TORONTO — International innovation in food, beverage and equipment is on display until tomorrow at the SIAL Canada Show, being held in conjunction with SET Canada at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre.
The show, which moves between Montreal and Toronto, has seen a 10 per cent growth over last year. It’s evidenced in the array of international and Canadian products on display. “SIAL provides the perfect balance between international processors and Canadian processors,” explains Xavier Poncin, tradeshow director, SIAL Canada, SET Canada, who explained the show’s main draw. “We are targeting the ethnic restaurants … we don’t have any competition in this aspect,” he said, explaining that the majority of Canadian food products are expected to be ethnic-based in 15 to 20 years.
One point of difference at the Canadian version of the show, which was founded in Europe, is its salient themes and trends. “In Europe, pleasure is the first point of interest, then health,” said Poncin. In Canada, it’s health first and pleasure second. Many of the products on display are proof of that theme such as Krinos new all-natural Greek yogurt, 1-2-3 Gluten-Free’s line of gluten-free baking products and Dairlylicious’ Moo Moo bars (yogurt dairy bars).
Off the showroom floor, a series of seminars are being held, such as yesterday’s session from Amato De Civita, owner of Wine Awakenings, a wine education company. De Civita explained how restaurateurs can tap into hundreds of thousands in lost revenue by capitalizing on the growing wine market. He stressed the importance of educating staff to engage guests in wine sales by learning the different styles of wine, a wine’s aromatic and mouthful properties as well as how to initiate conversation about wine. “They need to learn how to sell the wine list, not memorize the wine list,” said De Civita, who offered a tip to owners who employ waiters who are not drinkers. “Ask your server to describe an experience they’ve never had [such as the weather in Alaska] … because that’s like describing a wine they’ve never had.”
The next edition of SIAL Canada and SET Canada will be presented next year in Montreal from April 2 to 4 at the Palais des Congrès de Montrèal.