Placing Portugal on the culinary world stage

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The iconic Pasteis de Nata, baked custard tarts, from Portugal. Pic: ©GettyImages/Roman Larin/EyeEm
The iconic Pasteis de Nata, baked custard tarts, from Portugal. Pic: ©GettyImages/Roman Larin/EyeEm

Related tags Portugal Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa Health and wellness Sustainability Country of origin labelling

Doors to the 15th edition of Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa – the largest business platform for the F&B industry in Portugal – are about to open. BakeryandSnacks chats to Fátima Vila Maior, director of the event, to find our more.

Tell us about the event.

Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa – held every second year since 1991 – is a joint venture between Lisbon International Fair and Alimentaria Exhibitions, based in Barcelona, serving as a platform for Europe, Africa and South America to showcase the latest innovations in the food and drinking industry.

Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa 2019 is being held at International Lisbon Fair from March 24-26, 2019.

In addition to covering the entire Portuguese market, it is a natural bridge between traders of the food industry trade and countries of Portuguese influence – Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique – totalling more than 200 million potential consumers.

This year’s event – the 15th​ edition – is stronger than ever.

Throughout the three days of the fair (March 24-26), the more than 800 exhibitors will showcase over 2,000 brands, highlighting the latest trends and newest approaches on the global market.

This fair is also hosting the best that is made in the Portuguese food sector, dedicated to growing demands for healthy lifestyles and food sustainability.

We expect the show will attract more than 22,000 visitors.

What are the key themes of this year’s exhibition?

This edition of Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa follows a new strategy, based on:

  • Health and wellness – the new trends of healthy eating.
  • Alimentaria Lab – where innovation, investigation, new projects, new ideas are discussed, from companies and entrepreneurs, startups and universities.
  • Espaço Origens – an area dedicated to allowing visitors to contact the producers and get to know the origins behind the products, with cooking and tasting sessions.

That said, we’ll also have lots of news about sustainable, more environment friendly packaging. I believe that’s one of the future trends that every country in the world will adapt, sooner or later.

What is the program line-up?

We will have multiple activities happening that support the commercial, formative and informative exchange, allowing the exchange of knowledge and contacts with the gastronomic and food universe.

Alimentaria Lisboa logo

For example, Live Innovation Hotel, which promises to be the ‘world’s most technological hotel,’ highlighting the latest trends of this sector. This project will be presented through numerous areas, including kitchen and dining room; hall and living room; terrace and bar; and conference room.

Other events include the 3rd​ Forum of Distribution, which will delve into the topic ‘How will the food and non-food be distributed over the next decade?’ and the first edition of Sushi Cup Portugal, with Portuguese sushi chefs competing for the opportunity to go to World Sushi Cup Japan 2019.

How important is Portuguese cuisine on the global culinary stage?

Our cuisine is one of our biggest heritage offerings and recognized around the world for its diversity, unique flavors and quality. There are numerous Michelin-starred chefs in Portugal, many of them having been awarded the stars in the past few years.

Portuguese chefs are bold and creative and I foresee an incredible future for Portuguese cuisine, with even more recognition.