In a recent survey of Vitafoods Europe attendees and exhibitors, those surveyed said that stricter EU regulations are their top concern—even more so than the state of the global economy.
The survey was taken by 190 visitors and exhibitors planning to attend Vitafoods Europe on May 9-11. Those surveyed named these as the top challenges facing their company: 1) stricter regulations (43%), 2) higher prices of raw materials (35%), and 3) the state of the global economy (27%). The survey was conducted between December 6, 2016, and February 3, 2017.
Of those surveyed, 60% said that health claims are the main area of EU regulation affecting their company, far more than trade regulations (14%) and labeling regulations (13%). At the same time, nearly 90% said that it is important that a nutrition ingredient or product be associated with EFSA-approved health claims.
Those surveyed did not rank the UK’s decision to leave the EU as a top concern. Show organizers reported that “when asked what impact they thought Brexit would have on the European nutrition industry, 36% said it would have no impact, 32% said they didn’t know, 22% said it would be either very negative or fairly negative, and 10% said it would be either very positive or fairly positive.”
“Effective regulation is essential for consumer confidence, and the industry understands its importance. However, it can create major headaches, especially for smaller companies,” said Chris Lee, managing director, global health and nutrition network, Europe, for Vitafoods organizer Informa Exhibitions, in a press release announcing the survey results. “The process for establishing a health claim in particular can be frustrating, and it says a lot that companies view the prospect of tougher regulation as a greater challenge than the state of the world economy.”
Vitafoods Europe will address consumer questions about the regulatory environment on many fronts. At the show's new Advice Center, visitors can consult experts, one on one, on their regulatory questions. The Vitafoods Center State will also host a keynote panel discussion on the impact of EU regulations on innovation in the ingredient sector. In addition, the Vitafoods Education Program will include a business workshop on ingredient registration and regulation. Finally, regulatory experts will address questions on how to bring new ingredients to the EU market. For more information, visit the Vitafoods website at www.vitafoods.eu.com.