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MONTREAL, CANADA - Global food trends will take center stage at the fourth edition of SIAL Montreal, a food products exhibit scheduled here next month.
SIAL organizers said the event, to be held March 28 to March 30, 2007 in the Palais des congres de Montreal (Montreal Convention Center) in the heart of Montreal, is expected to draw 18,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors.
"The food and beverage industry is becoming more global, with companies sourcing products from more places and looking for new markets to sell in," notes Mathieu Herrou, SIAL Montreal general director. "The importance of SIAL being held in Montreal is that it provides easy access to all this information for U.S. attendees. Retailers especially have to be aware of consumer trends. We can show them trends from all over the world--as well as new ideas for dealing with the U.S. market."
In addition to having access to a record number of international exhibitors, attendees will have the chance to absorb cutting edge ideas, education and leadership being provided by several special programs organized for the first time since the show's creation in 2001, the show organization said.
For example, the show will sponsor Agora Nutrition, a public space that will gather experts to discuss issues related to health and food, under the theme "Keeping your consumer healthy, the only viable agri-food business strategy." Discussions will be held over the show's three days and will include academics, government officials, and food company executives.
"We'll be showing some of the manufacturers who have gone beyond just talking about this, that are already there in terms of sustaining or improving the health of the population," said Pierre Gareau, SIAL Montreal's director of Crossroads-Innovation.
SIAL Montreal 2007 will also spotlight healthier foods with its Novitas award, premiering at this show and open to entrants in the 100 Innovative Products Showcase. A jury of 15 agri-food professionals will award the Novitas to a product that displays both innovation and nutritional/health qualities.
The Crossroads-Innovation program will also feature the Products of Excellence Gallery, spotlighting products introduced during the past two years that have been winning awards in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.
Olive d'Or 2007, an international olive oil competition, will also debut at the exhibition.
Besides a number of Canadian pavilions, international exhibitor pavilions confirmed to date include Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mexico (State of Puebla), Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey and USA. Other countries are represented by individual exhibitors, including Uzbekistan, Portugal, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Greece, and Russia, officials said.
On the buyer side, several U.S. food trade associations will participate. The National Grocers Association (NGA) plans to hold a workshop during the show, where itwill present findings and discuss the "21st Century Sales Call" concept; and an executive delegation of NGA members will tour the show and visit Montreal retailers. Other national and regional associations have plans to attend including the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) and the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS).
This year, U.S. attendees can also take advantage of a Web page www.sialmontreal.com/usa, that offers lodging options, information about passport requirements, and offers for English-language tours.
The exhibit floor will be organized into four main sectors: Canadian pavilions, International pavilions, "L'Epicerie/Grocery" (grocery products, non-alcoholic beverages, catering products, food ingredients), and "Le Marche/The Market Place" (dairy products, meat products, seafood products, fresh fruit & vegetables and dried fruits, confectionery, breads & pastries, frozen & prepared foods, alcoholic beverages). Natural, organic and dietetic products will be divided among the different sectors.
SIAL Montreal visitors can pre-register on line before March 22, 2007 at www.sialmontreal.ca/howtoregister.ch2.
SIAL only admits food industry professionals and is exclusively devoted to food and beverage products, serving market segments including large-scale distribution, trading companies, import-export, wholesale distribution, specialty retail, foodservice, and food manufacturing.
The event is supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ministere de l'Agriculture des Pecheries et de l'Alimentation du Quebec, and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is produced by Paris-based EXPOSIUM, and is one of the four SIAL exhibitions organized in the world, the largest being held in Paris since 1964.