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   Spain Food And Drinks Trade Continues To Grow As Figure Closes In On $2B Per Year
by Alimentaria Exhibitions
Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 3:24PM EST

Relations between the US and Spain have long been important within the food and drinks sector but they could now take a step up with trade hitting the landmark of €1.5 billion ($1.83 billion) in 2016, representing 6% of all Spanish exports and converting the US into Spain’s sixth biggest destination market for food and drink exports. 

Fresh produce from Spain continues to prove to be the most popular in the American market as reflected by the three products which represent almost two thirds of the whole exported Spanish goods market. Those products are olive oil (€445 million ($543 million)), wine (€294 million ($359 million)) and olives themselves (€228 million ($278 million)). 

Their importance is shown at Alimentaria Barcelona, one of the main food, drink and food-service trade shows worldwide, at their most recent show in 2016 when almost 11% of international visitors travelled from the US, making it the eighth most represented nation in terms of visitors. 

According to J. Antonio Valls, the Managing Director of Alimentaria Exhibitions and of the show itself, “Alimentaria is a great chance for professional American buyers to discover the huge variety and quality of products that the Spanish food industry can provide and also offers the perfect location to do business and make contacts with companies from all over the world”.  

In the 2018 show, the number of visitors is expected to increase with even more buyers from the US. Alimentaria has invited over 100 professionals representing key American food and drink companies to join its Hosted Buyers program to visit the show in 2018. 

The Alimentaria Hub area of the exhibition will also become a knowledge, innovation and business center, in which some 11,200 professional meetings between buyers and exhibiting companies from more than 70 countries will take place. With 2018 set to be the largest ever edition, focusing on internationalization, selected buyers, importers and leading operators in the distribution and HoReCa channels, will include several visitors from the US, including the likes of Walmart, H.E.B. Grocery, Co. and Atalanta. These firms have participated in former editions and will be taking part in scheduled business meetings with exhibitors at the show, playing an active role in the various events organized for generating export opportunities.  

Furthermore, the US will be represented by a dedicated stand with some 10 food companies interested in promoting their products in the international market, with a special interest in looking for the best business opportunities in Spain and Southern Europe. Many of them are focused on organic and healthy products, such as Chosen Foods (avocado oils and mayonnaises), Arnel’s Originals (gluten free bread and pastries), San Saba Pecan, LP (nuts) and USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council (pulses).  

The other pivotal differentiating factor for Alimentaria is its focus on boosting innovation and gastronomic quality and it will continue to identify key trends and enhance the connections between the food, gastronomic and tourist industries, relying on experts such as a selected group of Spanish chefs that have close to 40 Michelin stars, including Carme Ruscalleda, the female chef with most Michelin stars in the world that will be showcasing their creations at The Alimentaria Experience. 

Also, with a net exhibition space of over 100,000m2 , the joint organization of the show Alimentaria and Hostelco, the International Exhibition of Equipment for Restaurants, Hotels and Mass Catering, offers both retail and HoReCa sectors the most comprehensive and cross-cutting offering to date. In total, some 4,500 exhibiting firms and more than 150,000 professional visitors are expected to attend. 

Source: Alimentaria Exhibitions

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