SIAL exhibition gathers global food in Shanghai

english.shanghai.gov.cn Updated:2024-05-30


SIAL kicks off in Shanghai on May 28, 2024. [Photo/SIAL]

One of the world's largest food and beverage exhibitions, the three-day SIAL, kicked off at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai on May 28.

Covering an exhibition area of 260,000 square meters, it attracted more than 5,000 exhibitors from 75 countries and regions, showcasing more than 350,000 products. The global delicacies on display are quite diverse, including drinks made from high-altitude plants, salmon skewers, Russian crabs, Pakistani sesame seeds and Sri Lankan spices.

Established in 1964 in Paris, SIAL stands for "Salon International De L'Alimentation", French for "International Food Exhibition". This platform allows food and beverage producers to display new products and exchange ideas. A global food industry summit will also be held during the exhibition.

This year's show features nine Highlight Sectors: Baby Food Village, Organic and Wellness Village, Dairy Sector, Non-alcoholic Beverage Sector, Food Sector, Meat, Poultry, and Cured Meats Sector, Seafood Sector, Alcoholic Beverage Sector and Pulses and Grains. Additionally, national and regional pavilions are being showcased.

SIAL's global series of food exhibitions take place in various locations worldwide, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta.

Healthy food a new focus


Visitors swarm to the exhibition. [Photo/SIAL]

Health has become a major trend for food and beverage brands, and this year's SIAL exhibition highlights numerous low-fat, low-sugar, and low-calorie products. Among the innovative offerings are plant-based drinks, and some Western ingredients that have even been reinvented as Chinese delicacies.

For example, the Hi Barlee booth featured a dairy-free drink made from highland barley, one of the world's oldest grains, introducing a novel Chinese twist to plant-based beverages.

Herbal ingredients also saw innovative applications. In the beverage sector, products including barley and coix seed drinks, barley seedling flavored drinks, corn silk tea, and loquat and pear meal replacement powder are on display. Ready-to-drink goji berry juice and sea buckthorn juice have also been popular among exhibitors.

The Chinese-style preparation of Western ingredients has gained high acceptance among young consumers. At the event, salmon skewers simmered in a spicy hot pot and lobsters coated in durian sauce served on sushi brought innovative culinary twists to traditional dishes.

Keen overseas participation


A French booth is seen at the exhibition. [Photo/SIAL]

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, SIAL has attracted an increasing number of international exhibitors. Countries such as France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina participated, reflecting the exhibition's growing international appeal.

According to the organizers, exhibitors from the Chinese mainland accounted for approximately 40 percent, while those from outside mainland made up about 60 percent. The increase in international participation is partly due to China's relaxed border policies, allowing more countries visa-free entry into the mainland.