40 years: an important target, but also a privileged launching pad for heading for the future. From yesterday until next Wednesday, the sweet foodservice world is at Rimini expo centre, which yesterday hosted the opening of the 40th edition of SIGEP, Italian Exhibition Group’s international Trade Show of Gelato, Pastry, Bakery, Coffee and Chocolate. The expo centre is entirely occupied: 129,000 square metres and 1,250 companies.

Andrea Corsini

Following introductory greetings from the president of Italian Exhibition Group, Lorenzo Cagnoni, Andrea Corsini, Emilia-Romagna Regional Councillor for Commerce and Tourism, spoke: He said, “Here at SIGEP there is a concentrate of innovation and internationalization – talents that know how to do things well and represent a product chain with important economic values. SIGEP is the leading edge initiative for an expo player with an international profile such as IEG, and contributes to the tourist success of a Region that ended the 2018 season with 60 million visitors.”

Andrea Gnassi

Rimini’s Mayor, Andrea Gnassi, reminded attendees: “Following up on the great New Year celebrations that have just been held, SIGEP is an event that enables the tourist industry to continue to boost the economy. Connecting opportunities and events and between them, other parts of the country means providing a service for Italy’s growth. We are proud to represent a city with this strategy. The food world is at the centre of values to promote. Obviously well-connected infrastructures are required, but it is also necessary to have something to say and excellent products to offer. SIGEP is one of these.”

Gian Marco Centinaio

Gian Marco Centinaio, Italy’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies and Tourism, commented, “SIGEP highlights Italian-made products that the whole world tries to copy. The agrifood sector exalts enterprises that in agriculture and processing are able to ensure authentic excellence and the positive figures confirm this leadership. Our job is to help the enterprises to carry out their work serenely, assist them against competition and support them in promotion. The Ministry is stipulating precise agreements to promote Italian agrifood worldwide, and I hope that shortly it can also do so with the gelato world.”


The inauguration was followed by the opening talk ”The Future is now! The scenario of sweet foodservice in the world: innovation and internationalization. Trends, new formats, successful case histories” in which the participants, moderated by the deputy editor of Il Sole 24 Ore Alessandro Plateroti, were Matteo Figura (Foodservice Italy Director – NPD Group), Roberto Bramati (President, Spazio Futuro Group and Commissione Consultiva Food & Food Court CNCC) and Ugo Ravanelli (CEO, Italian Exhibition Group).


Countless new products are exhibited in the halls: gelato visitor’s attention and palates were drawn by new flavours with more than a hint of Oriental taste, as well as those ranging from aloe through elderberry to quinoa, and including those based on fruit, vegetables and flowers. There were also numerous, increasingly digital, proposals to facilitate the baker’s profession, but always combined with the accentuation of artisan excellence and quality traditions.


Right from the opening of the halls, Rimini expo centre was crowded with thousands of trade visitors. It must be remembered that the expo centre can be reached directly by train, thanks to the mainline railway station (Milan – Bari line) just 50 metres from the south entrance to the expo. 20 stops are scheduled by Frecciabianca trains and 112 by Regional trains: a total of 132 stops on the five expo days. The SIGEP Train connecting RiminiFiera station with those of Santarcangelo and Cattolica has also been confirmed. Bus routes N° 5 from Torre Pedrera and N° 10 from Miramare have also been boosted. The two buses will come to the expo centre 340 times on the five days of the show. Shuttle buses are also scheduled from Bologna airport and (free) from Ancona and Orio al Serio airports. A total of 131 runs are scheduled.

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