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“If you don’t move with the times…“ – Food trends at IFFA 2019

27 Nov 2018

The butcher’s trade, if it is to be successful, must represent both tradition and contemporary developments. The best recipe is a mixture of clear expertise in meat and sausage products, technological background and new ideas. Sharpening a vision for the future and optimising what is already there – such is the invitation of the IFFA, from 4 to 9 May 2019. It will feature a comprehensive overview, showcase major trends, and offer every amount of inspiration and of specialist exchange of ideas.

The trend towards outstanding quality in the butcher’s trade is undiminished. Through its products the trade is differentiating itself from the mass market. The consumers are interested and require transparency.

High quality, not average

It is the individual and authentic that counts, for instance the regional origin of the animals, unusual breeds or particular types of breeding and feed. What applies to meat applies to sausage, too. The trend is towards clear and unique recipes, true to the motto “less is more.” Master butcher Jörg Erchinger from Berlin is known there as one of the first who made a point of “gluten-free” products. He says: “Our focus is on what the customer wants. And so I have revised all recipes, so that the sausages are gluten-free, and also otherwise without glutamate. Our customers appreciate that.” Featuring striking products such as its “bone broth”, a broth made of bones, Ebert Butcher’s and Delicatessen from Frankfurt am Main has attracted a good deal of attention. Inga Ebert says: “We created this fine bone broth in 2017 from just five ingredients. A healthy drink, which you can enjoy hot or cold, and is just full of vital nutrients! The trend has already made itself felt in the USA, and German start-ups have also already been offering bone broth. But who knows how to make it if not we butchers? We have the infrastructure – boilers, for instance – and we have the ingredients.”    

The question of time

Even if convenience food is not always a positive idea among customers, dishes which can be quickly prepared continue to be popular. What is new is the demand that such foods should be extremely good and healthy to eat. Thus sous vide cooking has gained a firm foothold among meat gourmets and offers butchers an opportunity to establish a market with particular cuts, marinades or individually prepared dishes. Ready-to-cook dishes from butcher’s shops are also popular. They are quite different from those products with which the customer is familiar in retail outlets and gain their reputation through their authenticity and “the taste of home.”   

Where it all happens

Mobile sales are getting a new look in the shape of street food. In 2017 Jürgen Pum, master butcher from Freiburg, bought a truck. He says, “At the start it was meant just for party service; now we are very frequently at festivals. Thus for us the food truck has become a major element of our business.” Jürgen Pum has significantly extended the refrigerated logistics of the butcher’s trade. When compared with the majority of food truckers, as a butcher he sees himself as having a definite advantage. “We have a kitchen, we have expertise and experience in party service.” He underlines this with high-quality creations, such as his “ox-cheek burger.”        

Image: Heike Sievers
Image: Heike Sievers

If opening times are not long enough, there are not enough staff, or the business environment allows, vending machines provide shopping on a 24-hour basis. Or a “drive-in”, as run by gourmet butcher’s Zehetner in Dietach (Steyr) in Upper Austria, during normal opening times. Managing director Siegfried Zehetner explains: “We have been running the first butcher’s drive-in for ten years now, enabling everyone to buy a snack, create a menu or collect a pre-order while sitting in their car. Mothers, who had their children asleep in the car, were some of the first customers. Treated as just an advertising gimmick when we started, this idea has enabled us to gain great attention and considerable recognition.”

“An online shop is part of the overall online package, and definitely part of a modern butcher’s business”, says Rüdiger Strobel of Strobel country butchers of Selbitz in Franconia, “and also in our case it is particularly important for customers who, though far from home, don’t want to do without their Franconian specialities.” Strobel country butchers combine the traditional image of a no throw-away processing business with modern aspects which fit the region, such as produce from straw-reared pigs and grazing cattle. This master butcher does not believe there are any general trends: “The structures in Germany are too various. We can score well when it comes to personal contacts – with the farmers as meat producers and with the customers.” The image of the industry as a whole benefits from this. And what is true of other businesses is true of the butcher’s trade: “If you don’t move with the times, the times will pass you by.”

IFFA 2019 to showcase innovations for the trade

These major incentives for the future of the butchery sector will be showing at the IFFA, the Number One for the meat industry, in Frankfurt am Main from 4 to 9 May 2019. Informative events covering every aspect of the trade, new products and services for sales, the quality competitions organised by the German Butchers’ Association, and numerous innovations of a technological kind will all make a visit to the IFFA a real experience.

Comprehensive information about the IFFA and tickets at:

You can find out more about Messe Frankfurt‘s international fairs on the subject of food production at:

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,400 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €669 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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