The international Food, Drinks and Food Service trade show organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions, a Fira de Barcelona company, has launched its preparations for the next event, set to take place from 12 to 15 March 2024 at Gran Via venue in Barcelona. Together with the Hostelco exhibition, it will once again constitute the leading platform in the market for distribution and hospitality and do so at an event that’s expected to break records in terms of its international reach.
Expanding the opportunities for the internationalisation of Spanish agri-food companies remains a priority objective for Alimentaria. As a result, it has already begun promoting the forthcoming fair in key markets in order to identify and attract companies and strategic buyers, with particular emphasis on Europe, Latin America and North America.
Thus, in 2024 Alimentaria has set itself the challenge of surpassing the levels of internationalisation achieved in recent years and increasing the number of scheduled business meetings. France, Portugal, Poland, India, South Korea, the United States, Greece and Turkey are just some of the countries with the best chances of increasing their percentage of participation in the event.
Antonio Valls, the managing director of Alimentaria Exhibitions and director of Alimentaria, stressed that the trade show “intends to improve on the results of 2022, with a firm commitment to continue growing in international terms, given the prospects of a context of renewed calm and a degree of stability in the global markets”.
In order to attract as many exhibiting companies and international visitors as possible, Alimentaria intends to further its collaboration agreements with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food, the Federation of Food and Drinks Industries (FIAB) and ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones, among other sectoral entities with a high degree of representativeness.
Alimentaria and Hostelco, a powerful platform For the third consecutive time, Alimentaria, which is held every two years, will take place alongside Hostelco, the International Trade Show for Catering, Hospitality and Collectivities Equipment. Alimentaria & Hostelco (A&H) will once again establish itself as the leading platform for internationalisation, business and innovation and provide the food and catering equipment industry with the largest cross-cutting offer on the market.
In order to adapt to the needs of the hospitality sector, Alimentaria 2024 will be held a few weeks earlier than in previous years and take place from 12 to 15 March, dates that will significantly benefit the event’s supply and demand interests.
In previous years the Alimentaria & Hostelco platform has managed to promote synergies between the food, gastronomy and tourism industries, which jointly account for around 25% of the Spanish GDP. In 2024, the interaction between Hostelco and Restaurama, the Alimentaria trade show devoted to catering and food service, and their complementary nature will be even more visible, particularly in the joint value-added activities scheduled for the occasion. Thus, workshops, gastronomic lessons and cooking show sessions will be held in different areas by leading chefs, as well as debates and talks by experts in catering and hospitality, among numerous other activities.
Together with Hostelco, Alimentaria 2024 forecasts the occupation of practically the entire Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue, from Hall 1 to Hall 7. Its offer will once again be divided into different key sectors, led by Intercarn, the exhibition for meat products and their derivatives. Similarly, a Foodtech area will once again be set up to facilitate cross-cutting solutions to processes, equipment, technology, industry 4.0 and ingredients for the value chain of the food industry.
Other vertical fairs to complement Alimentaria’s offer will Interlact (the dairy industry), Expoconser (the canning sector), Snacks, Biscuits & Confectionery (sweet and appetisers), Restaurama (Food Service), Fine Foods (gourmet products and oils, incorporating The Olive Oil Bar tasting area) and Organic Foods (organic products). As for Alimentaria Trends, it will provide an incubator for different niche sectors currently on the rise, such as halal, kosher, functional, free from and plant-based.
Moreover, Grocery Foods will be the stronghold of large food corporations, International Pavilions will house the growing international product ranges and Lands of Spain will showcase the wealth and diversity of autochthonous products from the different Spanish autonomous communities.
Innovation, centre stage
Proposals to support innovation will constitute a mainstay of the upcoming Alimentaria fair. In this regard, the area known as The Alimentaria Hub will once again be the major observatory for trends in the sector upon the basis of six transversal pillars in complete harmony with the prevailing tendencies in the market: R&D&I and brand value, nutrition, health and wellness, internationalisation and globalisation, distribution and retail, marketing and communication and sustainability 360º.
The different spaces of The Alimentaria Hub will promote the most innovative proposals in the industry, addressing challenges such as sustainability, the circular economy, the digital transformation and omnichannel, conveyed through talks, presentations, award ceremonies and exhibitions. It will once again host the Innoval and Best Awards exhibitions, as well as the International Congress on the Mediterranean Diet and Food&Hospitality Startup Revolution, a specific area that publicises the most disruptive companies and the most cutting-edge startups in the sector, among other activities.
Before the end of the year Alimentaria will announce the renovation of its Organising Committee, a governance body made up of figures with great specific significance in the food industry and distribution, who will come from its main companies, the most representative sectoral associations and the main institutions in the sector.
The most recent Alimentaria fair, held alongside Hostelco in April 2022, was attended by almost 3,000 exhibiting companies, 29% of them international ones from 57 countries, and over 100,000 visitors, of which 23% came from 150 countries. The organisation invited nearly 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.