Alimentaria is building bridges towards new markets, driving innovation, business and gastronomy

From 25 to 28 April, Alimentaria will celebrate its 40th anniversary at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via exhibition centre with a commitment to consolidate its position as an international platform for the companies taking part. To achieve this, the show is increasing the number of invited international buyers who will take part in business meetings and other areas capable of generating export opportunities. Furthermore, this year Alimentaria is introducing new sectors based on consumer trends in food and beverages, thereby bringing together the latest industry innovations. Gastronomy will also feature prominently, with the presence of the rising stars of Spanish haute cuisine.

According to Josep Lluís Bonet, president of Alimentaria and of Fira de Barcelona: We want to be the quickest, most direct and effective means of accessing markets that offer opportunities to food companies and, above all, to support SMEs.
That is Alimentaria’s mission, putting all of its efforts behind facilitating contact between international buyers and the 4,000 exhibiting companies from 70 countries. It is anticipated that 140,000 visitors, 35% from outside Spain, will attend the show looking for business opportunities and to discover the latest innovations in the food and gastronomy sectors.
Alimentaria 2016 has reinforced its international buyers programme, identifying and sending direct invitations to over 800 importers and key operators in the fields of distribution, retail and the HoReCa channel, from Latin America, Asia, the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. For this initiative, the organization has increased its investment by 35% to raise the number of hosted buyers from the level achieved in 2014.
Notwithstanding, the international representation at the show will not stop with these over 800 invited buyers. Alimentaria is continuing with its promotional programme to identify strategic niche foreign markets, attract trade professionals from all over the world and exceed the total of 42,000 international visitors who registered for the last edition.
J. Antonio Valls, Managing Director of Alimentaria Exhibitions and of the show stresses: The emphasis of this edition will be on internationalization, innovation, but also on doing business. We are working on the show becoming a major network for contacts and a driving force for opportunities so that companies and visitors can take full advantage of participating in Alimentaria 2016.
Amongst these business meeting programmes, a new initiative will be Intervin Business Meetings. For the first time, the wine sector will have its own programme, with 180 invited international buyers from this industry. Food&Drink Business Meetings will also be taking place, where exhibitors will get together with buyers from outside Europe. For its part, the Brokerage Event will provide a place to cement business and technological collaboration agreements between companies and European R&D&I centres.
To drive this internationalization, the show will once again be calling on the support of institutions such as the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation (FIAB), the Association of Internationalized Industrial Companies (AMEC), ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) and the Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIÓ).
New sectors 
For 2016, Alimentaria is restructuring its content and adding new exhibition areas. The classic shows that drive the trade fair, Intervin, Intercarn, Interlact and Restaurama, will all continue, while Multiple Foods is being introduced as a new show dealing with trends in food and special and functional products, bringing together Expoconser, the International Pavilions, Lands of Spain, Snacks, Biscuits & Confectionary, Mediterranean Foods, Healthy Foods and Fine Foods, as well as the Premium area and the Olive Oil Bar.
With the creation of this new multi-sector show, which brings together virtually half of Alimentaria’s exhibitors, there is an increased possibility for brands to participate based on new perspectives and consumer trends, encouraging synergies between the companies and productive sectors represented. Another new highlight is the inclusion in Restaurama of the Expobebidas show and the Congelexpo companies.
All the latest innovation and the rising stars of haute cuisine
Amongst the leading activities of the show is the gastronomy area The Alimentaria Experience. This year it once again features acclaimed chefs such as Joan Roca and Ángel León, but it will also be stressing the new wave in haute cuisine led by young or female chefs including the likes of Ana Merino, Beatriz Sotelo, Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and Virgilio Martínez. There will be nearly 40 chefs in total taking part in workshops and cooking show sessions arranged to experience first-hand the new trends in a cuisine that is giving Spanish food and drink worldwide recognition.
Alimentaria will include the Vinorum Think area, which will unveil the sector’s latest developments, the most trend-setting Spanish wines and the secrets for getting into key markets such as Asia. All this will be revealed by renowned experts, wine critics, oenologists, wine masters, sommeliers and chefs who will give talks and conduct tastings and cooking demonstrations The tasting areas of the gourmet Olive Oil Bar and the exhibition ‘Spain, the land of 100 cheeses’ will round off a truly gastronomic experience.
For its part, The Alimentaria Hub will prove to be an essential area for catching up with the sector’s latest trends, innovations and business news. Over 200 activities will take place, more than 300 new products will be exhibited and some 10,000 business meetings will take place with international buyers. This knowledge centre will host, amongst other events, the 3rd Nestlé Forum on ‘Creating Shared Value’ and the 11th International Congress on the Mediterranean Diet. Additionally, there will be lectures, seminars, exhibitions, networking and export consultancy areas and an area for trade professionals and investors to meet up with technological start-ups with projects for the food and gastronomy sector.
Also taking place within the framework of Alimentaria will be the international congress The Food Revolution Forum, organized by Reimagine Food, which will attract 100 speakers from all over the world who will analyse the future of the food industry from different perspectives. Taking part will be experts in technology and the food industry sector, successful entrepreneurs, experts in robotics, investors, visionaries and chefs.
Barcelona, 28th January 2016