When it comes to food and drink trade shows, it doesn’t get any bigger than Sial. Every year, the Paris event welcomes visitors from over 200 countries and fills eight halls with exhibitors. As the 2022 show wraps up today (19 October), here are seven of the most surprising innovations and insights:

1. Savoury macarons are in

Forget chocolate and strawberry. Exhibitors at Sial are this year experimenting with some far more adventurous macaron flavours, including porcini mushroom, tomato & parmesan, and foie gras. On-trend treat flavours, such as pumpkin spice and salted caramel, were also available in macaron form.

macarons sial 2022

2. Saffron is having a moment

From saffron-infused cooking oils to dipping sauces, the premium ingredient was prominent across this year’s event. According to Dutch cheesemaker Dilano – which exhibited a saffron-flavoured cheese – the Middle Eastern ingredient is valued by visitors, who recognise its premium price tag, unique colour, and flavour. Austrian brand Royal Saffron also pointed to its claimed benefits in cardiovascular health.

3. The rice cake has had a makeover

Snacking brands at Sial gave rice cakes a premium overhaul. Exhibitors showcased rice cakes with indulgent toppings, such as milk chocolate and salted caramel – or Belgian dark chocolate with frozen dried raspberry pieces. They also swapped the puffed rice base for other ingredients, such as lentils, quinoa, buckwheat and chickpeas.

rice cakes sial 2022

4. Oat milk is going into sweet treats

Oat is the most popular plant-based milk in the UK, and now that popularity is being reflected in vegan sweet treats. Established oat milk chocolate brand Hip showcased its snack-sized and sharing bars, while premium chocolate maker Coco Chocolatier debuted its own oat milk chocolate brand Otherly. US ice cream brand My Mochi, meanwhile, presented a range of oat milk mochi balls in salted caramel, chocolate and strawberry flavours.

h!p oat milk chocolate vegan sial 2022

5. Boozy energy drinks are going global

When WKD debuted its 7% abv energy drink-inspired RTD in May, it caused some controversy. However, Foodibev International had already launched a far more lethal-sounding Exo Mix Vodka Energy Mix RTD – boasting an abv of 18% – in 2021, promising “the power of vodka with the unmistakable flavour of an energy drink” in European and African markets. It showcased the boozy concoction at Sial, alongside an equally potent 18% abv Vodka Sangria Mix.

exo mix vodka sial 2022

6. Coconut cookies are hot property in Iceland

Burton’s Biscuits revealed just how wildly biccie preferences vary by market. Maryland Coconut cookies are its bestselling treat in Iceland, for example, while there’s a buzz around honeycomb-flavoured snacks in Australia. It goes to show there is a world beyond chocolate orange (unsurprisingly named by Burton’s as the leading flavour trend in the UK).

7. The Netherlands makes wacky cheese

Flavoured cheese is a somewhat divisive concept in the UK. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in the Netherlands, if its exhibitors are anything to go by. We sampled coffee, black lemon and strawberry & coconut flavoured offerings from Dutch producers. The result was surprisingly tasty. Could they win over UK tastebuds?

coffee cheese sial 2022