Wabel Meets with Major Purchasing Groups for the 4th Frozen Summit

On the occasion of the next edition of the Frozen Summit organized by sourcing specialist Wabel, Frozen Food Europe obtained an exclusive interview with Antoine Bonnel, the co-founder and MD of the organization, to discuss in detail the event’s agenda.

By Dan Orehov

What is Wabel and what solutions does it provide to the private label industry?

Wabel is a sourcing solution that connects Private Label (PL) suppliers and buyers. It combines face-to-face meetings and an online marketplace for a perfect matching and allows retail buyers to connect and meet industrial partners to develop their Private Label business, which accounts for EUR120bn in Europe alone. Wabel summits are prepared in advance with the buyers of the major purchasing groups, who communicate their sourcing priorities to our consultants. This allows us to identify matching food manufacturers to enable business on our summits.

What companies are on your watch for the fourth edition of the summit?

In preparation of the upcoming Frozen Summit, Wabel is meeting with Carrefour, Intermarché, Auchan, LSG Sky Chefs, Bidvest, Tesco, Aldi, Ocado, Sonae, Waitrose, La Sirena, Kaufland, Musgrave, ICA, Markant and others in order to identify their prior needs for PL frozen Products in 2016.

How do you address the trends in frozen food at the summit?

As confirmed by market analysts, the upcoming trends for the frozen food segment are “free-from” products, especially those oriented to gluten-free and natural ingredients, and the environmental-friendly products, as consumers are looking for healthier options and they value sustainable means of production. In that sense, Wabel supports the Fish 2.0, a competition meant to find seafood producers oriented on innovation and sustainability.

What should participants expect from this coming event?

In partnership with Mintel, Euromonitor and the three major European Frozen Federations, BFF (British Frozen food Federation), Deutsches Tiefkühlinstitut, French Frozen Federation, the Wabel 2016 Frozen Summit is taking place on March 16, 17 and 18 2016, at Hilton Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France. 100 suppliers and 100 buyers are expected and over 1,000 pre-scheduled closed door face-to-face meetings will be held between them without accounting for the numerous networking opportunities that will take place during the lunch and cocktail dinner sessions and on the exhibition area. For the first time in 2016, the Wabel frozen summit will include a co-Packing day, where the largest international food brands will meet suppliers. It will provide new opportunities to suppliers and enlarge their customer portfolio.

What other opportunities await the participants, besides networking?

Wabel’s strategic partnership with the BFFF aims to support UK companies develop their export business towards the largest international purchasing groups. In addition, the Frozen Summit will hold expert Conferences where world-class experts deliver latest marketing information and trends on frozen product categories. During the event, directors of the leading retail groups will share valuable information on their purchasing strategy and organization through “retailers Insight” sessions. No matter what strategy is chosen by retailers, they will still have to fight for consumer preference. And innovation is more than ever the key drive to attract new consumer. Wabel Summits generated millions of euro of new private-label business for clients, helping retailers such as Carrefour, Auchan, Intermarché, Tesco, Iceland, Bofrost, Picard, Metro, Jerónimo Martins and many others to stay competitive by working with affordable, high-quality, innovative products from diverse European suppliers.

What feedback have you received from previous editions?

Regarding Wabel’s last summit, Nigel Broadhurst, Managing director at ICELAND, UK said “we’ll end up with a number of good opportunities”. TESCO mentioned, “This is a highly targeted and focused way of making the right connections and helping you achieve successful business partnerships”.

For more information, please visit www.wabel.com