More than 150,000 food industry professionals attended the world’s largest food and beverage exhibition, Sial The Global Food Professional Marketplace, in Paris, France in mid-October.
At Sial they were able to shop the world in four days with some 6,000 exhibitors representing more than 100 countries.
Canada was well represented at the Canada stand with some 41 exhibitors, including several first-timers, among them Jameson Laboratories (the vitamin people), Wildly Delicious Fine Foods from Toronto, B.C. Blueberries from Abbotsford, B.C., and a Quebec micro-brewery, L'Alchimiste.
Quebec producers were well-represented through Groupe Export Agro-alimentaire. There were three other Canadian exhibitors at the show but separate from the Canadian stand, such as McCain Foods through it’s European subsidiary. As usual Canadian products included maple products, pulses, jams, jellies, cookies and sauces, as well as Island Abbey Foods from Charlottetown, winner of three Sial d’Or Awards in 2010 for its Honibe Honey Drops.
The Sial d’Or Awards for 2012 were presented during the exhibition and Philip Donne and Jan Ouwehand of Campbell Company of Canada accepted the SIAL d’Or Award for Nourish, Campbell’s innovative complete nutritional meal in a can aimed at feeding Canada’s and the world’s hungry.
Following the presentation, Donne said he was extremely pleased with the award and hoped the recognition would help Campbell make other parts of the world aware of the benefits of Nourish, especially developing nations.
Elsewhere on the exhibition floor there were several interesting products, with the over-riding trends being healthy eating, convenience and fun foods.
Innovative products included pasteurized fresh soups in attractive steel cans from La Courtisane of France which stay fresh for 12 months; liquid salt from Acetificio Mengazzeli of Italy and sea salt tablets from Co-op des Sauniers de L'ile, France. Also, there was espresso coffee in 100 per cent biodegradable pouches (for coffee machines) with 100 per cent recyclable packaging; and a 100 per cent natural freeze dried guacamole from Si O Si Ali Mentos of Mexico.
Another interesting product was WiKi Cell from Y'Tou of France, small globes of yogurt starter to which you just add milk to create your own yogurt in several flavours.
There was also Garbanzos Sin Remojo, a package of chickpeas that are ready to cook without soaking from Poligono Industrial in Spain; Good Seed, 100 per cent natural and healthy hemp seeds for snacking from Brabham & Murray in Britain; Roasted Eggplant sauce from Tukas Gida in Turkey; Aperi Mousse vegetable dips from Traiteur de la Touques, France; Perles de vinaigre balsamique (vinegard pearls) from Cookal SAS, France, and Perles a l’erable (maple pearls) from Citadelle from Quebec.
Watch the Sial video on what's driving consumer trends (in French):