Press Release

Alimentaria 2008

Barcelona, 25 March 2008

With over 33,000 visitors, the number of foreign visitors increased 21% over the previous edition in 2006

Alimentaria 2008 receives 158,000 professional visitors,

4% more than the show’s previous edition

Alimentaria 2008 closed its doors last 14 March with the best results ever for square metres occupied (131,000), professional visitors – some 158,000, pending final figures – and participating companies (5,000). The se numbers made the Spanish benchmark event for the agri-food sector number two worldwide, as well as acting to stimulate continued growth at the next edition 2010. The show generates some 169 million in indirect revenue for Barcelona and the surrounding area.

Pending a final visitor count for 14 March, some 158,000 professionals – 4% more than in 2006, when attendees numbered 152,000 – visited Alimentaria during a week of intense trade show activity in Barcelona . Especially significant was the presence of professionals from abroad, some 33,000 from 155 countries, 21% of total visitors. This means that one out of every five visitors came from another country.

Josep Lluís Bonet, president of Alimentaria and Fira de Barcelona, emphasised that Alimentaria 2008 ‘more than’ fulfilled expectations. ‘I am highly satisfied with how the show went,’ he stated, and gave thanks for the ‘support’ of the Royal Family. The Prince and Princess of Asturias inaugurated the show on 10 March. Also in attendance were acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Elena Espinosa, Generalitat of Catalonia President José Montilla, and Catalonia ’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action, Joaquim Llena, among other authorities. In the words of Bonet, Alimentaria is among Fira Barcelona’s ‘great’ shows, ‘those that encourage us to continue moving forward’.

For José Antonio Valls, director of Alimentaria and deputy general manager of Alimentaria Exhibitions, Alimentaria ‘introduces new models for success which, in view of the event’s ability to attract visitors and the positive response of exhibitors, makes it clear that buyers, companies and operators from the sector and the trade show’s organisers are moving in the same direction’.

For Valls, the impact of Alimentaria was not only quantitative, but also ‘extremely qualitative’. As examples, he highlighted the very well received new Alimentaria Premium area, the International Food Forum with the presentation of the TNS study ‘Requirements of Future Shoppers’, Innoval’s Future Shop and feedback from companies taking part in the show.

Goals achieved

Valls emphasised the fact that Alimentaria 2008 met its goals for international participation in the event and the reorganisation of the show’s different sectors. With regard to the latter, he noted the significant growth of Restaurama, which doubled its size to 15,000 m2, becoming the European benchmark show for hotels, catering, restaurants and hospitality. He also made mention of the overall satisfaction with the Intercarn show, which also moved to a new location with this edition of Alimentaria. Additionally, the event’s organisers offered a ‘very positive’ assessment of the level of quality achieved. The re was considerable improvement in transport and links between the two trade show venues, thanks to both the shuttle buses provided by the organisers and the new Fira - Europa station for the Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) train service, a mode of transport used by close to 60,000 visitors, a daily average of 12,000.

International exhibitors

Close to 5,000 leading food and beverage manufacturing and distribution companies from 70 countries presented their wares in Barcelona , turning the city into the world food and beverage capital for the week.

Alimentaria 2008 consolidated its position as an international business centre with the presence of 1,500 international companies, 30% of the 5,000 exhibitors at the event. This represented a 6% increase over the show’s previous edition.

The EU contributed the majority of international exhibitors. Italy, with 296 firms; Germany, with 50; Belgium, with 59; France, with 131; the Netherlands, with 31; Portugal, with 40; Greece, with 72; and the United Kingdom, with more than 35, were the companies with the largest number of representatives. In terms of participants from outside the European Community, China sent 40 companies; Egypt, close to 20; Argentina, 20; the United States, 20; and Turkey, 15.

The re was significant participation from Latin America and a marked increase in the presence of new EU member countries, as well as those from the Asian continent. Bulgaria , Hungary , Panama , Cyprus and Egypt made their first appearance.

Alimentaria, business incubator

Among the most successful activities, one which will have some of the greatest impact on the future in the form of new business, were the international projects involving business owners from Latin America, Asia, the countries of the Central and Eastern EU, the United States and Canada. Participants included close to 200 Spanish companies, 500 foreign buyers and 150 foreign manufacturers. Close to 7,800 business meetings were held.

New product showcase

During the five days of Alimentaria, a great many new products could be found along the trade show’s aisles. Many of these were concentrated in the innovation area, Innoval, while others were at the stands in the two venues.

At Innoval, the company Connein presented a new pizza in the shape of a cone. Avoro Foods, extra virgin avocado oil. Krups and Heineken, a beer tap for the home. Nesquik, a relaxing cocoa powder for children. The company Casanovas presented liquid salt and salt in gel form; Arluy, an energy snack; H.Mallafré, olive oil with passion fruit; Alinaco, pizza with a Spanish potato omelette base; Inodducky-Mas Parés, mille-feuille of confit and duck foie gras with caramelised apple and pear; and Marqués de Vizhoja, single-serving size shots of eau-de-vie for coffee.

Other discoveries at Alimentaria were olives stuffed with fruit, tea just for men, tinned clams marnière, bottled edible seaweed, beer with cola, soy-based meat for vegetarians and the first cured salmon ham, ‘jalmón’. Other noteworthy new products included a novel liquid smoke which gives meat the true flavour of an open-air barbecue; a gum which speeds up and extends suntans; café latte in a Tetra Brik; pre-cooked and peeled eggs; vodka in a toothpaste tube and an anti-aging drink.


The various activities which took place in conjunction with the trade show offered a dynamic and educational counterpoint to business activity. Innoval’s Future Shop; the International Food Forum; the International Congress on the Mediterranean Diet; BCNVanguardia; the Chef of the Year Competition; Vinorum; Spain, Land of Oils and Cured Iberian Meat Products; Spain, the Country of 100 Cheeses – New!; and the International Pizza Championship were among the most noteworthy.

Alimentaria 2008 set aside 9,000 m2 of exhibition space for these activities, 28% more than two years ago, an indicator of the significant added value they bring to the show.

The Alimentaria trade show is organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions, a joint venture of Fira de Barcelona and Reed Exhibitions.