- 14 Caribbean brands showcased products in France under the ‘Absolutely Caribbean’ pavilion.
- Over 300,000 agri-food industry professionals visited the tradeshow from 15-19 October.
- SIAL Paris 2022 attracted importers, buyers, distributors, and retailers from around the world.
Caribbean food and drink brands stood out from the crowd at the recently concluded international tradeshow ‘SIAL Paris 2022’, with premium products ranging from coffee and chocolate to rum and wine.
Exhibiting under the ‘Absolutely Caribbean’ umbrella with the support of the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the European Union, 14 Caribbean brands made a lasting impression on thousands of agri-food professionals with their authentic, innovative, and unique products which use natural, flavourful ingredients.
SIAL is the world’s leading bi-annual trade fair and this year it attracted around 300,000 visitors along with 7,000 exhibitors from over 200 countries. The major tradeshow has not been held since 2018 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so visitors were looking forward to five days of networking, engagement, and discovery, with organisers saying the event could generate close to €50 billion in business transactions.
After visiting the ‘Absolutely Caribbean’ booth, commercial director at Wanis, a leading UK food and drink distributor, George Philips, told Caribbean Export that he was impressed with the range of premium Caribbean products on show at SIAL. He said: “I think this shows that all of the Caribbean manufacturers are stepping up their game and they are really pushing out brands that can compete with anything in Europe or the US.”
Co-founder of J & J Spirits, Jack Astacio, said he was “proud and happy” to be exhibiting at SIAL. Speaking shortly after the event got under way, he added: “We have received a lot of interest from around the world, like the Philippines and Africa, and that’s why it’s important to be here. We’ve also been humbled by all the information and feedback so now we can take that back to our countries and do any necessary adjustments.”
Managing director at Coffee Roasters of Jamaica Limited, Mark Fletcher, said he hoped exhibiting in Paris would help his brand break into the European market: “We’ve already had some good interest in our products so we hope those leads turn into orders”, he stated.
Reflecting at the end of the event, VincyFresh’s Shelly-Ann Fraser, described taking part in SIAL as “a privilege”. She added: “It was an absolute pleasure serving samples to visitors to our stand and watching and hearing their delightful reactions to our fine collection of sauces, marinades and condiments.
“The networking opportunities were awesome. I met with market leaders and distributors of our line of products operating in Europe and Africa. VincyFresh is very grateful for this opportunity to expose our world-class products to an international audience.”
The Caribbean companies showcasing at SIAL Paris 2022 were; Native Organics from The Bahamas, Barbados’ Superb Blend, Belize’s Truly Turmeric, The Dominican Republic’s Chicharon The World’s Cinnamon Rum and J&J Spirits, SRL, Only Coconuts from Guyana, Choko Lakay from Haiti, Coffee Roasters of Jamaica Ltd, St Lucia’s Cacoa Sainte Lucie and St Lucia Distillers, Flauriel from St Kitts and Nevis, Sishado from Suriname, V’Toria Rhonda Vineyard & Winery from Trinidad and Tobago and VincyFresh Ltd from St Vincent and the Grenadines.