Hundreds of food industry representatives from 186 countries will make their biennial pilgrimage to the northern peripheries of Paris this weekend for Sial 2002.

Opening on Sunday October 20 for four days the show will comprise of some 5,200 exhibitors from 94 countries, including the likes of PepsiCo, Sara Lee Bakery Group and Florette.

The venue at Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, will be divided into 17 areas focusing on key elements of the global food market.

Product sectors in the centre’s seven halls include dairy, meat, confectionery, frozen foods, organics and alcoholic beverages.

France is the best represented country, fielding 35% of the exhibitors. Italy tops the list of international exhibitors, followed by Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK at number six.

An estimated 135,000 visitors are expected from distribution, commerce, trade, catering, foodservice and food companies, with about half of them from outside France.

GrocerToday will have regular updates from the show on Monday.