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NEW YORK - More than 130,000 visitors from across the globe embarked upon Paris last week to attend SIAL 2002, a biennial trade show for food industry executives. The event attracted leading French retailers such as Carrefour and Auchan, as well as other European and international retailers, manufacturers, and import/export companies.
A highlight at the show was the new products showcase, which featured 600 new products from around the world. Of those, 471 were aimed at supermarkets and 129 at catering, with 53 products designed for both. Some of the more innovative products included:
-- Nescafe Hot When You Want, a self-heating can of coffee based on technology used by the military, produced by Nestle in the United Kingdom.
-- Farmers Pride Butter Oil Mist, touted as the world's first genuine spray butter that doesn't require refrigeration. The product is from New Zealand.
-- Grape Tomatoes from Perfection Fresh Australia, grape-shaped tomatoes with vitamin C, B, beta carotene, and zinc and potassium.
The mammoth show encompassed seven exhibition halls that housed national pavilions and 5,000-plus companies representing dairy, seafood, frozen foods, canned food, deli, beverages, ingredients and additives, confectionery, grocery, cured meats, fruits and vegetables, poultry, meats, and organics.
The main countries outside France represented at SIAL 2002 were Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Six new countries participated this year: Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya, Paraguay, Swaziland, and Ukraine.
Other SIAL events planned for 2003 include SIAL Montreal, SIAL China, SIAL Asia, and SIAL Mercosur in Buenos Aires. For more information, visit http://www.sial.fr.