Hundreds of food industry representatives from 186 countries will make their biennial pilgrimage to the northern peripheries of Paris later this month.

The attraction? Well, from October 20-24 the trade calendar is marked Sial, France.

This time around the show is being staged by some 5,200 exhibitors from 94 countries, including the likes of PepsiCo, Sara Lee Bakery Group and Florette.

Not surprisingly, 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.

And, with 135,000 visitors expected from distribution, commerce, trade, catering, foodservice and food companies - about half of them from outside France - the figures speak for themselves. Sial 2002 is going to be bigger than ever.

See this week’s copy of The Grocer for a full preview of Sial 2002