The latest meat processing trends uncovered at Foodex 2018

Visitors to the NEC, Birmingham in April can discover a wide range of new technological innovations to meet growing consumers demands.
calendar icon 16 February 2018
clock icon 5 minute read

An increased popularity in plant-based products and diets is creating new challenges for manufacturers in the meat and seafood industries. With over a quarter (28%) of meat eating Brits reported to have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the last six months, an increasing movement towards ‘flexitarianism’ is being noted whereby consumers sit comfortably between the meat-eaters and non-meat eaters, by making a conscious effort to reduce their meat intake.

The meat sector has long remained a traditional category with low levels of innovation versus other fresh food sectors. However, in response to changing consumer diets and rising concerns about sustainability and waste, a number of trends are gaining traction. Free-range, high-quality meats are more in favour with the health-conscious and ethically-minded consumer, whilst portion packaging and frozen formats, which help reduce both food and packaging waste, is in high demand.

Exhibitors at Foodex 2018, the UK’s leading trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries, will shine a spotlight on the pressing trends impacting the meat sector, when it returns to the NEC, Birmingham this April. Joining the line-up from 16-18 April, Ishida Europe (stand AA290) will showcase its range of weighing, packing and inspection solutions for the food industry (from single machines to wall-to-wall solutions), helping manufacturers reduce costs and downtime, increase efficiencies and maximise profits.

On the stand at the show, the Ishida team will present its high-performance tray sealer and AirScan technology, which uses laser technology to identify leaks of CO2 from holes as small as 0.25mm in sealed Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) packs at speeds of up to 180 ppm, thus significantly reducing spoilage, complaints, returns and fines and increasing shelf life and brand reputation.

Helping manufacturers meet new packaging trends such as portion packaging, Automated Packaging Systems Ltd (stand X299) will showcase its SidePouch FAS SPrint Revolution offering maximum flexibility, functionality and reliability for food packaging. This versatile system accommodates a wide variety of products, bag sizes and loading methods, including one or more operators, automatic infeed systems such as weighers and counters to increase accuracy and productivity.

Inspiron Labelling Solutions Ltd (stand Q329) will showcase its Automatic Weigh Price Labellers enabling manufacturers to calculate cooking times, run in either catch weight or average weight mode with EC Type Approval. Its intuitive software also enables label designs to be created directly at the machine or remotely, saving time and helping manufacturers meet labelling regulations.

Dining trends are also seeing consumers eating out more often and for a wider range of occasions. This has led to a considerable market growth in the restaurant sector, while 50% of consumers now purchase street food at least once a week, with more than 20% buying it three times a week.

Offering its high-quality catering equipment ideal for outdoor events, Tasty Trotter Event Supplies (stand N240) will showcase its professional spit roasting oven and its large hog roast oven that can feed up to 350 people for less than £1.00 per head.

Demonstrating excellence in the meat manufacturing industry, Foodex will also play host to two competitions, designed to identify the best young professional and products available on the market.

First up on Monday 16th April, the Premier Young Butcher Competition 2018 will see apprentices from across the industry take on the four-hour, six category competition, where they will be assessed and evaluated for innovation, good working practices, precision as well as for a variety of products in the Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast, Seam Butchery, Barbecue, Kitchen Ready and Display categories.

Organised by the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders (NFMFT), the competition is promising to showcase the most exciting UK butchery craft skills as young apprentices battle it out for the title of Premier Young Butcher.

A second competition organised by the NFMFT and sponsored by Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Interbake and William Jones Packaging, will take place on Tuesday 17th April – the day after the Premier Young Butcher is crowned. The National Meat Products Competition will challenge independent butchers, farm shops and food processors to demonstrate their butchery skills across 22 categories from sausages, bacon, burgers, ready meals and pies through to charcuterie and Kitchen Ready Products.

Speaking about the appeal of the show for meat processors, Dan Dixon, Event Director, said:

Trends relating to the consumption of meat and seafood products represents a major shift in consumer behaviour. Foodex presents the best opportunity to discover the latest innovations, technologies and talented individuals working to improve the sector, challenging new thinking and ensuring high-quality, safe products are available for consumers to purchase.

We’ll shortly be announcing our live event programme and we’re confident visitors to Foodex interested in the meat sectors will have plenty to learn from, listen to and debate – challenging new thinking and celebrating tradition at the NEC in Birmingham.

To register for Foodex at the NEC, click here

As reported by Foodex

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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