Canada’s leading international food and beverage exhibition, SIAL Canada will return to Montreal for its ninth edition scheduled to take place May 9-11, 2012 in the Palais de Congres de Montreal Exhibition Center. The annual show alternates between Montreal and Toronto. The 2011 edition in Toronto set records for exhibitor participation and Pan-Canadian attendance. SIAL Canada 2011 brought together 697 exhibitors (44% international) and 12,415 visitors from 62 countries on 200,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Show organizers already report that there is currently more exhibit space reserved to date for the 2012 show than for the last edition in Montreal. SIAL Canada’s Managing Director, Xavier Poncin affirms, “After exceptional results in Toronto, the space already booked clearly establishes us as the place to be in North America. Montreal, gastronomical capital of Canada is attracting 30% new exhibitors.”
Offering an impressive panorama of food and beverages on exhibit from 40 countries and nine Canadian provinces, SIAL Canada 2012 will bring to light dozens of innovative products via four different signature competitions. The Trends & Innovations competition will evaluate the most inventive new food & beverage products by a rigorous selection process and independent jury. Last year a record 52 contestants produced a telling line-up of finalists that included individual frozen potato gratins, birch syrup, onion confit with espelette pepper, duck fois gras appetizers and quinoa salad kits. The Grand Prize was awarded to Your Bar Factory’s 100% natural fruit bar from Lasalle, Quebec, Canada.
The 8th edition of the Olive d’Or competition will once again bring together the best virgin olive oils from around the world. The contest posted record participation in 2011 with 124 oils from 14 countries; winners hailed from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chili and Crete. Coffee Cup by SIAL will gather regular and certified coffees after a successful debut in 2011 where varieties from Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia came out on top.
The La Cuisine by SIAL demonstration stage will introduce a new contest for corporate chefs from the food processing, food retail and food service industries. Strict time limits, mandatory ingredients and the theme of “Our Health in Your Hands” will set the stage for the food industry’s first corporate chef competition.
SIAL Canada 2012 organizers are also preparing other added-value features to enhance the show experience. “Hot Products” Expert Pathways will guide visitors to up-and-coming product categories such as Gluten-free, Fair-trade and Halal with new routes for Convenience Stores and Regional Specialties. A three-day conference program will parallel the pathways’ themes.
Montreal, known for some of the best gourmet shopping and restaurants in North America, is the largest city in the province of Quebec and the second-largest in Canada. The food industry is a major contributor to Quebec’s economy, employing nearly 12% of the province’s workforce. Food exports are booming, surpassing Canadian and worldwide growth rates for the past 10 years. The industry owes its vitality primarily to the abundance and quality of raw materials that Québec has to offer including pork, soybeans, berries, vegetables, maple syrup, refined sugar and vast fresh water reserves.
SIAL Canada 2012 will host an official USA Pavilion endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture featuring over 25 U.S. companies on 3,000 square feet of exhibit space. To date, three U.S. trade organizations have plans to participate with booths in the pavilion including Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), the Vermont Specialty Foods Association and Food Export-Northeast who is offering customized marketing assistance to U.S. exhibitors through their Food Show PLUS program. In addition, the International Dairy – Deli – Bakery Association (IDDBA) and the Association of Food Industries (AFI) will exhibit in the show.