I was truly honoured to have been chosen as the 2017 SIAL Canada TV host. When I was first approached by SIAL Canada, I have to be honest, I had never heard of it before. As soon as I began speaking to some big players in the food business about this opportunity, they immediately said – this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Now that the SIAL Canada show is finished for 2017, I am so grateful to have had this incredible experience.
Here is a short re-cap video of my time at the show:
The SIAL show is the show to visit if you’re in the food business. The set-up of the show is like nothing I have ever seen before. Not only is it crisp, clean and uniform, it has a market feel to it (nothing like other food expo’s I have been to). The exhibitors consisted of high quality food brands and businesses needed for food like packaging innovators. If you’re one who likes to explore new food, this is definitely a show for you. And I went home with 3 bags of samples which I was pleasantly surprised with! I’m still working my way through everything and there are so many great brands that I can’t wait to make a part of my life.
It was my first time covering the SIAL Innovation contest. There were 10 finalists and the winner of the prestigious SIAL Innovation contest was unveiled on the first day of the SIAL show in Torono. Congratulations to Saffron Sugar Cube, Taj Food, Minami Inc. – Canada/Sri Lanka, who brought home the SIAL Innovation 2017 Grand Prize! Saffron and sugar combines an interesting mix of flavours. Saffron Sugar Cube is 100% natural and sold in highly convenient re-sealable packaging! The prize is pretty incredible and has a $120,000 value: Nielsen will provide winners with a project worth $30,000 to help them get their product to market, the SIAL Network will provide an exhibition space for free at all the SIALs, including Paris 2018 and the winner will have the chance to travel around the world as they visit all of the SIAL network’s shows, which will be held in Canada, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Paris and Abu Dhabi! That is pretty incredible!
One of the members of the jury was food innovation expert Dana McCauley, CEO, Blue Unicorn Innovation and Innovation Expert at SIAL Canada, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with throughout the show (pictured top left). Dana is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to food innovation and the food business. I learn so much from her and her You Tube channel Food Trends TV!
I had the absolute honour of interviewing Phil Hogan, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Union, the Region of Honour at this year’s SIAL Canada show (You can catch part of the interview in the wrap-up video, above). He spoke highly of SIAL and all of the innovative products he saw showcased at the Toronto show. I asked him which Canadian products would do well in the European market and he said that any confectionery products, wine or lagers – and went on to say that these products are mutually enjoyed by Canadian and Europeans. I asked him what is favourite Canadian food is and he said Maple Syrup…mine too!
I also had a chance to visit the European Union stage where my friend, Eric Chong, was cooking up a delicious Lobster wrapped in Spanish Ham. Eric and I became friends after meeting on the inaugural season of MasterChef Canada. He is a serious chef and I learned a whole bunch from him during my time on the show. Eric put a spin on his lobster dish by showcasing a lot amazing imported European products. It was seriously one of the most delicious things I ate at the show so I know I’ll be attempting to make this soon! It was great to see and speak to Eric again! (Credit for the two photos above goes to my friend Mary of Mary’s Happy Belly Blog!)
Hosting SIAL TV was truly an incredible experience. I learned so much about food innovation and made some incredible memories that I will always keep with me as I continue in my career in food. I also got to know the entire team who work behind these amazing SIAL shows and I am excited to work with them in the coming years! I am looking forward to the show in 2018 that will be held in Montreal!
You can catch more SIAL TV right here!