By: Phyllis Koegel
Marketing Director, OU Kosher
Every two years, SIAL, a unique global food event, attracts over 150,000 of the world’s leading retail and foodservice buyers. SIAL, which takes place at the Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte in France, October 21 -25, 2018, is a five-day event and one of the most dynamic international food industry events, effectively creating thousands of business opportunities in a B2B environment.
SIAL, which stands for “Salon International de L’alimentation” in French, was first established in 1964 by several groups, including the General Confederation of the Retail Food Trade and the French Ministry of Agriculture. Twenty-six countries participated in the first fair, which was held at the Center of New Industries and Technologies in La Defense, France.
For over fifty years, SIAL has played a key role in the discovery of the newest trends and business opportunities in the food industry. With over 7,000 exhibitors, 85% of which are international, SIAL has been described as the “Global Food Marketplace”, bringing together people from over 109 countries all around the world eager to discover the most innovative food products, as well as to analyze consumer trends and new products in the industry.
The food world around us is changing at incredible speed. The focus has shifted to the consumer, and the way that people choose foods, whether to make their lives easier, healthier or more enjoyable. Food innovation is responding in a dynamic way with new products emerging every day.
In the global economy, food, next to life itself, is our greatest common denominator. Few activities are as instinctive as eating, and few activities have such a profound impact on us physiologically, psychologically and culturally, as eating. Food nourishes and helps us explore new cultures and build stronger relationships.
Over the past decade, we’ve come to embrace the fact that the food we eat profoundly impacts our health, but this wasn’t always the case. Western medicine healthcare was reactive. Eastern medicine was holistic; taking into consideration the mind, body and spirit. Taking cues from the East, today’s personalized food and beverages allow consumers to follow unique diets more targeted than gluten-free, paleo and vegan, each chosen for a consumer’s one-of-a-kind physiology.
Globalization has many significant benefits in terms of access to a variety of foods. Leading food analysts, Mintel, state in their Global Food and Drinks Trends 2018 Report that consumers are increasingly sensitive to ongoing health trends and that they demand complete transparency about what they are eating and drinking. Growing awareness about improving food quality is increasing and the demand for food certifications are compelling food producers to obtain a variety of certifications, to attract consumers to purchase their products.
Certified food products are perceived to be safer and more secure as they pass through various verification processes. Consumers prefer to opt for certified food products including Kosher, Organic and Non-GMO which ensure that the company has proper safety and quality check management systems in place. New research shows that the $24 billion kosher food market is projected to grow by 11.5% by 2025, with much of the growth behind mainstream products that have adapted kosher certification.
When speaking to food manufacturers and their expectations for their business, it’s all about one thing: growth. Innovation in the industry is happening so fast and there’s a thirst for “new” like never before.
OU Kosher, the global leader in Kosher certification is the most recognized and trusted Kosher symbol worldwide, certifying over 12,000 plants in 98 countries. SIAL provides OU Kosher with the opportunity to meet thousands of OU Kosher clients in person and to consult with potential new customers. Having Kosher certification gives food manufacturers a competitive edge in the marketplace.
OU Kosher, like SIAL, works to shape what consumers choose both today and tomorrow. According to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher, “We firmly believe that OU Kosher’s growth is driven by our unwavering focus of our core values of providing the highest level of Kosher certification. We believe it is these core values, that resonate most with our customers and differentiate us from our competition.”
Phyllis Koegel serves as Marketing Director for the Orthodox Union. Ms. Koegel is a marketing professional with over 25 plus years in the kosher food industry. Ms. Koegel travels the world, representing the OU Kosher certification agency and regularly meets with thousands of food manufacturers looking to gain entry to this profitable market for export. Ms. Koegel lives in Long Island, NY and has an MBA degree from Pace University.