The participation of international companies in Alimentaria&Hostelco will increase in 2024

  • The trade fair platform will reinforce its influence in foreign markets by bringing together nearly 900 international firms from more than 60 countries
  • The increase in the participation of Asian companies, led by China & Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan, will be considerable
Image: Alimentaria&Hostelco

Alimentaria&Hostelco, the premier international platform for food, beverages, food service, and hospitality equipment, is set to return to Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue from 18 to 21 Mar 2024, boasting a 15% increase in the number of international companies compared to the previous fair. Approximately 900 foreign exhibiting companies, in conjunction with the 2,300 Spanish counterparts, will participate, with a notable resurgence of Asian companies post the Covid-19 pandemic.

A little over three months ahead of Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024, bookings for exhibition space by international companies have seen a 15% growth in net footage compared to the previous fair. Of the total, 900 companies represent over 28%. Many will participate in groups at stands dedicated to international countries and regions, effectively filling the fair’s International Pavilions area.

Italy, as in previous years, will spearhead international participation with over 50 firms and 2,365 m2 of surface area. Supported by the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade (ITA-ICE) and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Spain, along with the regions of Piedmont and, for the first time, Campania, Italy will showcase quality brands such as the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano and the Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano. Over 30 firms from Italy will have dedicated areas in sectors like Interlact, Fine Foods, Grocery Foods, Coffee, Bakery & Pastry, Intercarn, and Snacks, Biscuits, and Confectionery.

Following Italy, the countries set to occupy substantial exhibition space at Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 include Turkey (1,080 m2), China, and Hong Kong (1,069 m2), among others. The participation of the United States and Morocco is also expected to significantly increase.

J. Antonio Valls, managing director of Alimentaria Exhibitions, notes, “Companies in the industry are opting for the diversification of their destination markets to address the uncertainty that has beset the world economy in recent years. In this regard, Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 constitutes the optimal business platform for companies worldwide to expand their horizons throughout Europe, Asia, and America.”

The Asian countries are back

The upcoming Alimentaria&Hostelco fair will witness a prominent return of Asian companies, especially those from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, absent in 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions. China will occupy nine large areas with companies grouped under the China Chamber of Commerce For Import and Export of Foodstuffs (CCCFNA) in various sectors. Taiwan will focus its proposals for food service professionals on the Restaurama industry.

Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, and Japan will also have a notable presence, complementing the range of oriental gastronomy products in their respective countries’ halls located in International Pavilions.

Major importers

In anticipation of 25% of visitors being international, Alimentaria&Hostelco will organise a robust buyer invitation program to bring together over 2,200 high-level importers, distributors, directors, and purchasing managers. More than half of them will be international, representing 80 nations.

The top 10 priority countries for the next year’s event include the United States, Mexico, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, followed by main destination countries for Spanish imports in Europe and Latin America. Confirmed participants include World Market and The Fresh Market (USA), Walmart Mexico, CitySuper (China), and Sodexo (UK).

The guest visitor program aims to attract importers, distributors of food and beverages, and operators from the entire value chain of the HORECA channel (hospitality, branded restaurants, independent, en route, cruises, and retail) from home and abroad.

Alimentaria & Hostelco, organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions – Fira de Barcelona, anticipates the attendance of around 3,200 exhibiting companies, occupying a net surface area of 100,000m2 and 7 halls, essentially the entire Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue. The event expects to receive more than 100,000 professional visitors, solidifying its position as the main platform for promoting business, internationalisation, and networking.