Event preview: Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024

The combined Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 show grows again with its most international edition yet. FCSI EAME will present a full program of expert speakers on 20 March

Taking place on 18-21 March 2024 at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue in Barcelona, Spain, the latest edition of the Alimentaria&Hostelco 2024 will see more than exhibiting companies from 57 countries and 100,000 visitors attend the combined shows.

The shows, which celebrate the latest products, thinking and innovation in the food, gastronomy and hospitality industry, will see some the highest participation of international companies and professionals in its history. Of the 3,200 exhibiting companies, 900 will come from outside Spain, while 25% of the 100,000 expected visitors will come from more than 150 countries.

Alimentaria&Hostelco will address major challenges and trends in the industry, such as functional foods, sustainability and AI, while more than 350 activities and demonstrations by 700 prestigious experts and chefs will take place.

Hostelco is traditionally focused on the hotel, restaurant, and café/catering (HoReCa) segments while the Alimentaria international show explores equipment for restaurants, hospitality and foodservice. Restaurama is an additional Alimentaria show specializing in foodservice. This year sees the addition of a new Coffee, Bakery & Pastry sector and Catering in Collectivities area. Alimentaria&Hostelco takes over seven pavilions and almost all of the 100,000 net sq m of Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.

Top chefs and operators Ferran Adrià, Quique Dacosta, Manuela Fensore, Carlos Ríos and Joan Roca will speak at the event’s The Horeca Hub, “an extensive multidisciplinary and experiential area that will disseminate key content for the sector, such as sustainability, digitisation, attracting talent and internationalisation,” says the organizers.

FCSI at the show

Education is at the forefront of FCSI’s presence at Alimentaria&Hostelco. The Society is running a full-day of expert speaker activity at the show on Wednesday 20 March. The program will be moderated by FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant magazine’s editorial team of Michael Jones and Tina Nielsen.

Frank Wagner FCSI, chair of FCSI EAME, will give a welcome address to attendees and explain what the Society represents in the modern era of foodservice and hospitality. Wagner will also introduce a new instalment of the hugely successful FCSI EAME Student Competition, where students from European and Middle Eastern hotel schools will present new concept ideas to a judging panel of FCSI Professional members.

This will be followed by an expert panel focusing on Global trends: opportunities, challenges and change in foodservice and will feature Wagner, plus Marta Cebrián López, Executive director, MCL Food Consulting & It’s Enjoyable; Miguel Chilleron, Design Director, Livit; and Fabio de Vero, Founder, FDV.

Ferran Fisas, President, Culinary Institute of Barcelona, will present on the subject of Artificial intelligence and the world of foodservice, followed by a panel that will debate Energy, the environment and foodservice and featuring Julian Edwards FCSI, Chair, FCSI UK & Ireland; Santiago Llinares Moreno, Manager, Fundación de Restaurantes Sostenibles; and Dario Mulet Snowdon, General Manager, Meiko Clean Solutions Ibérica S.L.U.

Employee wellbeing and women leaders at the forefront

A Keynote on Promoting employee wellbeing will be presented by Gala Macaya, HR Director, Grupo Nomo. Macaya will discuss some of the innovative measure Grupo Nomo puts into place to ensure that its people remain motivated and happy – and the beating heart of their award-winning operations at a national level in Spain with 10 locations between Barcelona, Girona, Costa Brava, and Madrid, as well as its own quality delivery service: Nomomoto.

Macaya will then join a panel focusing on Wellbeing, putting people at the centre of an operation, which will also feature Marcelo Castiglioni, Regional Sales Manager South Europe, Halton and Jürg Luginbühl FCSI, Partner, Flückiger Food Systems.

After lunch a panel focusing on Women leaders in foodservice will see Meghan Daro, Vice President, Consultants Services, The Middleby Corporation; Sofia Gustafsson FCSI, Kökspennan AB; and Marta Morales, Partner and Front-of-House director, Batea, discuss the lack of female representation in leadership roles and will consider the progress being made and the solutions that could be implemented to attract more talented women to the industry.

Finally, before the results of the FCSI EAME Student Competition, a presentation from experienced foodservice consultant Roger Obeid FCSI will address Incorporating disabled workers into hospitality.

Michael Jones

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