pavilion, Austria Pavilion, Denmark Pavilion and Bolivia Pavilion.

An expert line-up

Complimenting the innovation demonstrated on the show floor, a series of industry experts will come together to discuss the most influential trends in the event’s carefully curated conference programme. Three streams covering Free From Retail, Vegan & Plant-Based and Supplier & Insights will guide attendees through the latest industry insights, helping brands understand how to capitalise on market changes and respond to changing consumer demands.

Speaking during the Free From Retail conference, representatives from IRi Worldwide will explore the development of health food categories in the Netherlands; AOECS will address the importance of the Crossed Grain Trademark; FMCG Gurus will reflect on the latest trends; while Pro Carton, the European Association for carton and cartonboard, will highlight the importance of sustainability in packaging and the role of cartonboard in achieving true circularity.

Meanwhile, in the Vegan and Plant-Based stream, consumer acceptance and plant-based alternatives will be discussed by Schouten Europe; enriching plant-based products with locally grown quinoa will be the focus for GreenFood50; while ProVeg International will consider plant-based vs. cellular agriculture and if they are mutually exclusive categories, or promoting complementary strategies.

In the third and final steam: Supplier & Insights Conference, a speaker from the University of Wageningen will take on the topic of personalised nutrition and health; Nutrlab will explore LC MSMS allergen screening; while R Biopharm will challenge attendees to expect the unexpected, exploring food trends that are influencing food contaminant trends.

Speaking about this year’s event, Ronald Holman, Event Director, said: “Over the past 24 months, the free-from industry has witnessed unprecedented growth, pushing organic, vegan and free-from foods firmly into the mainstream. As retailers, brands and food manufacturers look to embrace these continually growing sectors, we’re excited to return to Amsterdam. This year’s event will provide a platform to showcase innovation, spanning free-from, plant-based, vegan, healthy and organic finished products and ingredients, as well as packaging solutions that help brands embrace full circularity. We look forward to welcoming the industry as we reunite to set the agenda for the next chapter in free from trends.”

Free From Functional & Health Ingredients returns to the RAI Amsterdam from 22-23 November 2022. For more information and to register to attend Fee From Functional Food & Health Ingredients visit