5 May 2023

The Food & Beverage Trade Fairs That Leave the Biggest Impact on the Industry Globally

The Food & Beverage Trade Fairs That Leave the Biggest Impact on the Industry Globally

The food industry is an ever-growing sector that has a significant impact on the global economy. It is the role of major trade fairs to build bridges and drive innovations across the food industry. These events bring together manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and buyers from the food industry to network, build relationships, and exchange ideas. The future of food and beverage is being built one edition at a time at these trade fairs.

In this article, we will examine some of the undisputed leaders that have the most impact on the industry at large and reflect the emerging trends that are being felt worldwide. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Just highlights some of the most easily recognizable brands:

  • IBA

The International Baking Industry Expo (IBA) is a biennial event held in Munich, Germany that has been a consistent leader in the confectionery, baking, and snacks sectors. With a gap of three years between each edition, the fair becomes a hub of innovation, featuring the latest technology, services, and solutions. No two editions are the same, and the long pauses allow for smaller brands to join the other more than 1300 exhibitors that regularly attend the trade fair at Messe München.

IBA is a consistent high performer. Previous editions score audience participation of 77,000 trade visitors from all over Europe who come to research products and make purchases. It’s the ideal platform to generate sales leads and penetrate foreign markets. Along with networking opportunities, the fair provides excitement and entertainment in taste tests, demonstrations and competitions. The German Championship of Master Bakers, UIBC Junior Championship of World Confectioners and IBA-UIBC-Cup of Bakers are eagerly awaited by visitors, featuring exceptional talent from around the world.

Picture: IBA

  • SIAL

SIAL is truly the defining European trade fair for food and beverage markets that has had a strong impact on global tastes and trends. The brand has been so successful that it successfully spawned two satellite events. With over 7200 exhibitors from more than 110 countries and 310,000 trade visitors from 180 countries, SIAL is where food innovation and culinary trends are first announced to the world.

The prestigious fair held in Paris, France attracts the biggest industry players including government representatives as well as the next generation of thinkers including 650 start-ups, making it a meeting point of the highest importance. SIAL creates incredible business opportunities and is where new policies regarding food and international trade are forged.

SIAL's product portfolio is unmatched, showcasing the entire breadth of products and following the processing chain. The machinery sector features processing and production equipment. Supporting information events like the Alternative Food Forum provide an opportunity to step outside the box and consider new ways of food manufacturing and consumption based on health and sustainability, a topic of significant relevance considering the massive changes created by climate change.

Picture: Sial

  • ProSweets

ProSweets is the leading international trade fair for the sweets and snacks industry worldwide, attracting manufacturers, buyers, influencers, tastemakers and experts alike. Held annually in Cologne, Germany, the fair brings together over 200 exhibitors from 21 countries, showcasing raw materials, finished products, packaging materials and machines, refrigeration and air-conditioning technology, food safety and quality management, automation and robots.

With more than 6000 trade visitors from around 60 countries, ProSweets Cologne offers a packed program that combines discussions on trends with business matchmaking. The exhibition halls are peppered with thematic zones that explore future-oriented themes, including the variety of natural ingredients that are gaining popularity, flexible machines, and the rise of individualised products as a direct response to recent changes in consumer behaviour. Sustainability and green materials are also central to the fair's theme.

ProSweets Cologne is the must-attend event for the crème de la crème of the industry!

Picture: ProSweets

  • Gulfood Exhibition

The Gulfood Exhibition is a highly acclaimed international trade fair for the food and hospitality industry sectors that boasts the latest food and beverage lines, restaurant equipment, packaging technology and marketing strategies. It’s the one-stop-stop for international buyers, who want to get their entire operation outfitted as well as connect with leading experts.

Held annually, the trade fair is one of the most widely visited events in the world. Its track record is consistent even through the pandemic. Recent numbers include over 90,000 international trade visitors from 193 countries, and more than 4000 international companies. Gulfood Exhibition is a truly global experience as testified by the 120 country pavilions on site. Visitors keep busy with product discovery and an exciting support programme featuring150 international speakers and over 50 masterclasses.

Gulfood Exhibition is the perfect platform to showcase your products, with stands featuring every imaginable flavour and food in the world, including beverages, fine foods, fish, dairy products, coffee, kitchen equipment, meat and poultry, health and wellness, grains and cereals and world foods. In addition, the event features the most celebrated chefs from 50 restaurants who showcase their creativity and flair in the live kitchens, offering over 1000 unique dishes. With fresh food sales set to reach 280.5 million tonnes in volume, Gulfood Exhibition is the ideal place to position your brand and explore new opportunities.

Picture: Gulfood Exhibition

  • IFE

IFE, one of the most significant food industry exhibitions, takes place in London, UK, for four days with a variety of activities. With over 760 international exhibitors, this trade fair is attended by more than 25,000 international trade visitors. Whether you are looking for drinks, ingredients, or delicacies like seafood, highly regarded exhibitors are ready to present you with high-grade products. The exhibition covers all sectors within the retail, foodservice, wholesale, distribution and import, manufacturing and export markets.

IFE is held on a biennial schedule with editions falling on odd years at ExCeL London, co-located with Pro2Pac - an event servicing the food & drink processing & packaging sector, providing a full overview of the processing chain, IFE Manufacturing, Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, and The Pub Show. The exhibition halls are separated into thematic zones – drinks, grocery & wholesale, chilled & frozen food, health & wellbeing, international pavilions, bakery, snacks & confectionery, specialty food, and vegan & plant-based.

IFE is not only a source of information on emerging trends but also a lot of fun for when you need to take a break with pizza championships, live chef demonstrations, discussions on the future of the industry, multiple forums, a gala event, and product presentations. The seminar programme includes over 70 influential expert leaders who get the opportunity to speak to large audiences over the course of three days. Attending IFE means immersing yourself in the world of flavour and discovering all the new foods and drinks ready to hit the market.

Picture: IFE

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