PARIS -- Marketing to a more prudent consumer is one of the themes of SIAL, the food industry trade show held here every other year.
This year's edition of SIAL (offically known as the Salon International de L'Alimentation) will focus on food of the future for today's consumer.
The show begins a five-day run Oct. 23 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre north of Paris. More than 100,000 people attended the 1992 SIAL show, including 34,000 visitors from outside France.
According to organizers of SIAL, consumers in 1994 are less likely to buy on impulse and more prudent than they were a few years ago, in part because of the economic climate. In other words, it has become a fact of life in industrialized countries that people spend less on food, but pay more attention to quality.
"The pervading feeling of anxiety and the decline in purchasing power has led consumers to think twice before buying and to consider new factors," organizers said. Those new factors are nutritional value, taste, tradition, ecology and practicality.
"There is not a fall in consumption, but simply a new type of consumption," Olivier Geradon de Vera said. Geradon de Vera is director of Secodip.
products have been hardest hit by the recession, he said. Consumers pay as little as possible for their everyday purchases, but they will not balk at paying more for a special treat.
In addition to showcasing food trends, the 1994 SIAL show features several seminars, including a European-Latin American agri-industrial forum and a presentation on exporting to Japan.
Organizers said the exhibition has changed over the years, from a show primarily for large, international groups to one that now includes smaller firms from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
This year's show will employ high-technology equipment to make the exhibition more accessible for all participants. Bilingual catalogs and touch-screen product locators will be available, and an on-line bulletin board devoted to SIAL 1994 has been developed.
About 4,000 exhibitors from 72 countries attended the 1992 SIAL show. Similar participation is expected next month.
Catering and food ingredients, singled out as the fast-growing segments of the food industry, will have their own reception centers and interactive data bases. Experts in both fields will be available to answer questions.
Several new products will be honored with SIAL D'OR Awards, based on innovation and proven commercial success. An international jury selects winners in several categories, including dairy products with eggs, frozen foods, fresh products, bread, sweet snacks, grocery, deli and private-label items.
SIAL exhibitors are grouped less by nationality and more by major food products. Among the category groupings this year are: dairy products; fresh meat and offal; fresh poultry and game; fish and shellfish; fruit and vegetables; confectionery, biscuits and quality breads; canned and frozen foods; grocery, and pet foods.