Blog: Sun shines over SIAL - but what's the outlook for the industry?
Dean Best | 21 October 2012
This year's edition of SIAL, the huge food industry exhibition, kicked off in Paris today, with warm sunshine over the French capital. However, the show is being held in the teeth of the worst economic conditions for decades and with the eurozone crisis casting a shadow over the Continent. In the next five days, just-food will be finding out what exhibitors believe is the outlook for the industry.
Optimism often abounds at events like this; exhibitors are looking at new markets and are also pushing new products at retail buyers, exporters and importers. SIAL calls innovation a "flagship value" of its event, which it claims sets it apart from other industry trade shows.
Nonetheless, there is no question trading conditions remain tough; leading executives from the European food and drink spent two days in Brussels last week deliberating how the sector could grow in the face of economic volatility, pressure on resources and global competition. And in the face of less loyal and more cautious consumers.
And the downturn has, to some industry watchers, hit innovation. Earlier this month, Heinz told the IGD industry conference in London there had been a 30% drop in products launched this year in the UK compared to two years ago.
Plus, there is some concern of a slowdown in key emerging markets of Brazil and China.
Stay tuned to the news, NPD and interviews pages on just-food for the latest from the event.
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