SIAL Canada—Canada’s largest food and beverage show—is back for its 17th edition, running April 15 to17 at Montreal's Palais des Congrès. SIAL’s Food and Beverage Small Business Expert Michael Wolfson will be at the show to start-ups connect with other businesses to help them get to the next level.
As a Food & Beverage Sector Specialist at City of Toronto, What is your role at SIAL Canada?
I will be hosting four Toronto based start-up food & beverage businesses in the Toronto Pavilion at SIAL. I will also be making myself available to any of the small start-up businesses that attend SIAL Canada in order to answer any questions they may have about where to get assistance at various locations across Canada as they continue to develop and grow their businesses.
What excites you the most in your role?
For the first year we are bringing organizations from across Canada that are involved in assisting start-ups in their/our territories. I am excited to spend time with these organizations and work collaboratively to draw attention to the need to assist new innovative businesses to commercialize their offerings and grow their businesses.
What are the major trends and innovation areas in the food and beverages start-up world?
Well plant based proteins are the largest trends, followed closely by other protein alternatives like insects, grains, and legumes. Certainly local and clean labels are also still a growing part of the start-up world along with culturally diverse offerings that have not yet been made mainstream in Canada.
What is the future of the industry in your area of expertise?
I believe the future of the industry has never been stronger. Innovation, which was very strong in Canada in the late 1970's and 1980's has made a comeback in the past few years. Product development centres are springing up across the country in many post-secondary academic institutions and this coupled with economic development support for commercialization centres will mean that Canada is now poised to produce the new products being developed across the country and capitalize on the jobs and economic benefits created by same.