10 October 2017

The show has already booked 85% of its exhibition space

Coffees and frozen foods will have a greater presence at Restaurama 2018

The Alimentaria show dedicated to restaurants and eating out will see far greater participation from multinational companies in two strategic and upcoming sectors at its next edition: coffees and frozen foods. Soft drinks, mineral waters and beers are also consolidating their importance at Restaurama, as is the mass catering sector. France, Italy and Germany will be the countries with the highest representation amongst international exhibitors.

With six months still to go before the event, 85% of the exhibition space at Restaurama has already been booked by some of the leading companies in the sector such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Damm, Campofrío, Makro, McCain, Gedesco-Maheso, Comercial CBG, Sosa Ingredients and Fontvella. There will also be a major showing from coffee companies, including Illy Caffè, Saula, Batalla, Pont and Dromedario, and frozen food firms such as Délifrance, Ingapan-Europastry, Dr. Oekter, Pastisart, Lantmanenn Unibake, Erlenbacher and Bridor, plus many more.

The strong interest from companies in exhibiting at Alimentaria-Restaurama reflects the excellent moment currently being experienced by the Spanish restaurant sector, whose turnover has grown by 4.5% in the first half of 2017 according to a recent report by the Spanish Hotel and Restaurant Federation (FEHR). In this respect, the president of Restaurama and president and general manager of Serunion, Antoni Llorens, believes that ‘the economy is going much better and consumer confidence has been restored. In addition, a trend from before the crisis is making itself strongly felt: people are eating out a lot more. The baseline effect is that the sector is moving forward, and HoReCa professionals are opting strongly for taking part in Restaurama, which has established itself as one of the most powerful shows under the Alimentaria umbrella'.

Llorens argues that ‘very important suppliers are realising what participation in the show can offer them, helping to differentiate them from their competitors and, through the HoReCa channel, enabling them to more easily target the end consumer'.

The Alimentaria Experience, the differential factor of Restaurama

More than 100 acclaimed chefs and up-and-coming young culinary talents, together representing around 40 Michelin stars and in some cases holding high positions on the prestigious World's 50 Best list, will be sharing their most innovative ideas in The Alimentaria Experience gourmet area. Apart from master classes, tasting sessions and show-cooking events – always with a taster at the end – given by leading Spanish and international chefs, this area will also host presentations by big-name gurus in culinary trends.

According to Antoni Llorens, ‘Spain has become the Formula 1 of the restaurant world, not just because it boasts some of the best chefs but also because even the second level down is of exceptional quality, resulting from the fact that all these great chefs have trained young professionals in their kitchens who have gone on to really raise the bar of mid-range cuisine in high-street restaurants'.

Llorens also emphasised the fact that ‘the side events have added some really valuable content to Restaurama. At The Alimentaria Experience you'll find genuinely intelligent tasting sessions, where the tasting factor is just one aspect. The other equally important factors are preparation and knowledge. Visitors to this area are people who will have to sell the products after they are presented here, so they need to understand how they are produced and what you can do with them. Restaurama offers the hospitality industry an excellent opportunity to take a step further and see their suppliers as partners, relying on their support to innovate; in short, moving forward together'.

Mass catering will also play an important role in The Alimentaria Experience, with four workshops and a session in the gastronomy school on topics of interest to mass caterers: sustainable school dining rooms, special diets, the use of fish in mass catering menus, cultural differences when devising menus, and waste prevention in hospitals, residences and school dining rooms.

During the first half of 2017, the number of establishments involved in mass catering in Spain reached 16,617, a figure that represents year-on-year growth of 5.6% and the most significant rise in the sector according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics. As the president of Restaurama contends, ‘entrusting a mass catering company with the provision of meals is a very good solution for anyone who has large numbers of people to feed, as the reliability, traceability, cost control and nutritional balance they offer is very high indeed. This is why the outsourcing rate in Spain has gone from 20% a few years ago to around 50% at present, and is continuing to grow apace'.

Partnerships with Hostelco and FEHR, a plus for restaurant professionals

The joint organisation of Alimentaria and Hostelco, the International Exhibition of Equipment for Restaurants, Hotels and Mass Catering, represents the creation of one of the largest international platforms for the food industry, gastronomy and catering equipment by offering both the distribution and HoReCa channels the most comprehensive and cross-cutting offering.

As Antoni Llorens says, ‘the combination of Restaurama and Hostelco will generate some significant synergies; we have created a singular pole of attraction that makes Alimentaria a show with a truly unique positioning and even more important internationally'.

Meanwhile, Alimentaria and the Spanish Hotel and Restaurant Federation (FEHR) have renewed their collaboration agreement to continue working together to the benefit of the hospitality industry as the strategic sector of the event. The main measures of the agreement will apply especially to Restaurama, the Alimentaria show dedicated to food service and eating out.

According to Jose Luis Yzuel, president of the FEHR, ‘the agreement between Restaurama and the FEHR showcases a sector that comprises nearly 300,000 hospitality establishments in Spain, employs in excess of 1.6 million people and turns over more than 120,000 million euros'.

Barcelona, October 2017

Images available here.

Susana Santamaria/ Gemma Martínez/ Mar Claramonte

(+34) 93 452 11 04

ssantamaria@alimentaria.com / mgmartinez@alimentaria.com / mclaramonte@alimentaria.com