Alternative Food is all about concocting healthier food, more respectful of nature and of animal well-being.
What is it exactly?
Today, artisans and manufacturers, the creators and inventors of the food of tomorrow, are brimming with ideas and notions around the concept of Alternative Food. Basically, it’s simple: you can find it more or less everywhere and to suit every taste. An example of this are the shelves of food stores, which are now full of products containing plant proteins (wheat, soya, pulse proteins, etc.), with the desire for healthy eating inextricable from eating pleasure, and manufacturers focussing in particular on how food looks and how it tastes. As a result, the number of innovations based on meat substitutes now exceeds the number of meat-based innovations. And consumers keep coming back for more: the very essence of popular demand.
Another typical example is the case of fermented foods, such as Kombucha, Kefir and Kimchi: foods known since ancient times and which have once again become newly-popular among consumers for their natural properties and health virtues.
Alternative Food: planetary phenomenon
Health concerns, therefore, may be what predominantly underlie the success of Alternative Food. After the major food crises of the ’90s and early 2000’s, consumers are turning toward food that is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as healthier and more ethical. For these consumers, it is not a question of taking care of their health through their diet, but rather of taking care of themselves while taking pleasure in what they eat! Hence the success of products with original flavours and textures, incorporating a well-being dimension. Plant-based milks or yoghurts, ‘free-from’ products, enriched with super fruits or super vegetables, natural energy drinks: Alternative Food can be found on the menu, any time and any place! Worldwide, one-third of consumers believe that the presence of organic-origin products plays a large part in their purchasing decisions (source: Food 360° Kantar TNS).
The Alter’Native Food Sector, a show within a show… and multiple events
Such a phenomenon certainly merited special attention. SIAL Paris is therefore giving Alternative Food the space it deserves. With the creation of a dedicated sector and events, SIAL 2018, which takes place from 21 to 25 October at Paris- Nord Villepinte, will be proposing a unique showcase for Alternative Food stakeholders. This will be a show within the show, which will have its own signposting and its own decor, in a quite simply unique environment.
A unique pot-pourri of experiences
As the event highlight, the sector will welcome many exhibitors from the Alternative Food planet, renowned experts on healthy eating, and the stars of innovation in this field, whatever their country of origin. ‘It is a unique pot-pourri of experiences that we will be proposing for the first time in 2018,’ explains an enthusiastic Nicolas Trentesaux, director of the SIAL network: ‘SIAL has always been at the vanguard in food matters, and this year we wish to go even further with this Alternative Food sector, organised against the backdrop of SIAL, the world’s leading food innovation exhibition.’
Alter’Native Food Forum
Over the five days of the exhibition, retail and foodservice professionals, along with manufacturers, will be able to exchange with each other and find out about everything that Alternative Food has to offer them, in terms of both innovation and opportunity, by way of conferences and roundtables. The Alter’Native Food Forum is also planned to include bilingual guided visits to the sector from two perspectives: alternative ingredients (conducted by experts from NutriMarketing) and health (conducted by experts from Atlantic Santé). The topics proposed include an overview of superfoods, the ‘clean label’, agriculture 2.0, sustainable development, and animal well-being.
The full programme of conferences, roundtables and guided visits will be available in June 2018, from sialparis.com. Thanks to SIAL Paris, Alternative Food will soon be far more than just an alternative.