This month Paris promises a spectacular love affair with all that's best in food and drink products from around the world The SIAL 2000 global hypermarket for new and innovative food and drink products runs from October 22-26. SIAL 2000 will offer retailers and buyers a unique opportunity over five days to: - source new suppliers - identify latest trends - discover thousands of new products from all over the world and local products from specific regions - understand consumer developments - attend talks and workshops on a range of key issues affecting the food industry. Held every two years, the 2000 event looks set to break all previous SIAL records. Organised in sectors, the exhibition has a new hall and increased exhibition area of 200,000 square metres, and organisers say the show is fully booked with 5,000 exhibitors from 90 countries. Exhibitors include many international players, such as Procter & Gamble and Ben & Jerry's, plus leading national food and drink suppliers from all the participating countries. The opportunity for buyers to source new products and suppliers is enormous. Understandably, SIAL's organisers anticipate a record attendance of around 130,000 visitors. To help visitors go straight to the stands that interest them and make the best use of their time, the exhibition is divided into 17 sectors, including a new one devoted to catering, all spread over seven halls. Floor plans and signage will help visitors find their way around easily. To locate specific products and suppliers, 11 theme trails have been created. Full details of these are in leaflets available at all the show's entrances. Themes cover: - health products/functional foods - alcoholic beverages - non-alcoholic beverages - Asian products - kosher foods - organic foods - products for the elderly - infant foods (for children under three) - vending machine products - vegetarian foods - route de la mer ­ seafood products. Among the show's events is an area for trends and innovations in hall 6, featuring 11 worldwide food consumption trends. These trends are represented by more than 500 new products selected by an independent panel of experts. They are featured in a trends book on sale at the exhibition, while a selection of the products will be displayed in the innovations area. A number of products from British exhibitors have been selected for inclusion in the trends book and the display area, among them leading barbecue sauces supplier BMI Group and First Quality Foods which specialises in flavoured couscous. In response to growing visitor interest in ingredients and additives, the show will have a dedicated advice centre providing information on the range of products and suppliers at the exhibition. SIAL's organisers say that more than 16,000 visitors attended the 1998 show looking for these type of products and to find out about the latest developments. SIAL 2000 is more than just an exhibition ­ it is also the place to meet and talk about the key issues affecting the world's food and drink industry. With this in mind, a number of conferences and meetings are scheduled around the event. These include: - Four breakfast debates, organised by Sopexa, on the theme Who influences consumers in their food choices?' Each debate will cover opportunities in four major geographical areas. To register tel: +33 (0) 1 4469 4000. Fax: +33 (0) 1 4469 4245. - The Food Industry and the New Economy ­ Logistics and E-business. Seminar on Monday, October 23, organised by Arthur Andersen and presented by consultants from its corporate division. Arthur Andersen contact Pierre-Eric Bethous, tel: +33 (0)1 5561 0342. Fax: +33 (0)1 5561 3717. - Informing our Customers. All-day forum, October 24, with the participation of retail managers and experts, run by the French Retail and Distribution Federation. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}