Trade Associations, Shows & Conferences

Chosen Frozens Among Grand Prix Winners in Paris, as SIAL Celebrates 50 Years of Non-Stop Innovation

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Five frozen products have won SIAL Innovation 2014 Awards, which is a pretty good showing for the sector as only 16 top prizes are presented at the Paris show every two years. It is even more impressive when one considers that they were among 1,757 products registered by exhibitors, of which 675 were selected by four professional juries for their innovative characteristics and consumer benefits.

Formally known as Salon de l’alimentaire, the show kicks off on October 19. A special ceremony will take place at the Parc des Expositions fairgrounds on the 20th at 4 PM to salute the companies and their talented R&D teams behind creation of the new products. A synopsis of the frozen chosen follows:

The Meat Product Award went to The Frozen Butcher, produced by Zandbergen World’s Finest Meats. The new hamburger offering features six different high quality burgers with a solid claim on origin of raw material and/or authenticity of breed. There’s an Angus burger, a Wagyu burger, a US beef burger, an Iberico burger, a lamb burger and an organic burger.


Each unit in the assortment of six offerings marketed by the Zoeterwoude, Holland-headquartered company is quick-frozen immediately after production to guarantee true butcher’s quality. Elevated from fast food fare to premium meat dish status, the burgers are promoted as “an honest product with a story, specific taste and eating experience.”

The shape and color composition of the packaging that contains the products (two burgers come 125-gram per box) stands out from other items on the shelf. Upon opening the pack, one finds an attractive transparent paper insert with more information about product origin, characteristics and preparation. Check them out Stand K 175 in Hall 6.

Yooji new-productsFrozen minced fish and meat products for infants from Yooji, which is based in the Aquitaine region of France, took the Baby Food Award. Having initially made its mark with frozen vegetable purees in 20-gram portions, the company rolled out the first baby food line certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in September. Yooji’s flaked cod portions feature 100% protein content.

“As a father, it is important to me to offer quality environmentally-friendly products for the benefit of future generations,” said Frédéric Ventre, who founded the business in 2012. “For our purees, we use only organic vegetables. When we opted to develop a fish product, we naturally turned towards MSC certification, which objectively and independently guarantees that the cod we source has been fished in line with sustainable methods.”

The chopped fish and meat dishes for babies contain no additives, preservatives or added salt. They weigh in at 10 grams each and come in units of 12 per package. Check them out at Stand L032 in Hall 5A.

CiteGourmande-logoCité Gourmande Potato Churros won the Frozen Products Award. The producer, an Agen, France-based unit of Groupe LeDuff, takes an artisanal approach to savory recipe development, while relying on industrial know-how and processes to provide authentic, gastronomic cuisine. It all began in 1999 with the reinvention of a 200-year-old recipe for Salardaise Potatoes adapted for industrial scale production.

In order to guarantee quality, Cité Gourmande works exclusively with premium-quality potato, vegetable and other raw materials whose origins are controlled and certified under AB (organically farmed), Label Rouge, AOP (protected designation of origin), IGP (protected geographical indication), Origine France Garantie (guaranteed French origin) and other stringent regimens.

Each year the company – which has capacity to turn out 9,000 tons of finished products and rang up more than EUR 21.2 million in sales during 2013 – offers more than 100 new items, many of which will be showcased in Hall 5A, Stand T133.

boiron articleimageDonzere, France-headquartered Boiron Surgelation received the Food Ingredients Award for its range of fruit purees distributed in highly convenient IQF disk form to maximize portion control. They will be front and center at Booth M 080 in Hall 5A.

Last but not least among the frozen chosen, the SIAL Innovation Catering & Foodservice Award went to Nice Fruit for its bulk packs of frozen fruit that contain all the nutrients and vitamins of fresh fruit, while retaining original texture and flavor. The line’s shelf life is three years.

Five-Day Food Feast
With just three days to go before the SIAL 2014 curtain rises, the clock is ticking louder for the opening of the October 19-23 extravaganza, which will once again bring the world’s leading food business professionals to Paris to show and tell as well as buy and sell. With approximately 6,300 exhibitors from 105 countries and more than 150,000 visitors expected to attend, this year’s edition is poised to be the biggest exhibition ever put on by the organizers.

Highlighting its 50th anniversary in appropriate style, the SIAL team is promising a special celebration as well as activities to explore the various trends and innovations in today’s international food business. On the evening of the biennial fair’s second day, Oct. 20, a special Light and Sound Show with Fireworks will mark the exhibition’s jubilee anniversary.

“SIAL Paris has fostered business opportunities as the Global Food Marketplace for 50 years. The exhibition is regarded as a showcase for the entrepreneurship alive in the international industry, a unique networking space and a true repository for culinary innovation. As an instant trading platform, in these times of crisis, the venue increasingly offers an effective means to develop business,” said Nicolas Trentesaux, SIAL’s group director.

The center of much of the action for those in the frozen food sector will be in Hall 6. As always, the frozen vegetable sector will be well represented by the world’s leading producers of high quality products. Among them will be Westrozebeke, Belgium-headquartered Pinguin (Booth E 070) and Alexandria, Egypt-based Givrex (B 91).

pinguin nlPinguin, a Greenyard Foods company, offers a wide range of high-quality frozen vegetables, fruits and convenience products in all sorts of sizes, shapes and cuts for the retail, foodservice and industrial sectors. Also marketed are mixes and blends; organic vegetables cultivated without the use of pesticides; an extensive variety of fruits and berries; herbs and vegetable-based ready meals.

Givrex-photoGivrex, a privately owned family company founded by Robert Mansour in 1978, produces and exports all types of frozen fruits and vegetables from Egypt. Its extensive offerings range from all types of artichokes and peeled broad beans to legumes tournés (delicatessen), sweet potatoes, skinless grilled peppers, roasted eggplant, okra and cut okra, green beans (whole and cut), fava beans, frozen spinach (leaves and chopped), molokhia leaves and whole Egyptian ethnic vegetables.

Also distributed by Givrex are frozen creams of soups, artichokes, lentils, broccoli, leek, strawberries, apricots, pulp of mango and guava, figs, dates and heat-and-eat ready meals.

Lutosa-krisspy cut recadrage 200In the value-added frozen potato field, Leuze-en-Hainaut, Belgium-based Lutosa will showcase it wide assortment of products at Stand C 070 in Hall 6. Having received three golden stars from the International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) earlier this year, Lutosa Belgian Fries will be shining brightly, along with the company’s full line of value-added potato products which run the gamut from krisspy-cut fired and skin-on Rustic Slices to Pom’ Pin and Mashed Potatoes to Duchesse, Tartiflette, Spicy Wedges, Röstis, onion-flavored Hash Browns and Herby Diced Potatoes, to Croc’ Apéro savory snacks with seasoned mash.

Among other specialists in Hall 6, Steenderen, Holland-headquartered Aviko will hold forth at Stand C 039, and Aldrup, Germany-based Agrarfrost will be found at Stand H 105.

Also in Hall 6 will be Villeneuve, France-headquartered McCain Foods Europe (Stand E 105) and Farm Frites Egypt (B 091). So will Belgian private label french fry specialists Ecofrost (Stand D 043), Agristo (F 122) and Mydibel (B 022).

Not far away, in Hall 5A, Frastanz, Austria-based 11er Frozen Potatoes will welcome visitors to its booth (V 128).

Frozen mushroom specialist Scelta of Venlo, Holland, will be on the scene at Stand B 020 in Hall 6. Eurofrigo, the cold storage services specialist with warehouse operations in Venlo and Rotterdam, with hold forth at Booth K121 in the same hall. Sharing the stand will be sister logistics companies Thermotraffic Holland and Thermotraffic GmbH.

There will be plenty of frozen products to see and sample in other halls too, as well as within national and regional pavilions situated throughout the fairgrounds. Ardooie, Belgium-based Ardo, the largest producer of frozen vegetables in Europe, will be in Hall 5A, Stand T 111.

GROENTENFRIETJES-WRAP 250Crunchy Ardo vegetable fries will be among a number of products spotlighted at SIAL, as the company expands its popular ‘Les Tapas’ range of convenience products. Pre-fried in sunflower oil, the vegetable fries are strips cut out of carrots and parsnips, which serves up the nice texture of a pure vegetable.

The product has the slightly sweet taste of both root vegetables parsnip and carrots, and features a crispy coating. This makes for an interesting alternative to traditional potato fries. In addition to deep-frying, they can be prepared in an oven.

Other Belgian vegetable specialists showing their stuff at SIAL, Crop’s of Ooigem will be found in Hall 5A, Stand T 078, and d’Arta of Ardooie will be in Hall 6 at Stand H 108.

World-tour-by-SIAL scalewidthdownonlySIAL World Tour
This year at the exhibition there will be World Tour by SIAL, presented as a window into the global food market. Coordinated by the show organizers and 28 journalists from around the planet, the event will share their views and analysis of the trade with a focus on the consumption trends shaping different local markets.

Among the hot topics of discussion on the agenda at SIAL are:

The Drive: Click and Collect Food E-Commerce
France’s first retail drive-in opened for business in Marcq-en-Baroeul, close to Lille, back in 2004. In recent years the concept of ordering online and picking up products without leaving the comfort of one’s automobile has rolled on. There are now almost 3,000 drives throughout the country, and it is expected that they will generate approximately 5 billion euros in turnover in 2014.

For consumers the interest is two-fold: the prices are the same as those offered in-store, but buyers no longer have to physically step into the shop to make purchases.

The trend is catching on in other countries too. In the United States, Walmart launched an experiment at the beginning of this year with 11 sites in Denver, which has since been extended to 30 locations. In France, Leclerc is the leader of this market with 500 sites that took in 1.5 billion euros in turnover during 2013.

Valorization of Market Areas
With the increasing importance of drives and e-commerce, brands are beginning to re-assess the in-store shopping experience. Their aim is to, once again, encourage consumers to visit shops within the store, including sections that highlight fruits and vegetables, baked goods, red meat, seafood and frozen food. New presentation techniques and skilled human interaction are keys to success, and the products are carefully selected. In Toronto, Longos, a local, independent chain, places great value in its in-store market area, and been rewarded for the effort.

Brand Price Competition Intensifies
The level of competition in developed world retail markets is growing at the same time when there is stagnation of consumption coupled with the constant opening of new commercial spaces. As such, in order to attract increasingly “price-sensitive” customers, major multiples are competing strongly against each other. In England, for example, Tesco promises its customers an automatic refund of the price differential if they can show that the product SKU is offered for a lower price at a rival store. In the United States and Canada, price comparison in shops is also becoming common currency.

“Smart Shopping”
sial2014The smart phone has become an indispensable item for consumers. It can search for information (including offers), receive it, interact with the brand or private label, and even substitute for self-checkout terminals. As part of SIAL’s World Tour, Carrefour and Walmart are going to try out new experiments relating to this, with on-site photography. Using mobile phones and NFC technology, clients will receive full descriptions of their in-store products.

Hard Discounting
The competitive situation of hard discount retailing varies depending on the country. In France, for example, this segment has been declining for four years. And in the spring Spain’s Dia network was put up for sale. In Germany, the home of hard discount retailing, the once relatively basic shops of concept pioneer Aldi are increasingly more appealing, with a greater selection of brands. In a number of countries, successful hard-discounters are pushing harder than ever. This is particularly so in the UK and Ireland, where Aldi and Lidl have made significant inroads at the expense of established high street food sellers.

Globalization of Trade
Retail is more global than ever. All of the major chains are operating on several continents. One of the most globalized retailers, Auchan, rings up 60% of its receipts outside the home market of France. Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Auchan and Casino are present in America, Europe and Asia. The next target is Africa. Walmart, already a key player in South Africa, is ready to boost activities on the continent.

Amazon Fresh
Amazon has not turned a blind eye to the food trade, far from it. To date the American group is carrying out trials in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Amazon sets itself apart by combining seemingly unlikely offers (before delivering to the customer) ranging from groceries and industrial fresh produce on the one hand, to locally made or specialized dishes from restaurants and top-of-the-range artisans, as well as wine merchants.

Tours de Paris, SIAL-Style
The SIAL organizers will also host a series of trend tours of restaurants and retail outlets, as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 22: A special tour of Paris showing highly innovative restaurant concepts in action. An experienced guide will lead participants around the city to discover some of the most creative trends transforming restaurants.
  • Friday October 24 (a day after the show concludes): A guided tour of the most innovative concepts among the leading French retailers. This will afford an opportunity to explore the latest, most creative concepts in terms of customer service, marketing, layout and merchandising.
  • Friday, October 24: SIAL will partner with Thoughts for Food for visits to Parisian food merchants and product tastings. The tour is aimed to address topics such as the “secret” of French cuisine, “Made in France” brands and the emergence of healthy fast food.

Visit to obtain more information about SIAL happenings. – JMS

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