SIAL Canada Wraps


MONTREAL — The international food expo known as the Salon International de l’Alimentation (SIAL), which ran from May 9 to 11, was a success, attracting more than 13,000 foodservice professionals and foodies to the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.

SIAL food expos, billed as the world’s leading network of food-industry shows, are presented around the world in Toronto, Paris, China, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. “We’re lucky to work on food markets that are growing everywhere in the world,” said Olivia Grosbois, SIAL group director, of the event. “We are involved in fast growing markets in China, Middle East and Brazil, so it’s very positive to be in the business. They’re markets developing fast and in different ways. We have the same SIAL everywhere, but some of them have to adapt to their local or regional markets to bring a better response to their customers.” Despite SIAL’s strong global presence, Grosbois says, universality is key to the event’s success. “One common point in all these shows is food innovation,” says the Paris-based director of the group.

SIAL’s Trends and Innovations competition attracted 60 entries this year. The grand-prize winner was a new food product called Maple Pearls. Described as “the caviar of maple syrup,” by Silvie Chapron, marketing manager, at Plessisville, Que.-based Citadelle Canada, the pearls are almost identical to fish eggs. The tiny gelatine spheres, which contain a droplet of Canadian maple syrup, are used as a garniture. The pearls, which explode in the mouth when eaten, can garnish salad, canapés, cocktails and desserts. “It’s a sphere of gelatine made using molecular cuisine techniques; it’s very trendy. It’s something we’ve developed with a partner,” says Chapron, explaining how the pearls are made. “When you drop the syrup into the gelatine, it becomes a sphere.” The patented invention’s gelatine membrane uses algae derived from seaweed called kombu.

The breadth of new products shows the growth of the show. “We are growing in terms of participating countries; we now have more than 110 countries participating, and we really see the growth regarding the number of visitors coming to the show,” says Grosbois.

The next SIAL show will take place in Sao Paola, Brazil next month.

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