It’s official! SIAL Paris is the biggest meetup in the food industry worldwide

February 23, 2018

SIAL Paris 2018 Key Figures

  • 7,200 exhibitors from 119 countries, 87% from outside France
  • Record attendance: more than 310,000 professionals
  • 73% visitors from outside France (almost 200 countries)
  • 650 start-ups
  • 2,355 innovations submitted for the SIAL Innovation Awards
  • 135 official delegations, 26 government representatives
  • More than half the exhibitors have already booked their place for 2020

So now it’s over… Well, not quite! Although SIAL Paris 2018 closed its doors on Thursday 25 October, the ideas, discoveries and inspirations proposed by this year’s edition will continue to resonate for a long time to come on Planet Food. The Paris-Nord Villepinte exhibition venue, the stage for SIAL Paris, has been the scene of five truly action-packed days!

5 days bubbling over with ingredients, recipes and flavours, in a “Frenchy” atmosphere but with a distinctly international feel. 5 days to offer the world’s biggest showcase to Planet Food, and to the players and inventors in the food industry, from producers to distributors, through restaurateurs and semi-processed ingredients suppliers. “It is truly THE global think-tank for the food industry, the international laboratory for food innovation in all its facets”, as Nicolas Trentesaux, SIAL Network Director, expressed it on opening day.

Yet just how, in concrete terms, do we measure the success of SIAL Paris 2018? Firstly, in the figures. More than 7,200 exhibitors – 87% from outside France – and more brands than ever. Record attendance, with over 310,000 industry representatives (73% visitors from outside France). And, among them, thousands of buyers and influencers from all over. “SIAL Paris offers a unique and comprehensive melting pot of experiences from across the entire food universe. For the sectors that already count today, along with those in their infancy, the young start-ups that will be making the news tomorrow in France, India, Canada, Brazil or elsewhere. There was a window of visibility for everyone,” Nicolas Trentesaux declared.

135 official international visits, 250 “events within the event”, 2,355 innovations submitted for the SIAL Innovation Awards and 15 Grand Prix award-winners: “This year, once again, we have succeeded in setting the bar still higher, to propose to all professionals in the sector a truly exciting event with lots going on everywhere, all the time.” Over the five days of the show, SIAL Paris promoted more than 400,000 products over an area equivalent to more than 100 supermarkets laid out end-to-end! “It remains an event that nevertheless retains its human dimension, since it is about food, after all!”

You only needed to parade your gaze (and your tastebuds) around its aisles to be convinced of this! Such a strong presence and such flawless investment on the part of the professionals are more necessary today than ever, at a time when the agri-food industry is entering a major transition phase. Taste – True – Meaning: this was the inspirational triptych of SIAL Paris 2018, depicting the future scenario toward which Planet Food and all its stakeholders are turning, in a judicious interplay of boldness and commitment. “This is a future which, short of predicting it, we wished at least to anticipate in order to offer genuine answers to the professionals, with so much in the throes of change: everything, in fact! Customer expectations in terms of health, authenticity, transparency and eating well have never been so strong; the responsibilities of the industry keep on growing; and, to cap it all, we shall have 100 million more people worldwide to feed every year by 2050! No other sector in the world is faced with such challenges. No other has so much at stake!”, insists Nicolas Trentesaux. So, what is to be done? In 2018, even more than in the previous editions, SIAL Paris proposed a focus on innovation: threefold!

Innovation through identifying the trends and mapping out the prospects: The 2018 edition of SIAL Paris provided the opportunity to present the 4th part of the new and exclusive “Food 360” study carried out by KANTAR TNS in association with the Future Food book of trends from XTC World Innovation, along with the out-of-home foodservice trends study from GIRA Conseil. Not only this, but the future was also depicted through the products selected in the Foodtech space, presenting the innovations of the entire French food value chain. Ecotrophelia Europe also offered another vision of the food of tomorrow, by means of a national and European food innovation competition: “Student Trophies for Food Innovation”, a true ideas incubator for the food industry. Lastly, true to its commitment to “inspire… and look deeper”, the world’s biggest food exhibition proposed, with Future Lab, a new event dedicated to food forecasting. This was a real hit with the public throughout the five days of the show! An experiential tunnel, a “rising start-ups” space and virtual reality concepts: Future Lab enabled visitors to project themselves ahead to the Planet Food of 2030.  

Innovation, for SIAL Paris 2018, was also about offering an exceptional showcase for the original ideas and concepts that will soon be hitting the shelves in the food stores. SIAL Innovation therefore promoted products whose justification and characteristics are perfectly aligned with this logic of transition toward greater truth, taste and meaning. This was also reflected in the Alternative Food sector and its Forum, dedicated to this new, healthier food that is conquering the world and which has won over all observers present this year through its abundance of light and yet indulgent innovations! Over these five days, La Cuisine also offered a true cocktail of culinary spectacle, in particular with the live cookery classes and an innovation theme trail dedicated to foodservice and devised by the patron of SIAL 2018 himself, the star chef: Yannick Alléno! 

Lastly, innovation, in 2018, was also – quite simply – about tasting, testing… and letting yourself be seduced. SIAL Paris was also about being able to make so many fruitful meetings on the stands, in the forums, in the aisles! Meetings that may lead to new associations, new success stories! There would be thousands of great stories to tell, but the best one, for all our exhibitors and visitors – beyond the human dimension – might well be about all these diaries and order books steadily filling up! We look forward to seeing you again in 2020, to pick up where we left off and help build, together, the future of our Planet Food!

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