Superfoods, robots and AI: innovation bursts on the scene at Alimentaria & Hostelco

Chops enriched with omega 3, beers with proteins and vitamins to aid post-sport recovery, plant-based bacon and lamb, gin made from arbequina olives, anti-diabetic ingredients and robots and artificial intelligence to manage restaurants and serve customers in a personalised manner. These are just a few of the examples of the 300-plus innovations set to be unveiled at Alimentaria & Hostelco 2024, which will once again turn Barcelona into the capital of food innovation.

Alimentaria & Hostelco 2024, to be held from 18 to 21 March at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue, will provide a setting to showcase the food and hospitality industry of the future. The Alimentaria Hub will provide a space enabling visitors to learn more about the most innovative products, most of them created to respond to consumers’ concern for their health and well-being.

We should highlight Thrive, an alcohol-free beer enriched with proteins and vitamins designed to aid muscle recovery. And “Upgrated meat”, a cholesterol-free chop created with lean meat onto which vegetable fat is “printed”, containing omega 3, vitamin D and magnesium thanks to Cocuus 3D technology. Another example will be the Vicky Foods BIO fruit smoothie enriched with collagen and vitamin B to maintain the skin and muscles and provide protection against oxidative stress.

Under the same health vector, we should mention a wide array of products containing extra protein, such as the new meat + protein lines of Noel and El Pozo, Tentorium Energy’s garlic and parmesan-flavoured seasoning that’s also a nutritional supplement (43% protein), the Best Diet tin loaf with 170% more protein and 80% fewer carbohydrates, and Wovo, an alternative to dairy and plant-based drinks made from egg whites.

The plant-based sub-sector based on vegetable proteins will also present new products, including a dehydrated vegan burrito filling (Nuveg), strips of lamb made with pea, wheat and soy proteins (PLNT) and the plant-based bacon and foie gras made by Foodys.

Surprising flavours and formats

Beyond health, another major field of innovation for the food industry is the creation of new flavours and formats to impress consumers. These include Eurocaviar’s fruit spheres with mango, raspberry and citrus fruits, Gaudea’s artisan gin made from arbequina olives and coriander seeds and Bubble Tea’s green tea with fruit jelly bubbles that explode in the mouth.

Surprising formats will also be on view, including Colacao in cookie form, a Kit Kat that can be spread or eaten as a cereal, a ham or broccoli appetiser in chip format made by Snack’in For You and the crunchy-textured snack that’s high in protein made by Gala Foods solely with eggs.

Beneath the axis of consumer convenience, multiple options that can make life easier for people who spend little time in the kitchen will also be on show: Aneto will present its miso broth for ramen, Ozturk will display its gourmet kebab that’s ready in just five minutes and Emcesa with exhibit its barbecue without a barbecue: meat cooked on charcoal embers which can be enjoyed at home after just ten minutes in the oven or microwave.

Startups that are revolutionising the sector

Alimentaria & Hostelco will also provide the stage on which some of the most significant startups in the sector will exhibit their proposals. Names like Nucaps, which creates ingredients capable of helping to reduce diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, will lead the field, together with Colorsensing, which can reduce food waste thanks to a smart label that changes colour, Algemy, which grows and harvests microalgae, a superfood, and turns them into an ingredient that can nutritionally enrich multiple products, and Factic, equipped with a platform that predicts product demand by means of Artificial Intelligence.

Similarly, there will be startups focusing on catering and restaurants such as Checkqr pay, which facilitates ordering and paying at restaurants by means of a QR code, Gloop, which makes fully edible and sustainable cutlery, and swiftON, which applies the Internet of Things to hotel showers to save water and improve the guest experience.

Robots at the service of the Horeca channel

Collaborative robots are also revolutionising the Horeca industry, and some of them will be on display in the “Robot Solutions” space of the Horeca Hub, the new setting for activities in the Horeca industry. This area will offer a replica of the main operational areas of a restaurant (storeroom, kitchen and dining room) with innovative industrial robotics prototypes.

The solutions that will be presented combine artificial intelligence with collaborative robotics, enabling them not only to execute orders, but also to make decisions. This space will exhibit waiter and cleaner robots connected to integral solutions in operation.

In this regard, ICG will present a multi-channel system that applies artificial intelligence to a restaurant, from the registration of the booking to the completion of the order and the production in the kitchen. It’s also able to recognise customers’ profiles and offer them what they want in a faster and more personalised way and it can share the data with the restaurant’s logistics, production, administration and billing system. Robottions will exhibit prototypes of smart carts to improve logistical efficiency in a hotel or restaurant storeroom, as well as cleaning solutions that use artificial intelligence.

Alimentaria & Hostelco, organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions, a Fira de Barcelona company, anticipates the attendance of around 3,200 exhibiting companies, which will occupy a net surface area of 100,000 m2 and 7 halls, practically the whole of Fira Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue. It also expects to welcome more than 100,000 professional visitors, 25% of them from abroad, reaffirming its leadership as the main platform for promoting business, internationalisation and networking.

Press contact

Susanna Santamaría
(+34) 93 452 11 04

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