February 26, 2024

Growing presence of international exhibitors at Alimentaria 2024

The organisers highlight the return of Asian companies, led by China, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.

The trade show platform expects to bring together a total of more than 3,200 firms from 60 countries and close to 100,000 visitors at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.

Alimentaria, the leading international food, beverage and food service show, will return to Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue from 18 to 21 March 2024, with an expected 6% increase in the international offering. Among the exhibiting companies, the Italian companies will be leading the way, and the Asian companies will be back.

Nearly three months before Alimentaria 2024 is held, bookings for its exhibition space by international companies are exceeding the organisation’s expectations, with a 15% increase over last year’s event. Moreover, the loyalty ratio is very high: 53% of the companies that attended last year’s edition will renew their participation in the show.

In total, the show expects to bring together more than 3,000 firms, 23% of them international, from around 60 countries, and nearly 100,000 visitors which will occupy almost the entire Gran Vía venue at Fira de Barcelona. 

Its offer will be structured in different key sectors: Intercarn, the meat and meat products industry show; Interlact (dairy industry); Expoconser (canning sector), Snacks, Biscuits & Confectionary (sweets and snacks); Hostelco&Restaurama (equipment, services and products for the food service sector), Fine Foods (gourmet products and oils), Organic Foods (organic products) Coffee, Bakery and Pastry (coffee, bakery and pastry) and Foodtech (machinery, technology, industry 4. 0 industry and ingredients for the food industry). 

In addition, the Alimentaria Trends area will showcase the latest in plant-based, functional, free-from, halal and kosher foods; the Grocery Foods area will bring together large food corporations; International Pavilions will house the participations grouped by country and Lands of Spain will present the wealth and diversity of products from the various Spanish regions.

The Asian countries are back

At the next edition of Alimentaria there will be a very visible increase in the participation of Asian companies, especially those from China and Taiwan, which were not present in 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions, and which this year double and triple respectively the space planned for each country.

China will have five large stands with dozens of companies grouped under the umbrella of the China Chamber of Commerce for Food Import and Export (CCCFNA) in International Pavilions, Expoconser, Snacks, Biscuits & Confectionary and Organic Foods. Taiwan will concentrate its offerings for foodservice professionals in the Restaurama sector.

South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand will also have a prominent presence, and will complete the range of oriental gastronomy products on offer in their countries’ pavilions, located in International Pavilions.

In addition, in order to maximise business opportunities, Alimentaria will once again attract around 800 top-level international buyers through the Hosted Buyers invitation programme. They will be joined by 700 key Spanish buyers invited through the VIP Buyers programme, with the challenge of surpassing the 13,000 business meetings held at the last edition.

A large display of Italian companies

Italy will once again lead the international participation -both in terms of exhibition space and number of companies represented-, with the support of the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade ITA – ICE and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Spain, joined for the first time by the Campania region. 

After Italy, the countries which will occupy the most exhibition space at Alimentaria 2024 will be China, Turkey, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Argentina. The participation of the United States, Romania, Greece and Morocco is also growing. 

According to J.Antonio Valls, managing director of Alimentaria Exhibitions, “companies in the sector are committed to diversifying their target markets in order to deal with the uncertainty that has marked the global economy in recent years. In this sense, Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 is the ideal business platform for companies from all over the world to broaden their horizons in Europe, Asia and America.” 

Focus on the Food Service sector

Among the new features of the 2024 edition is the merger of the offerings of Hostelco, the International Restaurant, Hotel and Catering Equipment Show, and Restaurama, the Alimentaria show aimed at the Hospitality and Foodservice channel. This joint proposal thus consolidates itself as an international benchmark event for the catering and hospitality sector. 

It will include the new Coffee, Bakery and Pastry areas, with a complete selection of products and equipment and its own programme of activities, and The Horeca Hub. The latter will feature a wide range of proposals aimed at addressing the sector’s main challenges: innovation, digitalisation, customer experience, AI, sustainability, attracting and retaining talent, and differentiation. 

The Horeca Hub will feature live cooking exhibitions, tastings, talks, conferences and seminars for professionals. Innovative solutions will also be showcased and competitions such as Chef and Waiter of the Year and the Spanish Final of the Neapolitan Pizza World Championship will be held, among other events.

At the last edition of Alimentaria, held in conjunction with Hostelco in April 2022, nearly 3,000 exhibitor companies took part, 29% of them international, from 57 countries, and more than 100,000 visitors attended, 23% of whom came from 150 countries. The organisers invited around 1,500 key buyers, importers and distributors from Europe, Latin America, the USA, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and more than 13,000 business meetings were held.

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