SIGEP China, the world’s leading B2B show dedicated to the food service industry with its focus on desserts and coffee, will be held in Shenzhen for the first time next year.
“With our strategic partnership with the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), we are bringing Italian flair and German knowhow to this event,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse, one of the world’s largest trade fair companies, via a video message sent to the press conference held earlier this week to announce the news.
It was also announced at the press conference that the GWC — Gelato World Cup, held every two years, will move its preliminaries from Singapore to China. College students and professional chefs are encouraged to participate, and the winners of the preliminaries will compete in the finals in Italy, where teams of four, including a leader, will have to finish assigned tasks within 7.5 hours and have their creations graded by a jury of experts.
For more than 40 years, SIGEP, held in Rimini, Italy every spring except last year due to COVID, has been the stage for innovations in the sector. As a key point of reference for industry insiders, the event provides a complete overview of new market trends: raw materials and ingredients, machinery and equipment, as well as furnishings, packaging and services. The event has been the annual meeting place for more than 130,000 professional buyers from 182 countries and regions and nearly 1,200 exhibitors specializing in desserts from 38 countries.
Helen Lin, senior project director with Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd., speaks at a press conference in Luohu District on Monday. Photos by courtesy of the SIGEP organizers
The first SIGEP event in China, to be held May 10-12, 2023 at Hall 14 of the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center in Bao’an District, will feature exhibition areas for gelato, pastry and bakery, chocolates, and coffee. It will also be a meeting place for the sector’s top experts and opinion leaders to exchange ideas, trends and visions.
The event will coincide with ANUFOOD China, another top food fair organized by Koelnmesse at the venue, meant to be a one-stop sourcing and trading platform featuring the world’s premium snacks, drinks and ingredients.
In addition to exhibitions, the two fairs will organize forums on such themes as desserts and bakery, whiskey and wine, retail food market, and supply-chain and packaging solutions. A young pastry chefs’ tournament, a coffee show, the previously-mentioned GWC preliminaries, and a Chinese delicacy masters’ contest will make the fairs even more exciting.
The synergy of these two professional exhibitions will bring them both to new levels, Böse said.
As to why his company has chosen Shenzhen as their major foothold into the Chinese market, he explained, “The construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) has moved from issue to implementation, becoming one of the most economically vibrant and internationalized regions in China, as well as having the foundation of a top international bay area.”
Corrado Peraboni, CEO of IEG, has high expectations for the events as well. He said entering the Chinese market marks a crucial step for his company to take their brand outside Italy. He is optimistic about the huge potential of the Chinese market and looks forward to taking the products and equipment from Europe to buyers in China.
IEG and Koelnmesse signed a strategic partnership agreement March 15 this year at the opening day of SIGEP in Italy to bring the event to Shenzhen next year.
Terry Wang, executive sous chef with Grand Hyatt Shenzhen, said SIGEP and the GWC offer professional platforms and new business opportunities for chefs and businesses alike.
“Desserts and coffee have been fast-growing sectors in the food and beverage industry in China, as people are embracing the trend of afternoon tea and new choices for breakfast. The trend first caught on in the 1990s in line with the increase in per capita disposable income. And the growth momentum in the sectors will continue,” he said.