Italy, Sigep 2024: The Future Of “Dolce” Worldwide

Italian Expo Group

Just a few days to go before the 2024 edition of Sigep-The Dolce World Expo, the world’s leading professional event specifically for the dolce foodservice sector and the utmost expression of the most important innovations linked to the gelato, pastry, bakery and coffee sectors. The trade show, organised by Italian Exhibition Group from 20th to 24th January at Rimini Exhibition Centre, confirms its high international vocation: of the 1,200 exhibiting brands, the foreign share will be close to 18% with 35 countries in attendance and, more in general, over 500 buyers from 81 countries will be arriving, of which more than 60 from North America alone; numbers that have not been recorded since the last pre-pandemic edition in January 2020 edition.

Flavia Morelli, Group Exhibition Manager (Food&Beverage Division) at Italian Exhibition Group, what important new entries does Sigep 2024 have in store?

IEG group has been focusing on the quality of the exhibition offer, supported by significant international vocation: aspects that have favoured the growth of a trade show that has now become the reference point for the dolce foodservice industry. Among the many new entries at Sigep 2024, I would like to highlight three macro-areas: innovation, sustainability and young people. The big new entry in the first case, is the Innovation District, a specially created area that will stage all the most important talks on industry trends, without forgetting future scenarios. The district will also include Start-Ups, thanks to collaboration with ANGI - National Association of Young Innovators, and the Innovation Award, another new feature at Sigep 2024. Exhibiting companies will have the chance to highlight their specificities and distinctive values by applying to one of the 5 categories: Innovative Product, Sustainability, Digital Innovation, Organic/Free From, Packaging. In other words, the best opportunity for discovering all the year’s main innovations that will be presented right there at Sigep. Returning to the macro-areas, a lot of space will be given to young people and I am mainly thinking of the Juniores Pastry World Cup, where the best Under 23s from all over the world will be putting their skills to the test in a competition with competitors from Australia, Chile, the Philippines, France, Hong kong, India, Korea, Malta, Peru, Taiwan, the USA and Uzbekistan. Lastly, sustainability, a key issue for both consumers and supply chain companies.

Events and international conferences are also a Sigep characteristic.

This edition will be staging 24 competitions, 3 of which international, with the participation of competitors from 25 countries. Mentioning only the most important ones, we will begin with the tenth edition of the world’s most important team competition, the Gelato World Cup, which includes gelato, pastry, chocolate, catering and ice sculpting trials with the involvement of 11 teams from Argentina, Brazil, China, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Hungary. Not forgetting the European Challenge, the European leg of the Gelato Festival World Masters 2025 circuit, which will feature some twenty gelato makers from the Old Continent, and, last but not least, the aforementioned Juniores Pastry World Cup.

The event organised by Italian Exhibition Group also provides a great opportunity to discuss new products and the main topic trends in the dolce foodservice sector. That is why Circana, leader in market research and consumer behaviour analysis, and the result of the merger between NPD and IRI, will be entrusted with presenting two talks focusing on Italy and Europe: the first on dolce foodservice sector opportunities, and the second on “out-of-home” consumption in Europe with the participation of Jochen Pinsker, Vice President of Foodservice Europe. Lastly, representatives from the Marcas de restauraciòn association, which represents the main catering brands in Spain, will be on the Vision Plaza stage to discuss the importance of catering brands.

Can you mention a consumer trend that will be highlighted at Sigep?

‘Plant Based’ gelato is one of the main trends on which even large manufacturers are working with ingredients and new machinery. More generally, it is a necessity that meets the demands of consumers, who are increasingly oriented towards products of vegetable origin, where the raw material comes from and everything related to sustainability. And this inevitably also reflects on the production processes: companies no longer present just the product at their stands, but also the philosophy of their production process: the supply chain, communication, sustainability and everything else that leads to a healthy and wholesome end result. This trend not only applies to gelato but also to pastry, where the great masters are constantly proposing alternatives to sugar for example. Great attention is paid to consumer demands. And this also translates into innovations to keep up with the times, which are presented precisely at Sigep. Of course, there will also be talk of new digital technologies and above all, everything related to artificial intelligence, a fundamental aspect that is contributing increasingly to the development of the various sectors linked to dolce foodservice.

An interest in Sigep that is also confirmed in the United States.

Certainly, and the number of buyers in attendance proves it, which, as mentioned earlier, will be more than 60 if we widen the window to the whole of North America. These include some of the main US restaurant chains: I am thinking of those linked to the world of pizza, such as Papa Murphy, Blaze Pizza or Toppers; to gelato, and this is the case of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and the producer Brothers Desserts, through to coffee with brands such as Spot Coffee. Rush Bowls Franchising LLC and Maxwell-McKenney will also be present.

Furthermore, among the exhibitors at Sigep this year, IEG will have the pleasure of hosting Primera Technology, a company from Minnesota, one of the world's leading manufacturers of special prints, including coloured labels and edible ink printers. It will be a great opportunity to get acquainted with the sector’s main technological innovations where companies in attendance will be able to implement their know-how by directly observing the best proposals on the international market. And not least, on the advantages that the world of dolce foodservice also brings to the menus of those aforementioned large restaurant chains: suffice it to say that, according to Circana's analysis, “out-of-home” consumption in Europe will grow by 12% compared to 2022, with 11.4 billion products served in Bakery Dolce alone.

This post is sponsored by Italian Exhibition Group


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