Canadian Packaging

Best in Show

Canadian Packaging   

Upcoming national food-industry showcase a perfect backdrop for food-industry innovation and know-how

All people have their own reasons for hailing the arrival of spring after a long Canadian winter, but for food industry professionals, the return of the annual SIAL Canada food-and-beverage industry exhibition, produced by Comexposium Canada, is always a welcome prelude to sunnier days ahead.

Billed as the largest food innovation show in North America, the upcoming SIAL Canada 2023 exhibition—running May 9-11, 2023, at the Toronto’s state-of-the-art Enercare Centre by the city’s lakeshore—is the country’s only national trade show to offer a complete range of food products under one roof to meet the needs of retail, food-service and food-processing industries in one space.

As such, it is very much a must-attend event for most companies operating in the country’s dynamic and ever-evolving packaging sector by offering them a priceless opportunity to stay on top of the latest food industry market trends, innovations and research that will have a profound impact on their own business in the months and years to come.

With that in mind, Canadian Packaging recently reached out to Julianne Pilon, communications and partnership manager at Expo Canada France Inc. in Montreal, for an early insight into what visitors to next month’s SIAL Canada 2023 exhibition can expect.

Q: How big of an event are you expecting at this year’s SIAL Canada 2023 in Toronto next month, and how do you expect it to compare to last year’s edition in Montreal?
A: The upcoming SIAL Canada 2023 exhibition is expected to attract over 20,000 professional visitors to its extensive show floor with more than 1,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends, including cutting-edge Canadian and international innovations.

Compared to its previous edition in Montreal, SIAL Canada 2023 will host a larger number of visitors from Ontario, Canada and the rest of the world.

This year’s event is anticipated to bring back a sense of normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic, as it will feature the participation of over 60 countries—making it one of our largest shows yet.

Q: What are some of the exciting new and old-favorite show features can the visitors expect at this year’s edition?
A: Like always, SIAL Canada is committed to its mission of inspiring food businesses through various means, such as thought-provoking content, interactive demonstrations, and world-class competitions.

There are several exciting features planned for SIAL Canada 2023, including the SIAL Canada Conference program, which will cover a wide range of topics. Also, the return of La Cuisine by SIAL, presented by Doyon Després, will showcase renowned chefs who will demonstrate their latest culinary creations and share their tips.

Additionally, our Inspire Drinks area will be back, where restaurateurs and food professionals will be able to participate in interactive workshops and live tastings, while exploring on-trend topics such as mixology, infusion, fermentation, and well-being.

We will also be highlighting The Food Professor Podcast with host Michael LeBlanc and Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, featuring interviews with industry trailblazers live from the show floor.

Finally, SIAL Canada’s world-class competitions will be back, including SIAL Innovation, the International Cheese Competition, the Pitch Competition, and Olive d’Or, recognizing and rewarding the evolutionary products and people transforming the food industry.

Q: What kind of audience are you hoping to attract to the event?
A: As the only international food show in Canada, this year’s show will bring together the entire value chain—including buyers, sellers, thought-leader, trailblazers, CEOs and young professionals—to connect, learn and collaborate, while fueling innovation, unlocking business opportunities, and shaping the future of the ever-changing agri-food industry.

Q: What are some of the hottest trends in the agri-food industry today that will be highlighted at the show?
A: As SIAL Canada continues to respond to market trends by creating a new space dedicated to non-alcoholic beverages, we’ll be featuring a new ‘Village” are dedicated to such products. This new division, situated nearby our Inspire Drink area, will highlight the unique sectorization taking place in the North American beverage industry.

Several important industry players will also enrich our programming throughout the three days of the show— including chefs Stefano Faita, Chuck Hughes and Matty Matheson—at the La Cuisine by SIAL area.

Q: How big of a packaging component will there be at SIAL Canada 2023?
A: Our packaging sector is the second-largest on the show floor, and it ranks within the ‘Top Five’ subjects of interest among our anticipated 20,000-plus professional visitors.

Driven by an increased demand for environmentally-friendly and innovative packaging options, our packaging sector is growing rapidly.

To that end, SIAL Canada will offer educational sessions focused on packaging, including seminars and workshops on topics such as ‘Circular economy for Plastics: Meeting the Challenge with Innovation,’ which will be led by our resident packaging expert Carol Zweep.

Also this year, SIAL Canada will be introducing new packaging solutions matching the trend known as the ‘Internet of Packaging,’ which utilizes technologies such as QR codes, smart labels, and digital chips to enable consumers to gain more information about products.

The show will also put greater focus on labels, which are becoming more important as they improve communication and foster stronger connections between consumers and brands.

All in all, attendees will be able to discover many new materials, designs and techniques that can help improve their product shelf-life, sustainability and overall appeal, thereby improving their own packaging strategies.

Q: What are some of the more notable and exciting conference sessions and educational opportunities to be offered at the show?
A: Through its conferences and networking events featuring high-profile speakers, SIAL Canada provides exhibitors and visitors with targeted education on hot topics including: regulatory issues related to packaging, nutrition labeling, and prevention of food fraud; sustainable trends and practices like upcycling, regeneration, cellular food and aquaculture; and food-marketing trends in restaurant and retail industries, with special focus on the Gen Z demographic.

Participants will also be able to explore the latest food technologies (A.I., digital twinning, store of tomorrow), and how they can be used to target their marketing.

Anyone planning on attending can easily find our full programming online at

Q: Does the recent launch of the annual SIAL America show in Las Vegas in any ways diminish the appeal of the SIAL Canada series?
A: Being a member of the SIAL Network is more than just having over 60 years of shared experience.

It also means leveraging our global expertise while adopting a localized approach to cater to each market’s specific needs. As a result, we have become a leading reference point for the food industry all over the world.

The new SIAL America is the first-of-its-kind cross-category food and beverage show made in the U.S. But rather than being rivals, SIAL Canada and SIAL America are collaborating extensively to provide exhibitors, importers, food-service companies, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, and restaurateurs with as many business opportunities as possible.

Q: How will this year’s event highlight the growing trend and imperative towards greater environmental sustainability in the food-and-beverage industries?
A: SIAL Canada 2023 has adopted a new powerful and unifying theme, ‘Own the Change,’ to encourage exhibitors and visitors to work together in reimagining the future of the industry.

The ‘Own the Change’ show slogan also means celebrating the industry’s trailblazers, change-makers and rising stars. Specifically, SIAL Canada will be spotlighting food entrepreneurs and the innovations that are revolutionizing the way we produce, consume, and inform ourselves about food through the new Start-Up Village, the Pitch Competition and the SIAL Innovation Awards.

Q: What kind of legacy and impact do you hope this year’s show will leave behind?
A: By showcasing the latest products and trends, we believe that our event will encourage innovation and inspire change across the entire value chain.

The theme “Own the Change,” adopted by the entire SIAL network, will serve as an industry-wide call-to-action to seize the reins of change and reimagine the future together.

The SIAL Canada 2023 exhibition is organized to promotes a prosperous and sustainable future fueled by new ideas, creative solutions and game-changing innovations as that will help foster economic growth.

The event will bring together exhibitors from over 52 different countries, providing them with access to the North American market, while also supporting job creation and entrepreneurship by showcasing new products and business ideas are introduced to the market around the world.

We also hope to leave an environmental legacy by promoting sustainable food production and consumption practices. Our event always encourages the use of environmentally friendly materials and practices, as well as promoting sustainable farming and manufacturing processes.

Last but not least, SIAL Canada 2023 will also leave a social legacy by once again supporting charitable organizations, notably the Daily Bread Food Bank, and other initiatives aimed at alleviating food insecurity and promoting healthy eating habits for all Canadians.


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