Aliment.AR aims to establish Argentina as the ‘supermarket of the world’

By Carolina Araoz in Buenos Aires

- Last updated on GMT

Aliment.AR aims to establish Argentina as the ‘supermarket of the world’
After a successful inaugural event in 2017, Aliment.AR is returning to Buenos Aires to provide Latin American food suppliers with global exposure for their products, say the show’s organizers.

The event, which will take place in November, aims to become the meeting point for the food industry, buyers and investors in Argentina and across Latin America.

“Through Aliment.AR, our aim is to promote the agroindustrial industry in the world, strengthening value chains, promoting innovation and productivity and stimulating the generation of new food companies, with high added value and global quality,”​ Emilia Williams, responsible for Marketing and International Affairs of Exponenciar SA, the company in charge of organizing this exhibition, told FoodNavigator-LATAM.

“After a great success in its last year first edition, Aliment.AR will take place again in November 2018 but in a smaller scale, and next year we will do it again in its full edition. This B2B exhibition from Latin America to the world is turning into the meeting point for the food industry, buyers and investors at the same time and place.

“Lots of nutrition and beverage firms came last year to Buenos Aires to attend our first edition and showed their products from Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as from Ecuador, Jamaica, Costa Rica and other LatAm countries,” ​she said.

Exponenciar SA was formed by the two main media groups of Argentina (Clarín and La Nación). It was already responsible for two important shows in the country: Expoagro​, a large exhibition focused on machinery and agribusiness, and Caminos y Sabores ​focused on showing producers and products in a national scale.

Filling a void

Williams continued: “We are very satisfied [with Aliment.AR] because there was a lack of this kind of exhibitions focused on export, since the most important expositions were in the northern hemisphere. There was nothing similar on the global calendar that could interest the Argentinian food suppliers in the Southern hemisphere.

“From this point of view we saw the opportunity and tried to understand that not only was it necessary to have an exhibition of these type but also that Argentina needed a central business district to receive the big buyers of the world, a business exhibition (B to B) attractive for both the demand and the supply.

Aliment.AR 1

“We understood the buyers, we also understood the unique characteristics that our region possesses and we realized how Argentina could contribute versatility and variety (because of its natural resources and of its food safety),” ​said Williams.

The objective to empower Argentine global businesses and to transform the country into the world supermarket is shared by the national government, the private sector, and strategic international financial organizations, such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Argentine Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.

The event is not just about Argentina, however, with the organizers aiming to position Aliment.AR as a Latin-American exhibition, “from LatAm to the world”, ​said Williams. “We want all the products offered to have added value and we want the word to perceive us as an integrated region.”

Private and public sector integration

Although this is a private sector initiative, Williams and the organization team know the importance to articulate the work with the public sector (ministries and international organizations), since the exhibition was defined as a space of product exhibition and also as a window to show trends and innovation.

“We want to surprise our visitors with new things. In the past edition for example, it was possible to see in the stand of Chile a square melon or a snack produced with salmon skin. They showed also spirulina, an ancient microscopic blue-green algae presented by Spirulina Fox, who were contacted by Baggio (juice company) and Danone (dairy products), who wanted to include it in some of their products,” ​said Williams.

To expose participating companies to new opportunities the organizers are encouraging them to participate in the B2B business meetings in LAC Flavors, an International Business Matchmaking event held in the context of the exhibition.

“We are trying to help our visitors to accomplish as much business as possible,” ​said Williams. “Therefore, we studied in advance the profiles of buyers and exhibitors, and do the matchmaking.

"There is not an exhibition of this nature linked to the food and beverages industry in the Southern Cone, and we think that it presents a big opportunity. The aim is to promote the exportable supply of Argentina and the region to the world, and at the same time to attract potential investments.”

Aliment.AR in numbers

The first edition of the show was held in 2017, with over 300 international and local buyers from major firms from 45 countries of the five continents attending the event in Buenos Aires. Business meetings were held with 300 exporting companies of food and beverages from 24 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. On average, each exhibitor had 20 business meetings.

“Thanks to this public-private integration and to the trust given by this important group of companies that took part of this edition, Aliment.AR has fulfilled the objective of promoting the food exports of the region and of creating new business opportunities all around the world. We have also counted with a space for debate to analyze the strategies to attract investments that boost the country’s potential,” ​said the organizers in 2017.

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