At this year's SIAL 2000, the premier international food and drink exhibition held in Paris (22-26 October), 100 British companies are demonstrating how they lead the way in the provision of a comprehensive range of food and drink to meet the changing demands of consumers around the world.

Simon Waring, Director of Marketing and International Management at Food from Britain, commenting on the British strength at the show, said, "It is clear that UK food and drink manufacturers are using expertise gained from our own demanding market to satisfy the changing needs of continental Europe and worldwide markets. Through our work overseas, Food from Britain is showing international buyers that British food and drink is about variety, innovation and quality and this year's UK exhibitors at SIAL demonstrate these strengths."

British food and drink manufacturers are also spearheading some of the most important trends in the global food industry such as organics; ethnic food, snacking and adult drinks.

The growing demand for organic food and drink across Europe, following consumer concerns regarding food safety and traceability, has resulted in several product launches from the UK exhibit at the show. These include First Quality Foods (Stand 1D67), which exports to twenty overseas markets and is introducing organic polenta alongside a completely new innovation - an ambient salad. CCL Foods (Stand 1C89) is launching organic sauces to complement its existing organic condiment range and Rayner Burgess (Stand 1C90), having recently acquired an organic manufacturer, is launching its new range of organic chutneys, conserves, sauces, cider vinegars and honey. Other organic launches include green teas from Taylors of Harrogate (Stand 1D91) and organic lamb and beef from West Scottish Lamb (Stand 6F112).

The strong trend in ethnic food continues at this year's SIAL. As the United Kingdom is a melting pot of different cultures it is no surprise that UK food manufacturers particularly excel in developing and marketing ethnic food products both for the domestic market and overseas. Again following an increasing demand in Europe for more innovative and convenient styles of cuisine, several UK manufacturers are launching products at the show. Blindings Ltd (Stand ID62) is launching a range of five ambient ready-to-mix sauces at SIAL, including Caribbean chilli and coconut, Mediterranean tomato and basil, Thai lime and ginger, lobster bisque sauces and Welsh rarebit cheese spread. Distributor and exporter of pan oriental foods, G Costa & Co Ltd (Stand 1C63) is launching new products in the Blue Dragon Range alongside its new Zest range. Lion Foods (Stand 1D100) is to launch ethnic spice blends at the show and Mission Foods (Stand 1C100), is exhibiting its flour tortilla wraps and tortilla chips and salsas.

'Eating on the hoof' or snacking is still a popular solution to the European consumers' increasingly busy lifestyle juggling hectic work schedules with an active social life. British companies such as Bagel Nash (Stand 1C69) provide the alternative to the British sandwich - the American bagel. The company exports bagels and pretzels to Sweden, Spain and Luxembourg. For those watching their weight, The Ryvita Company (Stand 1C66), manufacturer of crispbread and snackbread is launching its new Allinson organic crispbread taking its healthy and nutritious product a stage further. For the more traditional hand cooked product, Real Crisps (Stand ID62), is exhibiting its real and organic crisps. Speciality producer, Harden Fine Foods (Stand 1C65) is also exhibiting golden walnut cookies, cakes and flapjacks and introducing Postman Pat character biscuits as a new line for children.

Added value premium quality spirit mixes and adult high-energy drinks are a couple of the most exciting trends to emerge from the UK drinks industry. Appealing in particular to the on-trade but also growing in retail, products are mainly aimed at the nightclubbing generation and are based pre-dominantly on a trendy image and adventurous mixes to tantalise the tastebuds. At SIAL, GBL International (Stand 5K46) is exhibiting its VK Vodka Kick, which sells in over 500 top discotheques and is exported to Spain. Fontana Drinks (Stand 5L45) is launching its new Powercell, an energy drink containing Aronia Berry, Hurns Beer Company (Stand 1D62) it's Hyper Energy drinks and Hall & Bramley Ltd (Stand 5L39), the popular Red Square vodka energy drink.

Also featured on the British Pavilions are soft drinks such as mineral waters and drinking yoghurts; preserves, condiments, dressings, marinades and ingredients such as colourings, sugar, herbs and spices.

Covering over 1800sqms of space, the exhibitors are located predominantly in the international, frozen and drinks halls, although there is also a strong presence in the meat hall on the British Meat and the Northern Irish Meat stands.

Food from Britain Support

Following successful trips to SIAL '98 and ANUGA '99, Food from Britain is once again organising a trade development visit to SIAL for new exporters in the British Speciality Food sector. In addition to introducing producers to the show, the visit incorporates a seminar on the French market and organised store visits in and around Paris.

Almost two years prior to the show, Food from Britain has provided exhibiting companies with dedicated project management help offering guidance and support through workshops and individual consultations in aspects such as choosing space at SIAL, deciding on stand requirements, organising teams of contractors and applying for grants on behalf of companies.

To raise awareness of the British companies participating, exhibitor details are published on the official Food from Britain internet site www.foodfrombritain.com and in 4,000 comprehensive multi-lingual guides, featuring contact details and products, which are sent out to international buyers. Both activities afford international buyers the opportunity to plan their visits and arrange to meet British companies at their stands.

For the duration of the show, a dedicated team is available to help exhibitors maximise their participation through on-site support and advice.

Food from Britain is located on stand 1C102.

Visit Food from Britain's new-look website on www.foodfrombritain.com