Food events

[Event] Top 5 reasons to attend the SIAL Conference

Address: Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd #1, Toronto, ON
Conference Dates: May 2nd to May 4th, 2017. I attended May 2nd, 2017

SIAL Canada, established in 2001 is an International food and beverage trade show. The annual conference rotates between Montreal and Toronto and is held every two years.

“SIAL Canada is not only key to the Canadian agrifood industry, it is also a privileged entryway to the US and international markets. Indeed SIAL is now the only event of its scale in Canada, with more than 850 national and international exhibitors from 50 countries hosting over 15,000 buyers from Canada, the U.S., and 60 other countries. SIAL Canada is the only national trade show that offers a complete range of food products under one roof to meet your customers’ expectations.” (Source: SIAL Canada)

Some highlights from the 2017 conference included:

  • Was SIAL’s 14th edition
  •  1,005 exhibitors and brands from 50 different countries;
  • 240,000 square feet of exhibition space;
  • 16,578 trade visitors from some 60 countries;
  • 32% visitor growth compared to 2015 (last edition of Toronto).

Thanks to a few bloggers who shared their experience from previous years that convinced me to attend my first SIAL conference.

There was so much going on from contests, food demos, and conference speakers; each attendee will have a difference experience. On top of being a really cool conference,  SIAL Canada handed out a $10,000 cheque to the Daily Bread Food Bank showcasing their social responsibility.

Here are my top 5 reasons to attend SIAL Canada:

1. Lots of Food!

I was afraid that I would not get full from eating samples. Stepping into the conference, there were countless rows of vendors. Many of the exhibitors served huge portions including tacos at the Fresh is Best stand, and the pumpkin and couscous dish at the Moroccan stand. I ate to my hearts content and left full.

2. Tons of innovative products and samples!

Congratulations to Taj Food for being the big winner of the SIAL Innovation 2017, for its Saffron Sugar Cube product. With over  1,005 exhibitors, there was a lot of cool products and samples to look, test, and taste. I filled up my backpack with snacks to share with my family.

Look at my stash…

3. There were tons of demonstrations to attend. 

There were over 25 demonstration and discovery workshops at this year’s conference. I had a chance to attend Chef Joshna Maharaj’s cooking demo (Executive Chef of the Gladstone hotel), as well as Eric Chong’s (Master Chef Canada Season 1 winner and co-owner of R & D) lobster cooking demo.

Joshna Maharaj


Eric Chong

4. Great for networking!

I had a chance to network with a brands I hope to collaborate with in the future. Culinary students even had free admission for one of the days. As Sial mentioned “Whether you work in the retail, catering or food processing industry, or you’re simply looking for new and innovative products or regional specialties from around the world, you’ll find exactly what you need right here.” (Source: Sial Canada)

5. Support local chefs and TV personalities.

I love supporting friends in the culinary industry including Julie Miguel of who was the official SIAL TV host, and Irene Matys of who was the social media specialist.

Eric Chong and Julie Miguel

If you went, I am interested in your experience. Connect with me on Twitter @maryshappybelly and let’s talk SIAL! #Sial2017

Check out their website for more info

I hope to attend SIAL’s future conference in Toronto, where I will bring a bigger bag for samples and an empty stomach.

*Disclosure: My admission was complimentary  to cover the event. As always, the opinions in the post are my own.

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