22 February 2017

The organising committee of the exhibition is reinforced with new additions

More international business and unique gastronomic experiences at Alimentaria 2018

Alimentaria 2018 is already underway. The International Food, Drink and Food Service Exhibition, which takes place from 16 to 19 April next year at Fira de Barcelona, is preparing a unique exhibition with renewed content, mainly aimed at expanding its business character and projecting gastronomy as its differential value. The addition of new names to its organising committee further reinforces the specific impact of some sectors, such as sweets and meat. And all under the sign of innovation that characterises the event.

Helping to internationalise agri-food companies and opening up opportunities abroad for Spanish food and drink remain a priority for Alimentaria. So, the show has already started its promotion campaign throughout the world to identify and attract key market buyers for Spanish agribusiness, such as the European Union, which accounts for 70% of Spanish food and drink exports; the United States, as one of the main destination countries for Spanish food and drink exports; Latin American markets, for which Alimentaria is a natural access bridge; countries in the Maghreb and the Mediterranean area; and Asia, which is increasingly displaying a growing interest in Spanish food products.

In 2018, Alimentaria aims to revalidate the levels of internationalisation achieved on the previous occasion, which was attended by nearly 4,000 exhibiting companies, 1,000 of them from 78 countries, and nearly 40,000 professionals - of the 140,000 who visited the exhibition - came from 157 different countries. It also aims to expand beyond the 11,200 business meetings that took place among more than 800 top-level foreign buyers invited by the exhibition and exhibiting companies.

For J. Antonio Valls, CEO of Alimentaria Exhibitions and Director of Alimentaria, this data ‘confirms the international convening power of the exhibition and its effective role in boosting exports for companies in the sector', which having risen in recent years reached €25 billion in 2015, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment.

Attracting exhibiting companies and international visitors are complemented by partnership agreements that Alimentaria has with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment (MAPAMA), the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation (FIAB), the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and Acció of the Government of Catalonia.

Innovation, gastronomy and hospitality equipment

Boosting innovation and gastronomic guidance remain the two major hallmarks of Alimentaria. Therefore, in addition to identifying and promoting business opportunities, the exhibition's activities will be aimed at promoting innovation in the sector and strengthening the connections among food, industry and tourism, sectors which together account for over 25% of the Spanish GDP.

Over 200 activities will take place in The Alimentaria Hub and The Alimentaria Experience, the two major thematic areas of the event. The Alimentaria Hub will host the Innoval and Best Pack exhibitions, along with Food & Drink Business Meetings, FIAB's R&D&I meetings, ICEX's Coffee with Experts, the International Congress for the Mediterranean Diet, Nestlé's Creating Shared Value Congress, Food Factory space for start-ups and Business Angels, as well as a gathering for bloggers.

Meanwhile, the space for gastronomy trends aimed at professionals in the HoReCa channel, The Alimentaria Experience, will host workshops, cookery classes and cooking demonstrations, as well as sections devoted to gastronomic tourism, vermouth and cocktails, brunch, sushi, Italian gastronomy, municipal markets and food trucks. 

Finally, the joint event of Alimentaria with Hostelco, the International Exhibition of Equipment for Restaurants, Hotels and Mass Catering confers Alimentaria a unique differential positioning and will create one of the largest international platforms for the food industry, gastronomy and catering equipment by offering both the distribution and the Horeca channel the most complete and transversal offering.

Maximum sectoral representation

Alimentaria 2018 will present the best offering in the sector in 6 specialised shows in key markets and consumer trends: Intervin, Intercarn, Restaurama, Interlact, Expoconser and Multiple Foods, which will be the mirror for new consumption patterns and foods associated with the Mediterranean diet, as well as functional, ecological, organic and Premium foods.

The exhibition has the backing of the organising committee, a body consisting of the top leaders of Spanish food companies and their main institutions, headed by José Luis Bonet, president of Fira de Barcelona and Freixenet. New to this edition are Olga Martínez Pujol, corporate affairs director at Mars Iberia and president of Produlce; Paulo Soares, regional managing director Southern Europe at the Campofrío Food Group; and Javier Serra, director for the food and gastronomy division of The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). The appointments of Martínez and Soares reinforce the sectors linked to the sweet and the meat industry, respectively, from market-leading companies, while the presence of Serra aligns Alimentaria's internationalisation strategy with the Spanish industry itself represented by the ICEX.

The rest of the organising committee is comprised of Javier Pagés, president of the Spanish Wine Federation and CEO of Codorniu; Ignacio Ferrero, chair of Idilia Foods' board of directors; Javier Robles, president of Danone; Juan Mª Vieites, president of Anfaco / Cecopesca; Mané Calvo, president of Fiab; Mauricio García de Quevedo, CEO of Fiab; Gonzalo Guillén, CEO of Aceites del Sur-Coosur; Fernando Fernández Soriano, Spain BU general manager of Gallina Blanca Star; Antonio Llorens, president and CEO of Serunión Elior; Josep Tejedo, CEO of Mercabarna; Jesús S. Pérez Díaz, president of Torsa Capital SGECR; Josep Mª Bonmatí, CEO of Aecoc; Laurent Dereux, CEO of Nestlé Spain; Silvio Elías, CEO of Ecoveritas; José Carlos Lacasa, director of Chocolates Lacasa; Jaime Rodríguez, managing director of Euromadi; and José Arcas, president of Innoval.

Susana Santamaria

(+34) 93 452 11 04