PARIS — Some 5,500 food-industry manufacturers from around the world are expected to exhibit at the SIAL Global Food Marketplace here this month.
The biennial conference, which focuses on new-product innovation, will include the announcement of this year's winner of the SIAL d'Or grand prize competition, which held its judging earlier this year.
Other elements of the exhibition, scheduled for Oct. 17-21 at the Parc des Expositions, include a “Nutrition & Health Village,” which will showcase speakers on healthful food products, and the “Wine Innovation Forum,” which will include presentations by major French and international brands about innovations and marketing. Another area of the expo will focus on sustainability, and yet another focuses on gourmet products.
This year's SIAL will also include “In-Store Services & Solutions,” a special area dedicated to product promotion at the point of sale.
In addition, some areas of the conference are dedicated to the foodservice and catering sectors.
About 148,000 visitors are expected at the conference, with 58% coming from outside of France. About 185 countries will be represented among the visitor ranks. In 2008, the U.S. ranked 10th in terms of visitors, with 3,539.
An international jury of trade journalists from around the world earlier this year selected nine of the most innovative and successful new-product introductions of 2009 — from a field of more than 250 products nominated — to be finalists for the SIAL d'Or grand prize, deemed the most innovative product of the year.
This year's finalists — one in each of nine different categories are:
Sedlcansky Troubelin, a bake-at-home cheese from the Czech Republic that includes a spice packet for creating a crust and bake-and-serve, heat-resistant paper plates (chilled dairy category).
Tuna-based hamburgers and sausages from Spain, under the Calvo brand, targeted to children and fish-eating vegetarians (chilled non-dairy category).
Isio ActiStérol, a salad dressing from France that is guaranteed to reduce cholesterol; sold in boxes of seven 20-milligram packets and produced by the Lesieur company (savory grocery category).
Honibe Honey Drops, solid pieces of pure honey from Canada — the moisture of the honey has been extracted, but without additives or preservatives; produced by Island Abbey Foods (sweet grocery category).
O2 sparkling wine from Argentina, produced by Bodegas Chandon; it is a sweet drink targeted to women, but contains no sugar (wine category).
Tillman's Toasty frozen, breaded chicken patties made to fit in the toaster; from Germany (savory frozen category).
Bits O' Juice frozen lemon segments from South Africa; the individual cells of lemons that are cryogenically frozen and then shattered while still in the membrane; produced by Dynamic Commodities PTY (sweet frozen category).
Martini soda from Italy; this 8% alcohol aperitif from Gruppo Bacardi-Martini combines Martini Blanco with soda (alcoholic beverage category).
Green-Up, an all-natural energy drink from Poland positioned as being more healthy than other energy drinks; produced by Herbapol (non-alcoholic beverage category).
No products from the U.S. were selected as finalists. The U.S. product that received the most votes was Smartfood Popcorn Clusters from Frito-Lay, which receives the “Country SIAL d'Or” for most innovative and successful U.S. product but will not compete for the grand prize.