21 Април 2016

Hosting over 200 speakers, 10,000 business meetings and 300 new launches

The Alimentaria Hub brings together knowledge, exports and innovation to boost business in the sector

The Alimentaria Hub will once again be the heart of the trade show. A huge space that will pump knowledge, trends, innovation and business towards the industrial, distribution and retail sectors. This is where more than 10,000 business meetings with international buyers will be held, as well as congresses, seminars, conferences and survey presentations involving over 200 speakers. There will be exhibitions, prize-giving ceremonies, networking sessions and an export advisory service, as well as an area for industry professionals and investors to meet up with start-ups with projects designed to revolutionise the world of nutrition and gastronomy through technology. 
 
One of the main focal points of The Alimentaria Hub will be Innoval, an exhibition of around 300 new launches reflecting the current big market trends. There will be an emphasis on organic products, the labels ‘healthy', ‘natural' and ‘free from', and improved and functional foods to enhance wellbeing and prevent diseases and disorders. It will also reveal the new flavours, textures and sensations for creating foodie experiences and foods that are easy to prepare and eat at any time. The 16 winners of the Innoval Awards will be chosen from the products on show. 
 
Indeed, to go into greater depth on these and other trends related to brand innovation, technology, consumer shopping behaviour, the gourmet products market, allergen-free products, retail and foodservice there will be a number of conferences and survey presentations by companies, consultants, associations, organisations and technology centres such as Innova Market Insight, Kantar Worldpanel, Aecoc and Azti, amongst many others.
 
Another space for stealing a march on the future through technology will be The Food Factory, featuring a number of start-ups presenting ground-breaking initiatives and looking for investors. These include software for designing bespoke diets (Diet-creator), online nutritional coaching services (Healum), multi-sensory solutions for use at point-of-purchase (Nu4Mat), logo recognition on shared images on social networks (Visual Tagging), an artificial vision system for guaranteeing the quality of foodstuffs and minimising fraud throughout the entire production process (Impact Vision), and an integrated platform to identify pathogens in foods by means of biosensors (iMicroq).
 
Meanwhile, the Spanish Food & Drink Industry Federation (FIAB) will be organising the ALIBER R&D&I meetings to address issues such as the creation of foods through genomics, research into nutrition, the development of foods for senior citizens and the manufacture of 4.0 foods. There will also be talks on European programmes for funding companies' R&D&I projects with the presentation of success stories. These meetings will also involve bilateral sessions for transferring technology with other European and Latin American companies. The Écotrophélia Awards will also be presented, a Europe-wide competition among university students which promotes the creation of eco-innovative food products.
 
Meanwhile, the Catalan Government's Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DARP) will hold a seminar on à la carte foods and the emergence of new healthy products for quick or adapted use and for collectives with special needs. The Triptolemos Foundation will hold a seminar with international experts to analyse business strategies in the global food system and present an ambitious guide to innovation that includes research projects, patents and doctoral theses from all over Spain. Another interesting presentation proposed by Eurofins Analytics will cover analytical techniques for the control of food fraud in Europe. And Grupo Carreras will examine technological innovations in logistics for the food and drink industry, while Green Yellow will focus on energy efficiency in the major retail and agri-food industries. 
 
Mediterranean diet and climate change
One of the most noteworthy congresses being held in The Alimentaria Hub is the XI International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet at which over 25 international experts will examine how to move forward towards healthier lifestyles, bearing in mind the influence of other dietary trends. Speakers include Dr Iris Shai from the Ben-Gurion University of Negev, who will reveal new evidence about the effects of responsible and moderate wine consumption and its positive impact on patients with diabetes.
 
Another conference is the third Nestlé Forum on ‘Shared Value Creation' which will examine the impact of climate change on the food industry, especially in terms of the supply chain of raw materials. Speakers include Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois and expert on climate change and food safety, Gerald C. Nelson and the coordinator of Agricultural Policy and Rural Development at the environmental foundation WWF España, Celsa Peiteado.
 
Exporting for SMEs
The Alimentaria Hub will play an essential role for the internationalisation of agri-food industry SMEs. Meetings will take place in this area between exhibitors and more than 800 buyers invited directly by the show or by FIAB, ICEX, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment and Acció, the organising bodies of other business sessions that include meetings between manufacturers, suppliers and buyers from different countries to encourage corporate collaboration, trade exchanges and technology transfers. ICEX will offer informal discussions with experts within specific markets to be able to understand their situation and the opportunities for exporting.
 
Furthermore, at this edition an Expert Service Counter will be set up to provide personalised advice to exhibiting companies who are seeking to go international. This will involve experts in all the operations necessary for getting into foreign markets; from insurance companies and consultancy firms to chambers of commerce and financial institutions. In this respect, CaixaBank, as the main sponsor of The Alimentaria Hub, will be providing its experts for a session on analysing business opportunities in markets such as Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, the USA, Morocco, the UK, the UAE, China and Colombia. To complement the event AECOC is proposing a round table to discuss the experiences of companies operating abroad.
 
Food Bloggers Conference
In no time at all, digital media have become one of the main sales and communication channels for reaching customers, with the food and drinks industry also having to adapt its marketing and logistics systems to offer the best possible shopping experience in both the retail and online segments. In this respect, the show is launching The Food Bloggers Conference, a meeting point for sharing knowledge among bloggers and other professionals in the food and gourmet sector featuring a variety of talks. Discussion points include whether you can make a living from a blog; the most effective social network; trends in communication and brand relations.
 
Barcelona, April 2016
 
Cristina Benavides / Víctor Solvas / Maria Dolors Herranz
Tel. +34 93 567 96 96 
prensa@alimentaria.com