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Alimentaria commits to 2022 and calls for a Gastronomic Forum with a wider offer this autumn

Alimentaria commits to 2022 and calls for a Gastronomic Forum with a wider offer this autumn

In addition, Gastronomic Forum Barcelona will take place on the same dates as Alimentaria FoodTech, the trade show on food processing and preservation, in a week dedicated to food sustainability at the same time Barcelona becomes World Sustainable Food Capital for 2021.

Gastronomic Forum Barcelona will be the benchmark event for the country’s food and gastronomy industry this year, with the aim of contributing to the revitalisation of the sector. The event, organised by Fira de Barcelona through Alimentaria Exhibitions, is working on an edition which will take place from 18th to 20th October at the Montjuïc venue and which will expand its usual format by adding to its offer the exhibitors from Alimentaria & Hostelco who are interested in participating this year in a national event for the industry. Thus, in addition to the usual small producers from the primary sector and food artisans, it will be able to bring together a larger representation of companies from the foodservice, equipment, services and distribution sectors.

In this sense, after evaluating the evolution of the pandemic, the international mobility restrictions and consulting exhibitor companies, the trade fair institution has decided to boost this event in autumn and hold a large Alimentaria & Hostelco from the 4th to the 7th of April 2022, thus recovering its biennial periodicity in even years and guaranteeing its usual levels of participation and international attendance. The change of dates for Alimentaria & Hostelco comes after a dialogue with the industry’s productive, associative and institutional network regarding the event scheduled for May of this year (after the April 2020 event was postponed due to Covid-19) with a proposal adapted to current circumstances, both conceptually and in terms of exhibition space.

The managing director of Alimentaria Exhibitions, J. Antonio Valls, assures that “we want to commit to Alimentaria in 2022 with a size and participation that will once again boost international business and, together with Hostelco, maintain the quality and value proposition of previous editions, which have made it a global benchmark for the industry“. However, he specifies that “any national company which would have liked to participate in Alimentaria & Hostelco this year now has the opportunity to do so at Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, in a special edition which will place it among the country’s major food and gastronomy events“.

Sustainable Food Week
Also, coinciding with Barcelona’s World Sustainable Food Capital status, sustainability will have a clear leading role both at Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, which will be one of the focal points of its various activities, and at Alimentaria FoodTech, which will also focus on sustainability applied to food processing and preservation and which will be held alongside the Hispack (packaging) trade show at the Gran Via venue from the 19th to the 22nd of October.

These events will coincide with the celebration in Barcelona of the Global Forum for the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact from the 19th to the 21st of October, an international recognition supported by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations), in which 200 participating cities commit to developing sustainable, fair and healthy agri-food models.

Alimentaria & Hostelco constitute one of the main platforms of international reference with the most complete and transversal offer for the food and drinks industry, foodservice, hospitality equipment and its value chain. At its last edition in 2018, this event brought together 4,500 companies and 150,000 professional visitors, 25% of whom were from abroad.

Featured face-to-face events before and after the summer
Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, Alimentaria FoodTech and Hispack are some of the on-site events that Fira de Barcelona plans to hold this year, with which it will gradually normalise its trade fair activity.

In this sense, the General Manager of the institution, Constantí Serrallonga, emphasized “the importance, in such a complex context, of resuming in the coming months the celebration of events in our venues of Montjuïc and Gran Via to become once more a driver of the much-needed economic and social reactivation”.

Therefore, before the summer, B-Travel and Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week will take place in June, and Automobile Barcelona and BforPlanet, a congress dedicated to promoting the application of the SDGs in the private sector, will be held in July. These trade shows are added to the two major international events scheduled for these months at the Gran Via venue, ISE (Integrated Systems Europe), the largest AV industry trade show, and MWC Barcelona, a world benchmark in mobile technology and communications.

In autumn, the trade show calendar will intensify with the aforementioned food and packaging trade shows, along with other leading events such as Seafood Expo, Expoquimia, Eurosurfas, Equiplast and Industry, IoT Solutions World Congress, the International Boat Show, Caravaning, Smart City Expo World Congress and Barcelona Building Construmat/Piscina&Wellness Barcelona, among others.

In the coming months, the trade fair venues will once again resume their activity and their economic impact, by hosting different trade events with all the safety and prevention measures outlined in the thorough protocol drawn up by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with experts and the advice of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

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Alimentaria Expo moved to September

Alimentaria’s international buyers' programme aims to open up business opportunities on five continents, so the Hosted Buyers contingent includes guests from every corner of the world: Latin America, Asia, the United States and Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

The Alimentaria Expo, postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, has been moved to September 14 to 17. In a press release, the organisers of the event to be held in Barcelona expressed their “admiration and gratitude to the entire value chain of the food industry for the extraordinary effort it is making to continue its activity and guarantee supply to the entire population. Our applause to both manufacturers who have ceased production as well as distributors and retailers who have reacted quickly in response to increased demand and reinforcing safety and hygiene measures for their workers, collaborators and customers.

“Along with the food sector, restaurants, hotels and food services also deserve great recognition for the sacrifice they are making with the massive, albeit temporary, closure of their businesses, an extreme measure but necessary to stop the spread of the virus. We are convinced that, once the hardest days are over, citizens, governments and other institutions will be able to relaunch the activity of a sector that is so necessary for the country’s economy.”

The second semester of the year will be decisive to revive the industry as a whole and continue offering the highest quality, safety and innovation to consumers. For this reason, and more than ever, we will do everything in our power to ensure that professionals from the sector meet again from September 14 to 17, exchange their experiences, re-value the strength of the sector and project their numerous challenges to the world.

The Alimentaria Exhibitions team continues to work from home to continue preparing Alimentaria and HOSTELCO 2020 and thus fulfill the commitment to offer the sector a good edition. Our purpose is to accompany you at all times and reiterate our absolute support, with the conviction that together we will succeed.

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Alimentaria BCN to focus on key production & consumption trends

Alimentaria BCN to focus on key production & consumption trends

Alimentaria BCN, the International Food, Beverages and Food Service Trade Show, will include the new Alimentaria Trends space in its new edition, a meeting point for new developments and innovation arising in the food industry. Taking place April 20-23 (2020) at the Barcelona Fira’s Gran Via venue, it will occupy 4,500 m2 and host around 400 exhibitors organised around five themed areas: Fine Foods (gourmet products), Organic Foods (organic production), Free From (allergens free), Halal Foods (Halal production) and Functional Foods (functional). Managing director Jose Antonio Valls, said, “Alimentaria Trends brings together all products that are no longer market niches and have become categories in themselves.” Reflecting the growing popularity of organic food, the Organic Foods space will occupy more than 1,400 m2 of exhibition space.

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Free-from & organic products abound at Alimentaria Barcelona

The chief innovations at the at Alimentaria 2018 show in Barcelona focused on healthier, better tasting food.

Hundreds of new products were presented at the Alimentaria food and drink trade show in Barcelona in April and standing out was the abundance of organic and ‘free’ products – such as free of sugar, salt, fat, lactose, gluten or frying – across all categories. Many of the innovations also responded to the growing demand for organic and functional foods and drinks among consumers, who also want them to be pleasurable and without need for much preparation.

“Eliminating or significantly reducing the amount of sugar, salt and fat in food and drinks constitutes the manufacturers’ main objectives when it comes to innovation, as well as devoting considerable efforts to maintaining enticing flavours and attractive presentations. Organic ingredients, ready-to-eat meals, gourmet ranges, baked dishes to replace fried ones, superfoods, vegan snacks and gluten-free and lactose-free proposals are also gaining momentum, as demonstrated by the latest developments on display,” the Alimentaria 2018 organisers said.

Apart from at exhibitor stands, the Alimentaria Hub was the place to learn about prevailing trends and within it, the Innoval exhibition showcased more than 300 new products. The hub was also the site of the Taste of Tomorrow exhibition featuring displays of startup projects aimed at revolutionising food and gastronomy. Following are just some of the interesting new products ED discovered at Alimentaria 2018.

Sea veggies: ideal for an umami kick from the estuaries of the Bay of Cádiz nature reserve are hand-picked wild delicacies such as sea asparagus (Salicornia), sea lettuce, red alga (ogonori) and Codium alga (miru). From Suralgas, Vejer de la Frontera

Beplus bioactive smoothie: dairy and gluten free smoothies made from organic fruit and veg. Four flavours with four functions: antioxidant, energising, detox and relaxing. Vitamin C-enriched and in convenient pouch formats. From Juan y Juan Industrial (Dulcesol group), Valencia

Seaweed snacks: a crispy, healthier, low-fat alternative to chips they come in a wide range of flavours including wasabi, curry, kimchi, Teriyaki sauce and sesame. From Godbawee Food, South Korea

Mango, tomato & hazelnut frozen lollipops: one of four new frozen lollipop products (another is green apple with pistachio) designed to delight as appetisers in the hospitality sector. From La Abuela Cándida, Ciudad Real

Fruit & vegetable crisps: Pinkfinch’s apple crisps (35g), banana crisps (35g), and green bean & sugar snap pea crisps (25g) use real fruit and veg. Naturally sweet, high in fibre, gluten and nut free, apt for vegans and with the texture of a potato crisp. Billed as each bag being “one of your 5 a day.” From Food Products, N. Ireland

Ginger up: three new products in the Ginger up range of drinks with energy and health benefits: ginger and pineapple, ginger and basil, and a ginger and apple shot. Other new products from the same company include a cucumber tea, organic juice range, and a carrot Gazpacho soup. From: Comfresh Iberian, Madrid

Tropical Kumato: described as having an aroma like that of tropical fruits, very good flavour and a little sweeter than the traditional Kumato. From Syngenta seed house

AdeS plant-based beverages: The leading seed-based beverage brand in Latin America, Coca-Cola bought AdeS last year and is now introducing the functional drinks in Europe. It promoted 4 formats with fruit juices: almond with mango & passionfruit, oatmeal with strawberry and banana, coconut with berries, and soy with apple. RRP €1.09 (250ml). From Coca-Cola Spain

Caramelised sesame seeds: organic sesame seeds caramelised with unrefined cane sugar available in varieties including with kale, wasabi, berries, ginger, lemon, aloe vera, chilli pepper, spirulina or guava, among other fruits and vegetables. Add taste to dishes, salads, yogurts. Other caramelised seeds include pumpkin, sunflower, poppy and chia. From Ecoriginal, Barcelona

Sun&Vegs Supersalads: Three different types – Mediterranean Rice, Arabian Quinoa & Asian Rice – of ready-to-eat salad products fresh from “the garden to the jar.” From Grupo Alimentario Citrus (GAC), Valencia

High taste protein products: The À Trois range of supplements was designed to be both tasty and nutritious. Includes chocolate protein bars, protein powders and 75% fruit juice energy gels. Ingredients include strawberries, blood oranges, Canary Island bananas, lemons, pumpkin, carrots and peas. From: À Trois Nutrition, Catalonia


Photos: Alimentaria Barcelona

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Upsurge in international demand at Alimentaria 2016

Alimentaria Barcelona, Spain’s biannual food and drinks fair, is becoming more international.

Alimentaria Barcelona, Spain’s biannual food and drinks fair, is becoming more international. Organisers were delighted by this year’s figures of more than 140,000 attendees from 157 countries (16 more than in 2014). The number of International buyers, importers and distributors increased by 62%.

Alimentaria has seen the injection of €170 millions in the city. In terms of offer, “Vintage” food recipes revamped, Vegan, health and nutrition supplements and superfood have been the main food trends in the 40th edition of the fair.

According to organisers FIAB (the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation), Spain is the world’s seventh largest exporter of food and drink and also one of the leaders in horticultural exports globally.

Offering both online and offline sales the key to the future

Also at Alimentaria, Mercabarna, Barcelona’s wholesale food hub, took the opportunity to present its second report about e-commerce and food. The goal of this initiative is to create awareness of e-commerce within Spain’s small and medium-sized food companies when it comes to sales strategy.

The future consumer will increasingly buy their produce online either for delivery to their doorstep, via new intermediaries (new food portals or using Amazon services, for instance), or collection at a traditional shop.

For the food business, sensorial and purchase experience will be key, as the consumer still wants to experience and touch the product before purchasing it. So it won’t be surprising to see an online shop to be present offline to boost the customer experience.

Today, food represents 2.2% of e-commerce in Spain and fresh produce 0.8% of the total online food spend, though just 13% of online shoppers buy their fresh produce online.

According to MAGRAMA (Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment), fruit and vegetables account for 17% of the total food spend by Spanish consumers. The average household spend on food and drink was €1,482 in 2014. At a macro level, Spanish spent €98 billion on food in 2014, 67.5% of which was consumed in the home and 32.2% involved eating out.


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Innovation award win for Ecopouch mushrooms

Innoval is a major showcase at the Alimentaria where innovations in the food and drinks industry from the participating companies are presented.

Ecopouch, a range of mushrooms cooked and packaged in their own juices with no additives or salt, has won the Innoval Award for Best International Innovation at Alimentaria 2016 for Dutch company Scelta Mushrooms.

The mushrooms can be stored for a long time and their juice makes the perfect 100% natural base for stocks and sauces, according to organisers of the international food and drinks exhibition, which ran April 25-28 in Barcelona

In a press release, Scelta Mushrooms said its Ecopouch mushrooms are produced via a unique procedure. After being packed, the mushrooms are boiled in their own juice. “The result are shelf stable sliced mushrooms with a fresh taste and texture.”

Innoval is a major showcase at the Alimentaria where innovations in the food and drinks industry from the participating companies are presented. The Innoval awards were presented on April 26.

Another of the 16 Innoval Awards 2016, that for Dry, Dehydrated, Canned and Semi-Preserved Food, went to the company Aneto Natural for a purifying salt-free artichoke stock based on 100% fresh organic vegetables which helps to cleanse and purify the body.

Garden Gourmet, a brand of vegetarian dishes made from a careful blend of wheat and soy proteins, won the award in the Fresh and Refrigerated Non-Dairy Products category.

The Trend Award for Health and Assurance went to the company Girona Noel Alimentaria for its range of sliced meat-free sausages made using egg white as the protein base and ideal for vegetarian consumers looking for an alternative to meat in their diet.


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Alimentaria offers more conferences, B2B meetings and launches

Alimentaria’s international buyers' programme aims to open up business opportunities on five continents, so the Hosted Buyers contingent includes guests from every corner of the world: Latin America, Asia, the United States and Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

Taking place April 25-28 in Barcelona, Alimentaria is the place for innovation, business collaboration, competitiveness and knowledge sharing in Europe’s food and drinks sector.

The International Food & Drinks Exhibition will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via Exhibition Centre and its format has been updated to span a broader spectrum of the industry and reflect new market trends and consumer habits.

At its last edition, the event attracted more than 140,000 visitors from around the world and hosted 3,800 represented companies and more than 1,000 international companies.

In 2016, Alimentaria will be streamlined into 5 shows, encompassing the main food and drinks markets:

  • Intervin (wines and spirits),
  • Intercarn (meat and meat products),
  • Restaurama (restaurants, integrates Expobebidas & Congelexpo companies),
  • Interlact (dairy products) and
  • Multiple Foods (confectionery, preserves, oils and premium products).

Multiple Foods, the new show of food trends and special and functional projects, adds Alimentación Ecológica (organic food), Olivaria, Expoconser, Interpesca, the International Pavilions, Lands of Spain, Snacks, Biscuits & Confectionery, Mediterranean Foods, Healthy Foods and Fine Foods, along with the Premium zone and the Olive Oil Bar.

In 2016, Alimentaria’s activities will hinge around six core themes:

  • distribution and retail,
  • CSR,
  • internationalisation,
  • R&D&I and branding,
  • nutrition,
  • and marketing and communication.

Exporting for SMEs

As always, Alimentaria will facilitate contacts between exhibitors and key international buyers across the food and beverage chain, with the aim of encouraging business meetings and firming up foreign deals. At Alimentaria 2014, 59% of exhibitors were already exporting their products, while 73% of those who were not yet selling abroad said that they fully intended to do so within the next two or three years.

Alimentaria’s international buyers’ programme aims to open up business opportunities on five continents, so the Hosted Buyers contingent includes guests from every corner of the world: Latin America, Asia, the United States and Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

This year, the Alimentaria Hub also offers the Export Service Counter for exhibitors, preferably SMEs, who want to venture into foreign markets for the first time. Intended to help companies internationalise their business, this new programme involves experts in all the formalities necessary to take these first steps in reaching foreign markets, from insurance companies and consultancy firms to chambers of commerce and financial institutions.

The Alimentaria Hub

Part of the Alimentaria show, the Alimentaria Hub, boasts new product launches as well as conferences, presentations and consumer trend analysis. It also includes a centre for business meetings and export opportunities and networking sessions to foster entrepreneurship, according to organisers.

One of the big attractions at the Alimentaria Hub is the Food Factory, the meeting place for technology start-ups in the agrifood sector and Business Angels with the capacity to invest in projects with development potential.

Innoval will feature the latest trends and innovations in the sector, exhibiting more than 300 new food products. The Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation (FIAB) is organising the VII Alimentaria Food Technology and Innovation Meeting, while consultancy firm Innova Market Insights will be leading the ‘Top Ten Trends’ session at which it will present a selection of the ten global trends that are currently setting the bar in the food industry.

Food Bloggers Conference

The 2016 show sees the first Food Bloggers Conference to encourage people to learn about and understand new communication channels. It will be a chance to share knowledge among bloggers and other social media professionals associated with food and gastronomy.

Presentations on sustainability, CSR & the Mediterranean Diet

In terms of presentations, the Alimentaria Hub will host the third Nestlé Forum on ‘Creating Shared Value’, this year dedicated to the industry’s contribution to a sustainable and socially responsible future, and the XI International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet.


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Innovation and organic produce at Alimentaria


With more foreign visitors this year – a total of 42,000 from 141 countries – organisers said it was the “most international, gastronomic and innovative” edition of the fair.

Mercabarna optimizing logistics
Among the exhibitors was Mercabarna, where director of strategy and marketing Pablo Vilanova Montagut told us about this Mediterranean food hub’s aim to streamline transport for mixed cargoes.
A handy pantry of fresh produce from which European buyers can mix and match to meet their needs – that’s one vision of itself Mercabarna is now promoting. And apart from making it easier for such traders to come to the market and take their shopping home with them, Barcelona’s wholesale food market is studying how to help the more than 200 firms specializing in fruit and vegetables there deliver orders of all sizes to far-flung buyers and to do it cheaper and faster.

Nice Fruit “revolution” in frozen fruit
Spanish company Nice Fruit won various innovation prizes at Alimentaria its patented “air-based” technology for freezing fruit. The result is a product that once thawed is not only equal to fresh fruit in taste and texture but has many advantages over it. Nice Fruit has been operating for just over eight months and already sells all of its 30 ton daily production from its plant in Castellbisbal (Barcelona) to the food service sector. Three more plants of the same capacity will be built this year: one in the Philippines, mainly for mango, another in Costa Rica, for pineapple, and the third in Colombia, for mango, avocado and strawberry. By the end of the year the company will produce 90 tons/day and that still won’t meet demand.