During the three days of the show (April 30th - May 2nd at Enercare Center, Toronto), the major players in the agrifood industry set a record for attendance in Toronto, with growth of almost 10% compared to 2017. With nearly 80 conferences and activities, SIAL Canada, the only "One Stop Shop" in the industry, is once again a must-attend event.
"Innovation, local and international" - the key words of SIAL Canada
With 1,130 exhibitors and brands spread over 280,000 square feet and some 25,106 professional visitors from over 60 countries, this SIAL Canada and SET Canada edition topped records again both in terms of suppliers and visitors.
According to Xavier Poncin, SIAL Canada’s Executive Director, this edition proves the importance to have biennial events in Canada's two largest provinces. Never before has local representation, together with an exceptional number of international participants, offered so many innovations.
"Not only have we seen international business growth driven by Canada's international momentum, and the signing of multiple international agreements", says Xavier Poncin "but also a significant achievement: Ontario businesses have proven through a 20% growth in participation [compared to 2017] and a record involvement in the SIAL Innovation Contest that SIAL Canada is the best platform to grow their business in Canada and internationally. We are definitely anchored in the Canadian landscape "coast to coast"! "
Italy in the spotlight!
Italy was the country of honor, all for the pleasure of our taste buds as the Dolce Vita was enjoyed around the aisles. The official inauguration of the show was held under the colors of the Italian flag honoring national and international dignitaries during their various speeches.
It should be noted that for the first time at SIAL Canada, the 3 levels of government were represented at the same time: federal, provincial and municipal.
The 3 major competitions that launched the show.
SIAL Innovation: 117 entries were submitted to participate in this 12th edition of the contest. For the first time this year, the Hopeful prize, dedicated to food start-ups, was added to the three traditional Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. On the first day of the show, the three big winners of the prestigious SIAL Innovation contest were unveiled in front of visitors and journalists:
- Gold Grand Prize: UNBUN KETO FOODS for its product VEGAN KETO BUNS. It is appropriate for consumers who seek products that are paleo, grain-free, starch-free, vegan, keto and gluten-free but it also taste great to consumers accustomed to eating conventional bread.
- Silver Grand Prize: YUMMY DOH for its product RAW COOKIE DOUGH. It is a vegan cookie dough product that is safe to eat raw and that can also be baked into crispy cookies.
- Bronze Grand Prize: LOFBERGS CANADA INC. for its product ICE. Creating an oatbased creamy, smooth textured coffee drink is a big technical accomplishment but putting that drink into a sexy, cylinder-shaped cardboard package makes this product doubly noteworthy!
- Hopeful Grand Price: PARTAKE BREWING for its product PARTAKE PALE ALE – CRAFT NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER. Using a proprietary process, Partake creates a craft brewery quality ultra-low calorie, non-alcoholic ale that appeals to people on specialty diets who still want to enjoy great tasting beer.
Cheese Competition: The cheese contest was the first of its kind on site as well as for Canada! The jury chaired by Gurth Pretty and made up of professionals from the cheese industry evaluated 230 cheeses from 9 countries across 23 categories. Following the jury's deliberation, the 23 medals (1 per category), the Best English Cheese, Best Italian Cheese, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Best New Cheese and Best Winner awards were revealed on the Cheese Area by SIAL.
- Grand Champion Cheese: Alfred the Grand Cru farmer, a Quebec cheese from La Fromagerie La Station (also named Best Firm Dough Cheese and Best Dairy Product of Canada!)
Olive d'Or: For the 13th edition of the largest international competition for extra virgin olive oil in Canada, the jury, chaired by Christine Cheylan, expert in olive oils, was composed of 7 members all with experience undisputed. As a result of the jury's deliberation, the 12 best extra-virgin olive oils submitted by producers from around the world were selected to be crowned with gold, silver and bronze in their respective categories. New this year, a special Italy prize was awarded to highlight the country's presence at SIAL Canada 2019.
The Cuisine by SIAL, a lively space which, every day, hosted new activities!
On the first day, on the occasion of The Canadian Plate Challenge, SIAL Canada partnered with Arrell Food Institute / University of Guelph in an exceptional cooking sustainability competition. He challenged 4 award-winning Canadian chefs to create a 100% local meal while contributing to the respect of the planet and the health of its guests.
Among them were:
- Andrea Carlson of Burdock and Co. in Vancouver, British Columbia;
- Laura Maxwell of Sélect Bistro in Toronto, Ontario;
- Josh Crowe of Monkland Taverne in Montreal, Quebec;
- Pierre Richard of the Little Louis' Oyster Bar in Moncton, New Brunswick.
For the second day, the new Food Startup sector was in the spotlight at the Pitch Competition! They had only three minutes to seduce a jury of experts, an exciting subject in an innovative format! Organized in collaboration with the City of Toronto and CFWI IC Niagara College, the competition honored 4 major winners. Named first: Honey Vinegar of Dare2Dream who received a booth for the next edition of SIAL Canada in Montreal in 2020.
On the final day, SIAL Canada partnered with Taste Canada to bring together a cookbook event to unveil a groundbreaking event: Inspired to Taste Canada: Celebrated Cookbook Authors Present Local Recipes. The latest culinary trends were illustrated through cookbook authors' demonstrations. The various authors autographed their book to interested visitors on site!
Inspire Drink, a reflection of a new innovative sector!
On the Inspire Drink space and during the 3 days of the show, there were 2 major themes: infused drinks and alcoholic beverages (or not!). In the morning, Gail Gastelu, SIAL Canada expert in brewed beverages, shared her passion for tea, coffee and marriages of fascinating products. In the afternoon, Emmanuel Perrier introduced us into the world of cocktail and mocktail (non-alcoholic cocktail), unforgettable experiences between cutting ice and almost instantaneous gel of any liquid, the attention was at its height. At the end of the day, the Aperitivo gave everyone an appointment for a tasting on an Italian note.
Exciting content to discover during conferences.
Each of the 50 conferences presented to the visitors were given by real experts of their category, which ensured the great diversity of content was both informative and useful. Among the key topics we find of course innovation in the context of various topics related to Food Tech and highlighting many market trends. And don’t forget the different sessions dedicated to food Start up, which offered participants advice on the launch of their business: a great success!
Central Experts Hub - Thanks to our experts!
Again this year, SIAL Canada was proud to welcome 14 experts from 12 sectors. Their wise advice and professional recommendations were available at Central Experts Hub. In this space and during the three days of the show, it was not only possible to attend many discussion panels, but also to make an appointment with each of the experts.
The buyers program, always a success
The buyers program is once again showing spectacular figures! In fact, 716 meetings were held during the 3 days of the show. This space brought together 87 buyers from 14 different countries and 356 exhibitors from 39 countries. 2 thirds of exhibitors believe that their meeting will lead to a sale and 100% of buyers have expressed their wish to return to the program next year. The program included the largest distributors in the United States, Mexico and China, such as Bozzuto's, Atalanta, Sigma Foodservice and Angliss Shenzhen, as well as major retailers in Canada, including Coleman's and Simply for Life. Many thanks to our official partners: OMAFRA, MAPAQ, Agriculture Canada and EDC.
The success of the 4th edition of the SoSial program!
SIAL Canada is proud to continue its commitment with Daily Bred Food Bank. This program aims to help reduce food waste by distributing food surpluses at the show. This year 2660 pounds of food were donated to the association. SIAL Canada also gave the Central Expert Hub a check for $ 12,000.
The unique multicultural evening!
SIAL Canada is also a celebration, that’s why on the evening of the second day an ethnic networking evening was offered to exhibitors. It was in this festive spirit that the national and international exhibitors, international buyers and partners of the show have gathered. A colorful event sponsored by Candesa foods, during which David Bazzali, Italian tenor, charmed the guests along with the Bollywood dancers and belly dancer. A rich and captivating show!
The entire SIAL Canada team congratulates everyone who made this show a success! We look forward to seeing you next year for the 17th edition of SIAL Canada in Montreal, at the Palais des Congrès. Mark your calendar: April 15 to 17, 2020! Do not miss any information by joining the Facebook event.