Germany's fish fair 25 - 27 February 2024

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The fish international is the only trade fair for fish and seafood in Germany - a platform for the trade and the gastronomy. In Bremen, the trade finds out about new products on the German market and gets an overview of innovations and developments. More than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations present their products. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, to inform themselves and to exchange ideas.
In February 2024, fish international and GASTRO IVENT will be held together again. GASTRO IVENT in Halls 6 and 7 offers a wide range of food and beverages as well as suitable accessories for the catering industry.
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Plant-based seafood products: Proven expertise used for new trend

Plant-based seafood products: Proven expertise used for new trend

Proven expertise used for new product trend

Vegan products are in vogue. As the meat industry has already shown, they are also an ideal addition to the fish industry's own portfolio. How products are created and integrated into the existing range and successfully marketed is one of the topics at fish international from the 4th to 6th September 2022 in Bremen.

BettaF!sh ? TU-NAH ? Fish from the field? No, neither people with spelling difficulties nor a lack of biology knowledge were involved in these name creations. The product names are part of the vegan wave that has now reached the fish processing industry after the meat industry. The trend was already visible two years ago at fish international in Bremen. Next February, more exhibitors will present ideas, developments and products for plant-based alternatives and  a variety of preparations made from fish."We are currently witnessing the emergence of a new product sector in the fish industry," says Sabine Wedell, Messe Bremen's project manager for Germany's only fish trade fair: "The number and range of products is growing, and the taste experience is also getting better and better."

The list of vegan alternatives to fish products and seafood delicacies is growing at an increasing rate. In the meantime, thuna and salmon sashimi, vegan baked fish, kibbles, sticks and a type of caviar, as well as a number of other product developments are on the market. In the shops and restaurants, there are also preparations such as fish fingers, burgers, crabcakes and fish fillets, as well as plant-based tuna in various (salad) variations. Demand is already high, and the trend is rising.

The start-up BettaF!sh is one of the youngest providers of vegan fish alternatives in Germany. With the "TU-NAH" sandwiches, the young Berlin entrepreneurs have just developed a vegan alternative to the well-known classic, whose topping comes very close in texture and taste to the model of a paste made from actual tuna. Consumers seem to like the development: In mid-October, the Aldi chains North and South took the product to a total of 4000 stores. BettaF!sh delivered a total of five tonnes. "Half of the goods were sold within two days," says pleased Deniz Ficicioglu, who founded the company together with Jacob von Manteuffel.

BettaF!sh's corporate philosophy and its product base are an example for other suppliers of how the development of plant-based alternatives should be in the best interest of the fishing industry. "The issue of overfishing and the need for sustainable food production will concern us much more in the future than it does today," Deniz Ficicioglu is convinced, "accordingly, the fishing industry will also have to offer alternatives to complement its core products." Moreover, the Berlin entrepreneur is convinced that the market for vegan products will fundamentally grow in the near future: "We are at the beginning of a trend that will soon boom like 'bio' did a few years ago."

Vegan alternatives to meat usually use vegetable proteins from wheat or peas, for example. The two Berlin founders, on the other hand, are deliberately opting for a seafood variant. Their TU-NAH is based on algae grown in a fjord in Norway by an expert from the salmon industry. Before founding BettaF!sh, Jacob von Manteuffel had already spent several years working with seaweed as a basis for food. Factors such as taste, omega-3 fatty acid content or consistency were not the only reasons for using seaweed as an alternative to tuna, as well as for the vegan sea salads "Oceanfruit", which are also produced by BettaF!sh. "The production of seaweed can offer fishermen and fish farmers an alternative in the long term if fishing and fish farming have to be further restricted, as is already becoming visible," emphasises von Manteuffel.  In this way, the fishing industry can use its traditional competences for new products such as vegan products and secure its own future in the long term. 

However, the development of vegan alternatives to fish requires a targeted approach. One of the product pioneers is Frosta, a frozen food manufacturer from Bremerhaven, which launched "fish from the field" a year ago. Our challenge was to get as close as possible to the taste, texture and nutritional values of the fish with the new products," reports Brand Manager Caroline Wilm. Like BettaF!sh, Frosta sets high standards for the sustainability of the product: "In concrete terms, this meant that we did without components such as soya, for example." For vegan alternatives, there is also a principle: "Many consumers are now thinking about giving up animal products - but not on the taste they are familiar with."

For the Bremerhaven-based company, there was a special challenge: "The taste of our vegan products should not be created in the laboratory, but through natural ingredients," emphasises Caroline Wilm. A dish composed with aromas, flavour enhancers, colourings and preservatives was out of the question for Frosta. It took the product developers one and a half years to create a tasty alternative to classic fish fingers and gourmet fillets from salsify with the help of hemp seed protein and linseed oil, which also contains the necessary protein and omega-3 content. Just like BettaF!sh, the Bremerhaven-based company received a lot of attention from the trade: "That's precisely why the fishing industry is well advised to discover the vegan theme for itself," Caroline Wilm emphasises. The trend cannot be stopped: "If we don't get involved ourselves, others who perhaps have nothing to do with fish will occupy this field.


Plant-based seafood products: Proven expertise used for new trend

fish international…

  • gives traders a platform where they can gain information on what's new in the German market and get a good overview of the fish industry.
  • offers a varied and individual assortment of fish to give traders ideas for achieving better market positioning.
  • presents a concentrated display of machines and technical aids and appliances for SMEs.
  • shows a broad spectrum of counter concepts for fishmongers and mobile fishmongers that is only to be found in Bremen.
  • gives you time to talk to other fish industry members so you can discuss ways to perfect your everyday work.

fish international – that is over 10,000 sqm of exhibition space for more than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, inform themselves and to exchange ideas.