• The trade fair platform will reinforce its influence in foreign markets by bringing together nearly 900 international firms from more than 60 countries

• The increase in the participation of Asian companies, led by China & Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan, will be considerable

Alimentaria&Hostelco, the leading international platform for food, beverages, foodservice and hospitality equipment, will return to Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue from 18 to 21 March 2024 with a 15% increase in the number of international companies compared to the previous fair. Around 900 foreign exhibiting companies, alongside the 2,300 Spanish ones, will take part, while the leadership of the Italian companies and the return of the Asian companies after the Covid-19 pandemic will be noticeable.

Just over three months before Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 is due to be held, bookings of exhibition space by international companies have registered 15% growth in terms of net footage with respect to the previous fair, with 900 companies accounting for more than 28% of the total. Many of them will participate in groups at the stands of international countries and regions, which have practically filled the fair’s International Pavilions area.

As in previous years, Italy will once again lead the international participation, with over 50 firms and 2,365 m2 of surface area, enjoying the support of the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade (ITA-ICE) and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Spain, together with the regions of Piedmont and, for the first time, Campania. In addition, quality brands from the country, such as the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano and the Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano and over 30 firms, will have their own areas in the Interlact, Fine Foods, Grocery Foods, Coffee, Bakery&Pastry, Intercarn and Snacks, Biscuits and Confectionery sectors.

After Italy, the countries set to occupy the most exhibition space at Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 will be Turkey (1,080 m2), China and Hong Kong (1,069 m2), Poland (981 m2), Portugal (796 m2), France (561 m2), Belgium (536 m2), Germany (514 m2), Netherlands (421 m2) and Argentina (379 m2). In most cases, they have grown in terms of footage and number of companies compared to the previous fair. Similarly, the participation of the United States and Morocco will increase significantly.

According to J. Antonio Valls, managing director of Alimentaria Exhibitions, “companies in the industry are opting for the diversification of their destination markets so as to address the uncertainty that’s beset the world economy in recent years. In this regard, Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 constitutes the optimal business platform for companies from all over the world to expand their horizons throughout Europe, Asia and America”.

The Asian countries are back

The increased participation of Asian companies will be extremely visible at the upcoming Alimentaria&Hostelco fair, especially those from China&Hong Kong and Taiwan, which didn’t attend in 2022 due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Thus, China will occupy nine large areas with dozens of companies grouped together under the umbrella of the China Chamber of Commerce For Import and Export of Foodstuffs (CCCFNA) in International Pavilions, Expoconser, Snacks, Biscuits&Confectionery, Restaurama and Organic Foods. As for Taiwan, it will focus its proposals for foodservice professionals on the Restaurama industry.

Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan will also have a prominent presence, complementing the range of oriental gastronomy products in their countries’ halls located in International Pavilions.

Major importers

Moreover, in addition to expecting 25% of its visitors to be international, in order to maximise business opportunities, Alimentaria&Hostelco will organise a powerful buyer invitation programme to bring together more than 2,200 high-level importers, distributors, directors and purchasing managers. More than half of them will be international ones from 80 nations.

At next year’s event, the top 10 priority countries will be headed by the United States, Mexico, China, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Korea, followed by the main destination countries for Spanish imports in Europe and Latin America. The companies that have confirmed their participation include World Market and The Fresh Market (USA), Walmart Mexico, CitySuper (China) and Sodexo (UK).

The aim of the guest visitor programme is to attract both importers and distributors of food and beverages, as well as operators from the entire value chain of the HORECA channel (hospitality, branded restaurants, independent, en route, cruises and retail) from home and abroad.

Alimentaria & Hostelco, organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions – Fira de Barcelona, anticipates the attendance of around 3,200 exhibiting companies, which will occupy a net surface area covering 100,000 m2 and 7 halls, practically the whole of Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue. It also expects to receive more than 100,000 professional visitors, reaffirming its leadership as the main platform for promoting business, internationalisation and networking.

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