March 16, 2022

The SIAL America show will make its debut in the United States offering the first food industry event of its kind.

The world renowned trade show is set to launch in Nevada as part of Las Vegas Food & Beverage Industry Week from March 22 to 24.

It promises a unique opportunity for cross-sector collaboration between local and global brands.

In an exclusive interview with SIAL Newsroom, SIAL America CEO, Steve Corrick, explains what makes it a stand out event for the country and what visitors can expect from the show.

Why is SIAL America so important for the food and beverage industry this year?

I should start by saying that the US has been in need of a generalist B2B event for some time. We have many great events that touch the various sectors of the market but never anything like the proposition of SIAL America. The events over the last two years have brought new challenges and new opportunities so perhaps more than ever, the food industry needs a forum and a meeting place like this where all the sectors of the food industry are represented.

What is on the menu? 

As a first time event, everything is new. Outside of the exhibition itself, we have a great conference lineup featuring everything form supply chain issues, to import regulations, sustainability and cooking with CBD oil, you name it. There is a very varied lineup. We also celebrate innovation at the SIAL Innovation awards. 

SIAL is part of the Las Vegas Food & Beverage Industry Week which includes SIAL Bar & Restaurant Expo, Pizza Expo, and the World Tea Conference & Expo so it is a big lineup of food and beverage events at the same time in Las Vegas.

We are excited from the support on a global level and we are also excited on a local level. Among exhibitors, you will see everything from Argentine beef to real Californian milk so it will make for an interesting environment.

How do you see customers’ relationship with food evolving?

Consumers’ relationship with food is evolving in terms of connections, community and convenience. There is a lot behind those three words but it’s a great summary. We are hearing about people who want to cook less but they are demanding more – it’s got to be faster and it’s got to be fresher. There is a lot of talk around that and it’s another thing that we will be focusing on.

The US event will debut in Las Vegas
The US event will debut in Las Vegas. Credit Ameer Basheer / Unsplash

What are some of the latest innovations that are disrupting the food and beverage industry?

If we look at the latest innovations, these are a response to shifting or sustained consumer demand. In some cases, this includes nutritious ingredients, product transparency, environmental and culture sourcing, all of that is having a big impact on product development and it is currently dominating the food industry on this subject, so we will be responding to that.

What are the greatest advantages of SIAL America?

To attendees, I would say take advantage of the proposition that SIAL America is. Certainly in the US, up until now, we haven’t had anything like this so take advantage of it, enjoy it. Enjoy the ability to be back face to face which for a lot of visitors will be a first for a couple of years, take advantage of the ability to network, educate, be educated, have fun and do business which is key.

One thing is for sure. There will be connections made in Las Vegas that will last for many, many years whether that is visitor to visitor, visitor to exhibitor or other. I think that is fantastic.

SIAL overall has been around for about 60 years amid so many things that have affected they industry during this time. We need to advance the global food industry as a constant. There are shifting situations around the world as we speak and the food industry will have to respond to those as it always has done. There will definitely be some changes and this event will bring new opportunities.

The past few years have been very challenging. Has this had a lasting impact and why?

There have been many challenges but these will also generate new innovation and solutions. Supply chain, cost of materials, inflation, energy demands and energy costs are some of the things that are having a lasting impact and will continue to do so for quite some time.

The great thing about SIAL America is that you have every segment of the industry present so you can come together with a commonality to find some solutions generally. The cost of energy I think is going to be the ubiquitous challenge that everybody is going to have to face so I think it is a great chance to talk about these things and find a way through.

SIAL America CEO Steve Corrick
SIAL America CEO Steve Corrick

SIAL America is the only event of its kind in the US. Why do you think that is and why would you encourage people to attend?

There are some very strong events in the US dedicated to particular sectors of the food industry which are fantastic. In an environment where people might be even more conscious of how many events they will attend face to face each year, how they will get their own personal ROI on the time spent at the events and where will they find a general offer of product across different categories.

There are many companies who are working across multiple categories of food so this gives them a chance to see many categories and talk about the macro issues of the food industry. It is a great opportunity to do that. 

I am very excited for SIAL America and Las Vegas is a world class location for events. It has become the event capital with some of the best restaurants and top chefs and it is a very business and visitor friendly environment.

What message do you have for the food and beverage industry ahead of the event?

Take advance of the unique opportunity SIAL America presents on many levels. There aren’t that many opportunities in the US that are generalist with attendees from all over the world. to be able to network and get great education, to be in such a great environment, led by SIAL. 

There is so much to enjoy coming from two years of the difficulties not being able to congregate, this is such a great opportunity to do it. My real message is go out there, enjoy it, network, educate, do the business you need to do and look forward to the future because there are so many opportunities within the industry.

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