Conference Beat™ – SIAL Toronto, April 2019



SIAL Canada is the largest North American Innovation show that focuses on insight and inspiration for companies dedicated to the food and beverage business. It is one of eight exhibitions developed to extend the reach of SIAL Paris which is widely known as the global forum of food innovation.


Convenience Elevated

Segment fusion has driven the emergence of specialty food operations that offer the appeal of a gourmet shop in a convenience format spurring innovation in traditional outlets.  Chef driven fast casual restaurants continue to challenge table service restaurants with destination flavors consumers crave.


Trends Driving Innovation

Value: Americans and Canadians agree that receiving a great value is a point of pride—and value is not necessarily the lowest price.


Delight: North American consumers are unwilling to forego enjoyment or deliciousness for healthfulness.


Healthfulness: Interest in health has not wavered over many years and is expected to escalate with aging, take-charge Baby Boomers.


Convenience: Modern lifestyles and the consumer’s unwillingness to make tradeoffs have driven innovation in retail packaging and fast casual.


Trust: Brand trust is essential for food manufacturers, and is driven by customer desire for transparency of production processes and product origin. Consistent pricing across channels and straightforward language in all communication is also necessary.


Global Flavors

Asian and Mediterranean flavors continue to dominate, yet more exotic and challenging flavors from all regions are finding favor to feed the demanding palates of modern consumers.

50 international pavilions were represented with Italy as the country of honor at this year’s trade show. Show attendees represented over 60 countries.


Consumer Insight

Consumers globally are taking more of a holistic approach to health. In a recent Culinary Visions® survey, 61% of consumers said they use physical activities to balance their food indulgence. When it comes to food choices, 75% said eating less processed food is important to them and 59% said they are ready to limit, but not eliminate certain ingredients.



Implications for U.S. Food Marketers

Authentic and Unpretentious: Products and companies that connect with consumers’ values are in demand.


Gen Z Influencing Trends: As members of this generation grow up, their influence is driving interest in international foods and technology enabled experiences.


Ingredient Insight: Canadian consumers lead the way with nationwide legalization of cannabis last year, and wide ranging exploration of functional ingredients.


New Product Highlights

Both ends of the spectrum from minimalist to luxe

  • “Unbun” paleo, grain-free, strarch-free, vegan, keto and gluten free.
  • Luxury lamb noted for its healthy diet of seaweed, grains, grasses and a pasture lifestyle.
  • Scoopable, edible raw vegan cookie dough.

New in 2019: F&B Start Ups and Cheese

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