We are fresh off our trip to SIAL Paris which spanned 5 days and claims to be the world’s largest food innovation show. During our 3-day visit, we walked the 10 halls which include an entire hall dedicated to drinks and another to meat along with various other pavilions dedicated to different countries and food categories. Check out a few of the standouts from the show!

Sobear Bitter Soda

We’re just beginning to see bitter flavors penetrate the mainstream in the U.S., but they’ve long been a staple in Europe. It’s cool to see traditional digestif flavors positioned as a refreshing everyday item. This deliciously herbaceous soda is also an example of the trend toward no/low-ABV cocktail-inspired beverages.

New Alternatives: Acorn Flour

This is the first time we’ve seen acorns out of the wild. We hear acorn flour is nutritionally dense and can be used as a substitute for wheat, so it’ll be interesting to see if we all become a little squirrely in the ongoing pursuit of grain alternatives.

Meat Chips

Protein continues to reign supreme while finding its way into new formats. We saw a few different chicken-based entrants, similar to ones we recently helped launch stateside from Wilde.

Rawsage

More plants imitating meat, this time sundried tomatoes masquerading as chorizo. We love to see more low-tech plant-based alternatives in a world of high-tech Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger.

Collagen Moringa Beverage

We’ve seen moringa, we’ve seen collagen, but we’ve never seen them together. Superfoods continue to combine in new exciting product innovations. SIAL showed that functional beverages are as hot overseas as they are here in the U.S.

Bottled Wood?

Yes, we spotted a wood drink made from roasted oak, chestnut, and acacia. Samples weren’t present so we don’t have any notes on taste but it feels like we have seen it all now.

Globalism is alive and well at SIAL. Innovation hatched in the U.S. is inspiring launches of new products and formats all over the world, and vice versa. SIAL is worth attending if you’re looking to break into new markets or get a glimpse into what’s trending internationally. However, with more than 300,000 attendees from almost 200 countries, it’s hard to find the same sense of community still present at smaller, more focused shows. Nevertheless, it’s always great to travel abroad and gain a new perspective as part of our steady 24/7 diet of food & beverage obsession.

On to the next show!