SIAL Canada, to take place in Montreal April 13 to 15 is on pace to be the biggest ever with about 900 exhibitors from 50 countries, 240,000 square feet of space and 15,000+ visitors. Last year in Toronto there were 831 exhibitors from 45 countries.

Starting in 2010, the show has alternated between Toronto and Montreal and from 2010 to 2015 it grew by 65%. The decision to be in Toronto was to redevelop the brand outside of Quebec. While the two locations generally drew from either Ontario/rest of Canada or just Quebec respectively, this year exhibitors from Ontario are up by 30% and up by 58% from the rest of Canada.

Organic products continue to grow with approximately 150 companies expected this year compared to 130 last year and more exhibitors of ethnic foods as well. “Organic foods and products are among the top ten reasons why visitors come to SIAL Canada,” says Marie-Christine Siviere, Communications Officer for the event.

SIAL Canada is a sister fair of SIAL in Paris, the second largest international food fair. The global focus is reflected in the exhibitors. The Toronto show has more Asian-focused exhibitors while the Montreal edition offers more Latin and North African exhibitors, which reflect the populations in each province.

The U.S. will be the featured Country of the Year while Spain, Hungary and Korea are taking part for the first time. There is a strong Latin American presence with companies from Argentina, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia represented.

Four buyers programs are organized for this year’s show:

  • The U.S. buyers program (launched in 2015)
  • A B2B program with UGI, one of the main buyers’ groups in Canada
  • A B2B program for ethnic buyers
  • An international buyers’ program for Canadian food processors

The growing sectors at SIAL Canada 2016 are:

  • Organic foods and supplements
  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Foodservice
  • Ethnic foods        
  • Cheese (new sector)

“The growth we are experiencing is exceptional this year (+26%),” says Siviere. “The show is strong in all spheres: international (+58%), Quebec (+21%), Ontario & rest of Canada, cheese, foodservice, equipment, supply chain, etc. The last time we had this kind of growth (+35%) was in 2011 after the launch of our show in Ontario.” SIAL Canada plans to expand the show by 10,000 square feet next year.