Sial opens entries for innovation award
Abu Dhabi, July 9, 2012
Sial Middle East, the regional edition of the largest food exhibition network in the world, has opened nominations for the Sial Innovation Award to be announced during the upcoming event in Abu Dhabi.
Sial Middle East: The Middle Eastern Food Exhibition will take place from November 26 to 28, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The Sial Innovation Award is a global food accolade presented at each Sial Group event, which includes Sial Canada, China, Paris, Brazil and the UAE.
This year marks the award’s second iteration in the Middle East, with entries judged by experts from XTC World Innovation, an independent food innovation consultancy that has a long history of judging food products at Sial events worldwide.
Innovative concepts to meet the growing demand for healthier food options among Arab consumers are expected to catch the attention of Sial Middle East’s audience this year. Interest in natural and organic foodstuffs has been on the upswing in recent years due to improved awareness on the role of nutritional choices in the prevalence of diabetes and other health threats identified with the region.
The Middle East’s increasingly wealthy and multicultural residents are especially drawn to innovations that tap unique local food resources, such as camel milk and dates which have been drawing overwhelming attention from Sial editions in Abu Dhabi, Paris and Shanghai.
The UAE’s dates were judged the best-selling product at the recent Sial China event in Shanghai that took place earlier this year.
“This award is highly anticipated in the industry and has become the showcase of food innovations from around the world. For the companies participating, this award has often been the springboard to success and to the supermarket shelves,” said Xavier Terlet, CEO of XTC World Innovation.
Ten creative concepts will be chosen and displayed within Sial Middle East’s Innovation Observatory, with an overall winner to be announced during an official awards ceremony on November 26.
The top 10 products will also be displayed at the Sial Innovation Observatories in Canada, China and Brazil in 2013 and at Sial Paris in 2014, giving companies a unique marketing opportunity to test their products in these markets.
“The visibility of nominated products to hundreds of thousands of food buyers during Sial events, and to the international trade media, is second to none,” added Terlet.
Chris Fountain, MD, Turret Media, organisers of Sial Middle East, said: “Innovation is key to addressing the numerous challenges faced by the Middle East’s food industry and growing concerns over the ability of the region to meet its burgeoning food demands.”
“The quest for healthier living is another driving force for fresher approaches to the region’s food initiatives. Sial Middle East is an important platform for identifying and exploring the latest solutions, and its Sial Innovation Award promises to reveal new and exciting directions for the Middle East’s long-term food agenda,” he added.
Exhibitors can nominate products through the Sial Middle East website at sialme.com. Entries will be accepted until October 12.
Sial’s second edition in 2011 welcomed 466 exhibitors from 43 countries and 9,707 attendees from 78 countries. At least $350 million worth of contracts were signed last year, with 86 per cent of participating companies rebooking an exhibition stand for 2012. – TradeArabia News Service
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