Held every two years in SIAL Paris, the competition (open to exhibitors only) reveals the most innovative products from 105 participating countries. In 2014 there were over 1,700 applicants –a 70% rise from the previous edition. The selection committee (a panel of hand-picked food specialists) chose 675 products for the SIAL Innovation Book, and the Grand Jury designated 15 winners, awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to the best three entries.
78% of Exhibitors Present New Products
Every single one of the 160,000 visitors expected at SIAL Paris (16 to 20 October 2016 in Paris Nord Villepinte) knows that this show will give them precious insight into the products and trends of the future. If 76% of professionals say they have discovered innovations here in the past, it’s because 78% of the exhibitors use this biennial event as an unveiling platform for their R&D team’s newest products. (Source TNS 2014)
The companies present in SIAL’s Innovation area (which is frequented by around 75% of the show’s visitors) see a large return on investment when their products win awards. It should therefore come as no surprise that 80% of 2014’s successful candidates are entering the competition again this year!
A Year On and Still in the Press
The proof is in the pudding (so to speak): every SIAL Paris award winner found new customers after the competition. "The award gave us extra visibility and helped us find more contacts and export opportunities,” says an executive from the potato specialist Cité Gourmande. French Cooker’s boss believes that the award his company received in 2014 for its Julienne of Vinegar (100% natural vinegar in flake form) helped them win contracts "in retail, catering, supermarkets and even abroad."
The winners also attracted journalists: "We’ve had lots of national press and blog coverage," says a representative from Prêt à Pousser, a company selling individual indoor vegetable and mushroom growing kits. "We’ve had attention from both regional and national media, and it continues even a year after winning our award", adds French Cooker. "Several clients heard about us thanks to SIAL Paris’ press coverage," confirms food packaging specialist Les Twists. And Frédéric Ventre, the founder of baby food manufacturer Yooji, says he is delighted with the "incredible international media exposure that SIAL Paris has allowed him to obtain”.
Innovation –A Valuable Driver for Export
The competition is also an effective business tool: "We mentioned our awards in our brochure and on our website,” says frozen food company Boiron Surgélation, “which helped us put together a solid tax credit file for our research and innovation development.” The Catalan company Nice Fruit also included the SIAL Innovation Awards logo on its “brochures, newsletters and promotional materials”, while Les Twists used their 2014 award as an internal tool to "congratulate everyone, including financial partners”.
The award has "indirectly contributed to our company’s growth by raising our business profile," says edible seaweed company Globe Export. And Brooklyn Brew Shop (which offers home beer brewing kits) says, "SIAL allowed us to make some fabulous contacts and secure distribution to over twenty-five countries".
It’s the Gateway to the Big League
So why wait? "Show your products and enter them into the competition, ”urges Xavier Terlet (XTC consultant, SIAL Innovation expert and Chairman of the Jury). "For those with an innovative product, SIAL Paris can make a real difference," confirms potato specialist Cité Gourmande. "If you have an innovative product, participate in SIAL Innovation," incites Zandbergen World's Finest Meat. Peters Produkten BV - Penotti agrees: "Launching innovative products at SIAL Paris is vastly important; it’s the perfect platform for presenting new food products to the world."Boiron Surgélation adds, "SIAL Paris lets you have your products tried and tested by potential customers. You have to be there!"
But exhibitors will need to be organised: "SIAL Paris is a great, intense salon that offers many opportunities - you just have to prepare it well,” says microalgae company Algama, adding, “but it is worth the effort”. French Cooker says that SIAL Paris may seem overwhelming, “but you’ve got to go! It was a fantastic experience for us – one that got us into our target market and made us ‘big league’ players. You do need to keep a ‘cool head’ though, and keep an eye on both supermarket orders (as the amounts can be significant) and potential labelling issues with export".
Calling all exhibitors! Applications are free. Present your innovations and try to win one of 15 SIAL Innovation awards. Just don’t wait too long: SIAL Innovation is an unmissable chance to increase visibility and kick-start networking with over 156 000 international food world players!