Sustainability will be a highlight of many innovations at SIAL Paris as companies across the agri-food sector launch new products

March 1, 2024

SIAL Paris has long been known as a hotbed of innovation and this year’s show is no different, with the event retaining the hashtag #OwntheChange to demonstrate this – and sustainability in the food sector will be central to many new products on offer.

Indeed sustainability is the driving force behind agri-food innovations ranging from more environmentally ways to grow crops through to new types of packaging and efforts to reduce food waste.

Among the many packaging firms to have recently unveiled environmentally friendly products is ProAmpac, one of the world’s top flexible packaging producers.

One of several new products with a focus on sustainability that the company launched is ProActive Recyclable FibreSculpt, which is described as a high-barrier fibre-based product for shallow-draw thermoforming trays.

More than 90% of the content is fibre, which means that the trays can be recycled in kerbside recycling collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Such products that are more easily recycled are typical of the innovations developed as consumers and governments demand packaging that has sustainability in mind.

“With the introduction of these innovative solutions, we’re pushing the boundaries of flexible packaging, and leading the industry toward a more sustainable future,” Ali McNulty, Europe market manager for ProAmpac, said in a statement.

Sustainability will be a highlight of many innovations at SIAL Paris as companies across the agri-food sector launch new products

Image credit: ProAmpac

When it comes to food retailers, myriad innovations are being introduced to reduce food waste, which can have a significant environmental impact, particularly in terms of generating greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

As an example of the simple but effective sustainability measures being taken, the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s recently introduced “crownless” pineapples, which are fruit that have had their green leaves removed.

By taking off the crowns, Sainsbury’s said that it was able to repurpose this waste within its own supply chains and reduce the amount of food waste generated by households.

In a statement released when the move was announced, Claire Hughes, director of product and innovation for Sainsbury’s said that the company was “passionate about reducing our impact on the planet wherever we can”.

“We’re always looking for new and unique ways to make bold changes with sustainability in mind,” she said.

“Our new crownless pineapples may look a little out of the ordinary, but they offer very clear benefits in reducing waste and packaging.”

Sustainability will be a highlight of many innovations at SIAL Paris as companies across the agri-food sector launch new products

Pineapples in Hawaii. Image credit: Fiona Smallwood / Unsplash

As part of its commitment to innovation, including those that improve sustainability, the SIAL Innovation competition will this year, as before, highlight top innovations in the food and beverage sectors.

Hundreds of edible food products will be shortlisted as part of the prestigious contest, with Gold, Silver and Bronze winners to be announced along Sectoral Award Winners from the shows 10 sectors.

Another key award will be the Own the Change Award, to be given to the product or process with the most innovative CSR initiative.

There will also be Top 3 Countries Awards for the three countries with the most innovative products, the Concept Award for an early-stage idea and the 60 Years Award. This last award marks the 60th anniversary of SIAL Paris, with judges selecting the best historical innovation from all those products that have won the contest since it was founded.

SIAL Paris 2024 has a focus on African initiatives in the food industry, so it is appropriate that a special Africa Award will be handed out for innovation from the continent.

The most innovative product from a start-up registered at SIAL Paris will be selected for the Start-up Award, while the Public Prize will be given to the favourite product from the 2024 winners, as selected by votes cast before and during the show.

All entries must be from show exhibitors, while entrants must hold the intellectual property rights to the product entered, or have permission from the holder of those rights to enter.

Also, all products must comply with the legislation of the country where the product is from or the country where the entrant is located.

To see discussions held at previous editions of SIAL Paris log on to

Main image: A Sainsbury’s crownless pineapple. Image credit: Sainsbury’s

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