Megatrend regionality: “Bringing good taste on everyone’s lips”
GERMANY’S LARGEST MEETING PLACE FOR EATING, DRINKING, AND ENJOYING
Messe Munich, Germany
December 1-5, 2021
From December 1st to 5th, 2021 FOOD & LIFE, Germany’s largest meeting point for eating, drinking, and enjoying will take place parallel to Heim + Handwerk, southern Germany’s largest trade fair for living and furnishing on the exhibition grounds in Munich. In an interview, Claudia Weidner, head of the two trade fairs, reports on the current planning.
How can we imagine FOOD & LIFE 2021 at the beginning of December? Is there a digital supporting program?
Claudia Weidner: We thought for a long time about what the optimal trade fair would look like in the future. FOOD & LIFE live from the direct exchange with manufacturers, manufacturers, and founders of start-ups, from seeing, smelling, and discovering new delicacies. This is exactly why we want to offer the platform and enable personal customer relationships. For this reason, we made a conscious decision against a hybrid format with a digital supporting program for FOOD & LIFE. The focus is on bringing good taste to everyone’s lips. That doesn’t work digitally. And especially with small manufacturers, it is also great to get to know the local people who are behind the handcrafted products. This gives the products a story with a personal reference.
Due to the corona pandemic, Heim + Handwerk and FOOD & LIFE could not take place last year. How are you planning the upcoming events today?
Claudia Weidner: Like so many others, I am juggling between working in the home office and childcare. But my confidence and my will to offer suppliers and visitors a great trade fair at the beginning of December are what drives me and my team. Heim + Handwerk and FOOD & LIFE revolve around the topics that are important to all of us and that are currently in high demand: a cozy home where we feel good and where people cook a lot more. With dealers and regional suppliers, it is clearly noticeable that consumers place much more value on regional, fresh and healthy food and also spend more money on it. I believe this trend will continue after the pandemic. That is why I am convinced that the trade fairs will be a success. However, it is important that politicians set the right course.
What do you mean by that?
Claudia Weidner: By this, I mean that enough vaccine is made available, but also that findings from other scientific disciplines, such as aerosol research, also flow into opening debates. Airy and spacious rooms with good ventilation systems offer the best conditions for people to come together indoors. And it is precisely these requirements that the halls at the Munich Exhibition Center meet. The vaccination gives us a completely new starting point than last year. We have developed a very good trade fair concept based on the fact that everyone on the exhibition grounds is either vaccinated or tested. In addition, we can ensure contact tracing via online ticketing. We will continuously adapt all of our measures in accordance with the latest specifications, making shopping at Heim + Handwerk and FOOD & LIFE much safer than in the supermarket. Trade fairs are already taking place again in Spain, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. That should also be possible with us again.
FOOD & LIFE is particularly popular for trying out the products on site. Are tastings even possible this year?
Claudia Weidner: We cannot yet say in what form tastings will be offered at FOOD & LIFE in December. But I know that our exhibitors come up with a lot to put the quality and special taste of their products in the spotlight. For example, packaged tasting bites or offers to go, as we already know from gastronomy, are conceivable. What remains, in any case, is the value exchange with the producers and the high quality of the ingredients that make the delicacies so special.
What’s new this year?
Claudia Weidner: Special highlights every year are the start-ups, whose ideas provide variety in the palate. Together with our cooperation partner StartinFOOD, we will award the new NEWCOMER AWARD 2021 to FOOD & LIFE on the Saturday of the trade fair. For the first time, trade fair visitors can vote for their favorites on-site and win one of ten trial packages from the participating start-ups.
This year we will also enrich the transition from Heim + Handwerk to FOOD & LIFE in Hall B3 “Kitchen Culture & Lifestyle” with a new themed area: “Men’s business!”. Here we bundle various products that men are particularly interested in but of course can be bought, used, or given away by everyone. This includes locally produced craft beers, gin from Bavaria, and, above all, many new barbecue specialties. Hall B3 is also the new location of the Munich Whiskey Market (MWM). Here visitors can expect a range of over 80 whiskeys, accompanied by expert advice and Irish specialties.
What are you particularly looking forward to?
Claudia Weidner: I’m looking forward to finally bringing manufacturers and connoisseurs together again personally. And finally to be able to say, clear the stage for our celebrity chefs! Bobby Bräuer, Tohru Nakamu, Shane McMahon, Ali Güngörmüş, and Hans Jörg Bachmeier have already agreed and can hardly wait to present themselves live again. I also find our start-ups particularly exciting. I am fascinated by creative ideas and new taste experiences. And here, too, I am happy when the young founders take the opportunity to win new pleasure-seekers for themselves. Since the trade fair is so close to Christmas, this is of course the perfect opportunity to buy gifts: delicacies from FOOD & LIFE, a special gin or whiskey from the Munich Whiskey Market.