analysis

Three things we learned from SIAL Paris 2018

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

Credit: Sial Paris
Credit: Sial Paris
International food exhibition SIAL welcomed over 7,200 exhibitors from 119 countries to Paris’ Parc des Expositions this week to showcase the latest products from across the food and drink industry.

Meat producers and trade bodies from across the globe addressed visitors about some of the pressing topics over the past year, such as the Brazilian food safety probes and animal diseases, and how they plan to combat those challenges.

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the meat exhibitors as there were plenty of exciting products on offer.

This year’s event was focusing on the future of food, which displayed some of the latest international innovations.

SIAL’s managing director Nicolas Trentesaux said innovation was “flourishing​” across the food industry globally, which was a great sign for growth and creativity.

GlobalMeatNews​ attended the show to speak with some of the biggest names across the international meat industry.

Here’s what we learned from our trip:

Meat alternatives

It seems there is no stopping the rapidly rising plant-based protein trend, with many businesses exhibiting at this year’s show. Plant-based giants, including Vivera and Beyond Meat, were among those attracting a significant amount of attention. Vivera showcased its latest product, the Veggie Quarter Pounder, which launched into UK retailer Sainsbury’s at the beginning of October, while Beyond Meat announced its intention to further expand its products across the European market. It’s certainly worth keeping your eyes on the meat alternatives sector as it continues to develop on a regular basis.

Innovation

A major focus at this year’s show was the array of innovative products across the industry, and the new meats on the block certainly impressed. We witnessed JBS’ business unit Seara launching a halal antibiotic-free chicken line into Dubai, which shows producers are catering for consumers’ growing demands. Meanwhile, French meat producer Loeul & Piriot scooped the top prize at the show’s Innovations Awards for the meat category. The winning product was for the producer’s non-GMO rabbit cuts, selected by an expert panel for the quality of the product, as well as the ethical and responsible character of the brand. Companies are continuing to come up with new methods to keep their brands fresh and interesting.

Soaring start-up businesses

The number of budding meat businesses making their debuts at the show was encouraging to see. Businesses such as Meatless Farm Co, which has only been around for a short while, are already aiming high as they begin to spread their plant-based protein products across the major international markets. French-based Epi Foods, which specialises in plant proteins, was also chosen by a panel to present its products at the show’s Future Lab. This platform was split into three zones for visitors to see what could happen in the food and drink sector by 2030 and for businesses to share their experiences with aspiring entrepreneurs.

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