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Sial: Differentiation requires innovation—and a passport


MONTREAL —If retailers really are to differentiate themselves, they have to move beyond the usual paths and trod new routes to fresh revelations.

Take, for example, What a Pizza! The Toronto company provides retailers and anyone else looking to offer fast, fresh food a pizza press and oven so they can make their own pies, in front of customers in five minutes. The company works with retail and foodservice accounts in Canada and has just begun operating in the United States through foodservice accounts. Another innovator, O Sole Mio, operating out of Boisbriand, Quebec, offers an entire range of Italian functional food products including the new Via Bene pasta line, which offers whole grains and Omega-3 fatty acids in its items.

Such were the companies exhibiting at the Sial show in Montreal from April 23 to 25.A Canadian version of the major international show held in Paris, the show has shifted from biennial to annual productions and has been evolving from a Quebec-centric to an international viewpoint. With the FMI show shifting from annual to biennial trade shows, smaller exhibitions such as Sial may have a greater attraction, particularly for food retailers who need innovative ideas to spice up their assortments.

Innovative introductions at the show included ice cider from Intermiel, which also produces maple liquor and it’s among the top producers of mead—or honey wine—in North America, a product it is looking to export to the United States. In the snack category, G.o.o.d.b.o.n is highlighting its Crunchy Delight, maple chunk candies meant to provide a natural treat and act as a nut substitute for kids with allergies. And on the beverage side, Tasty Enterprises introduced hone and aloe vera iced teas. The company is making inroads in Florida and Washington, D.C., but continues trying to expand its healthy green teas and line of bubble teas domestically.

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