SIAL Preview: French connections

15 October, 2010
Once every two years one of the world's biggest food exhibitions takes place outside the Paris suburbs. Sial is in most people's calendars and, this year, organisers have sought to combat the downturn by showing off new ways of processing and retailing food. James Aufenast reports

Sial is back. From 17 to 21 October, this mega-exhibition on the outskirts of Paris will welcome over 5,500 exhibitors and over 148,000 visitors from across the globe to meet, greet and see the latest in the food industry. Amid the glass and steel minimalist surroundings of the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre deals will be done and feet will ache, but hopefully business will be better off because of it.

For the meat industry it's mostly a question of heading to the red bit on the exhibition maps Hall 6 where separate areas are laid out for meat, poultry and cured meats.

Other areas have something to offer too, however. Frozen food, also part of Hall 6, will be of interest to portions of the processing market, while those involved in making pies will find Hall 5a's far corner, containing 'Bakery, pastry and confectionery', of value.

Around 150 workshops, conferences and meetings in all offer a break from the endless meeting and stand visits, plus a chance to get some ideas for your business or just a seat to rest on! It is a chance to get a sight of the latest products, and trends, and there will be 15 innovations awards announced at the show.

La Cuisine du Sial, part of the 'Meat' section, is also worth a look if you have time. There will be demonstrations on organic and sustainable products, a cooking show, ideas from different food around the world and a quality fast food offering, called 'Gourmet Express'.

"More than ever before, Sial will be a highly attractive event in 2010," commented Sial general manager Valérie Lobry. "In terms of sales of exhibition area, countries participating, numbers of exhibitors, different sectors represented and new features, it's all systems go. Innovation, export and sustainable development are efficient arms for fighting the economic crisis on a long-term basis," she added.

In-Food, an exhibition for semi-processed food products, ingredients, additives and outsourcing solutions, will be taking place in Hall 5a. It will be offering food trends from across the world with its showcasing of 'Dezineo, the Futurology and Innovation department of Polygone and SAM France Sensory and Marketing'.

IPA, the world food process and packaging exhibition, is easily accessible from the meat area via a side entrance leading out of frozen foods in Hall 7. Around 44,000 visitors are expected at IPA to the stalls of its 600 exhibitor companies, and speakers on a European process-engineering platform will be examining latest technological developments, hygiene, environmental impact and industrial performance. According to a spokesperson, "There is a new innovation focus at IPA, with a particular look at research and development this is something new for 2010."

The exhibition hall is handy for the Charles de Gaulle airport and just 16 miles from the centre of Paris although leave plenty of time if you are driving, because the traffic can be dense. Extra shuttle buses have been laid on from and to Porte Maillot, and there are two taxi ranks outside the show building. Once you are there, enjoy the highlights of what's on offer from the exhibitors we have listed below.




The Trade and Investment Promotion Agency of the Brazilian Government organises the participation of Brazilian companies at Sial. In Paris, Brazilian food will be exhibited in nine halls, spread over 14 stands, occupying 1,600sqm in all.

l Iceport, which provides automated storage of frozen foods, is bringing chicken, beef and pork products, as well as offering its expertise in handling, distribution and its refrigerated warehouse facilities in the port of Santa Catarina (southern Brazil), which have a capacity of more than 16,000 tons. Hall 6 Stand K202

l Unifrango chicken comes from the state of Paraná, while Superfrango, which exports to more than 40 countries, will be bringing more than 20 different kinds of chicken packs. Among new items are 2kg halal packs and new packaging for its skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Hall 6 stand A 202 beef; Hall 6 stand B 124 chicken; Hall 6 stand K202 pork; Hall 6 stand F144 chicken.

l Pifpaf will be bringing more than 130 items from the frozen food industry, including: pizzas, lasagne, cheese, bread, chicken and pork, as well as a vast line of cold cuts and sausages. One new product to be presented is its shredded, desalted dried cod.

Brazil is the world's second-largest beef producer, exporting to over 150 countries. Its beef production has increased by 227% in the last 30 years, while the area used only grew by 4%.

In 2006, the main destination for Brazilian beef exports was the European Union. Today, emerging markets such as Russia, Hong Kong and Middle Eastern countries have become the main market for Brazilian products. Rising income levels in these countries is directly related to higher beef consumption.

Brazil closed out the first half of 2010 by consolidating its global leadership in beef exports, both in terms of volume and revenue. During this period, Brazil's exports rose by 2% in volume to 1,055,301 tons (CWE) while the average export price rose 18% to $3,734 per metric ton.

ABIEC (the Association of Brazilian Meat Exporters) is attempting to genetically improve the herd and gain better pastures, while intensifying sanitary protection and strengthening the tracking system for cattle-rearing to increasing Brazil's cattle and livestock productivity. These could lead to a doubling of current beef and leather production over a period of a decade, without the need for additional expansion that is, not a single hectare of land would need to be turned into pasture. Suggestions are that ABIEC might even make degraded areas of pasture in the Amazon region available for environmental recuperation projects.


Tönnies Fleisch/Tillman's

The major German company will be presenting its new 'Platinum' premium beef programme, with which it aims to attract the high-end catering trade across Europe, for the first time at the show, in addition to showcasing a wide range of pig and sow meat products to represent its core business.

Also at the European meat products brand Tillman's a subsidiary of Tönnies Fleisch will be presenting its wide range of fresh self-service meat and frozen convenience products, with innovations Tillman's Toast Me! and Dip Cap, a pre-fried, microwaveable meat snack with accompanying dip in a range of varieties.

This year, the German Version of Toast Me! Tillman's Toasty has been awarded a SIAL d'Or accolade for its Chicken variant, in the Savoury Frozen Foods category. The snacks can be heated to readiness from frozen in a couple of minutes. The Chicken Toast Me! is created using 100% chicken breast fillet and has launched in the UK market this autumn, along with the Bacon & Egg Breakfast Toast Me! variant. Hall 6, stand H220



Eblex has a 200m2 stand (in a triangle shape) in Hall 6. Focus will be placed on the positive image of the English beef and lamb industry conveyed by the pub theme and the St George brand.

The following exporters have also booked space on the stand: RWM Food Group, ABP, Dawn Meats, Alec Jarrett, Euro Quality Lambs and WW Giles. The hospitality area of the stand is dedicated to all English beef and lamb exporters who will be visiting the show.

A St George dinner is organised at the Grand Hôtel Intercontinental in Paris during the show. This reception will attract a large number of exporters, their customers from all over the world, representatives of official bodies and professional organisations, but also a large contingent of French journalists (over 20) from trade and public press. Hall 6 Stand E203


Quality Meat Scotland

The levy board is leading 10 Scottish exporters to the exhibition to highlight the PGI status of Scottish beef and lamb and the guarantees offered in quality assurance, provenance, welfare and character. They will be joined by Quality Meat Scotland staff and European agents to promote the wider Scottish beef and lamb industry and highlight the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark to buyers and traders from throughout the world.

QMS is situated in a high-profile spot in the main meat hall, and its chef will be offering visitors to the stand a taste of what makes Scotch Beef and Lamb so special.

The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, will be visiting the stand on Monday 18 October, and the organisation will be holding a reception to give international buyers and traders a taste of Scottish hospitality, as well as some creative canapés highlighting the versatility and quality of Scotch Beef and Lamb and other classic Scottish ingredients. Hall 6, stand F 226


US Meat Export Federation

The United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) will once again be available to present US beef, pork and lamb from US exporters. In addition to its usual activities at Sial, this year USMEF will give visitors the opportunity to judge the quality of US beef for themselves. In Hall 6, at stand E145 USMEF will organise the 'US Beef Challenge', where all who wish to try can sample the country's beef next to other exmaples from around the world. Four tasting booths are available where visitors will be presented with samples of beef, prepared in a Montague broiler, which they will judge in blind tasting conditions. Visitors will be asked to complete a questionnaire rating the different quality aspects for each sample presented. The results of the questionnaires will be collated and analysed by the independent market research company Numsight, Paris. Hall 6, stand E145

l Other exhibitors to look out for include Vion, Vestey Foods Group, the Instituto de Promocion de la Carne Vacuna Argentina (IPCVA), Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Bord Bía and the Northern Ireland meat exporters association (NIMEA).




The facts


When: 17 October to 21 October,

Where: Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition & Convention Centre (Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte), BP 68004, 95970 Roissy CDG Cedex, France

Exhibitors: 5,500. Visitors: 148,000 expected from 185 countries, including 20,700 from commercial and institutional catering and 66,500 visitors from retail

Surface area: 215,000m2

Getting there: Villepinte is close to Paris Charles de Gaulle International airport. The Villepinte Parc des Expositions metro station on RER B is one stop from the airport and 30 minutes from Paris. Villepinte is 25km from Paris by car on the A1.




Five event highlights


1. Trends and innovation observatory at Sial, which in 2008 garnered 38% of media coverage of the show, and every three visitors in four. Entering products for this exhibition is free, but for Sial exhibitors only (, then 'Exhibitor Space'). Talks on innovation will take place near this exhibition.

2. 'Food Design' is about trend forecasting and new concepts created by design students. The themes for 2010 include 'sustainable development' and 'local'.

3. La Cuisine du Sial: a place where culinary trends are demonstrated live by chefs and some creative gastronomy, expected to reach over 20,000 foodservice professionals.

4. In-Store Services & Solutions is an area showing off product enhancement in a sales environment the shop of tomorrow, in other words. This will include new point-of-sale concepts and an area that looks at what virtual reality can add to manufacturing and retail. A third area will look at developments in take-away and ready-meals.

5. Results from the Pro Safe Beef research project will be presented at IPA. Other results on show will include: 'Novel Q', looking into innovative biodegradable packaging; 'Truefood', an assessment of the risk of chemical contamination by packaging; and 'Pathogen Combat', research looking into the prevention of food chain contamination by pathogenic micro-organisms.

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