The countdown is officially under way on the run-up to SIGEP, the International Trade Show of artisan gelato, pastry, bakery and the coffee world, organized by Italian Exhibition Group, which maintains and renews its undisputed leadership at international level. For professional confectionery trade members from five continents, the 39th edition is being held from 20th to 24th January 2018 at Rimini Expo Centre. SIGEP 2018 ensures a very busy calendar of events, competitions and appointments.

First of all, in 2018 there will be the return of the eagerly awaited appointment with the Gelato World Cup, a biennial event, organized by Gelato e Cultura and SIGEP, which addresses the best gelato, pastry, chocolate and haute cuisine professionals, offering them a unique opportunity for confrontation and stimulus in their individual specialities. In recent months, selections were held for the 12 teams which will compete in this eighth edition: Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, France, Spain, Poland, Japan, Switzerland, Morocco, USA, Australia and Ukraine. Italy will not take part, since, according to the contest’s regulations, the undisputed protagonist of the podium at the last edition misses an edition as it is the current title holder. A decorated tub of gelato, artistic gelato cake, decorated cup, haute cuisine entrée, mystery box, artistic items, gelato snacks and final grand buffet (the presentation of all the entries): these will be the tests in which the 60 contestants will be required to show their skills and convince the 14 international judges.

The chocolate sector is moving fast, and comes together at SIGEP, the meeting place for top Italian and international chocolate producers and manufacturers of machinery, equipment and utensils for chocolate making. At the Rimini show the “food of the gods” is ensured an exclusive showcase during the great competitions, from the Italian Chocolate-making Championship, valid for the Cacao Barry World Chocolate Masters, to The Ultimate Chococake Award by Puratos and The Star of Chocolate (in the Pastry Events), not to mention the masters chocolatiers’ tests the during the pastry and gelato contests.

The best cacao production will also be highlighted by means of the direct involvement of the countries of origin, with an initiative organized by the Conpait association of Pastry Masters. Sweetness is a woman, but with a lot of determination inside. This is a well-known fact for the Pastry Queens, who will once gain compete at SIGEP 2018 during the Ladies world pastry Championship. The contest, held every two years and the result of an idea by Roberto Rinaldini, addresses lady pastry chefs from all over the world, who will have to create sweet creations on the theme of ‘astrology’ in the various competition categories: petit fours with the shape of a jewellery ring, individual portions of modern tart, cream dessert in individual glasses with coffee gelato, hot and cold plated desserts and an artistic presentation in sugar and pastilliage. New for 2018: the Pastry Arena will be even more scenographic and will feature a space with an even higher profile for the contestants, with an increasingly innovative format. A challenge between Italy’s big names. There is another appointment with the Italian Senior Pastry Championship, valid for participation in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon, which foresees spectacular tests with ice and sugar, as well as those reserved for chocolate.

Included in the official denomination since the last edition of the show, the world of coffee all meets at SIGEP, internationally acknowledged for the commitment to highlighting the professionalism of baristas and the entire industry of the product chain. In fact, at SIGEP, the finals are held of all 7 Italian championships valid for the World Coffee Event circuit, the coffee industry's “oscar”: the Italian Cafeteria Baristas Championship (4 espressos, 4 coffee-based beverages based on coffee and hot milk and 4 signature espresso-based soft drinks), Latte Art (4 artistic beverages based on coffee and milk), the Brewers Cup (a method of preparation widespread in Scandinavian countries, the USA and Asian countries), Coffee in Good Spirits (2 Irish coffees and 2 cocktails based on hot coffee and spirits), Ibrik (named after a small pot designed specifically for preparing a particular type of coffee), Coffee Roasting (roasting competition) and Cup Tasting (distinguishing the differences in flavour and aroma of various types of coffee).

Coffee will reach its climax with Barista & Farmer, the first international talent show dedicated entirely to the world’s most popular bean. At SIGEP 2018 the complete program of the next edition of the contest will be officially revealed, and will focus on the issue of sustainability, starting from the country of origin. Training and contests. Once again this year, SIGEP Young will feature its workshops connected with bread art, along with numerous new features and contests in the various disciplines and the possibility of courses with the companies.

Even greater attention will be focussed on artisan pastry and confectionery: Halls B7-D7 will host all the sweet line along with bakery, with increasingly in-depth focuses on ingredients, products and semi-finished products.

To streamline the show to the utmost, the SIGEP organization team and technical department are studying a traffic plan to favour the incoming and outgoing flow of the numerous visitors. Plus, structural work is also foreseen for the general services, in order to facilitate visitors’ movement in the expo centre. After the first step, which ended on the occasion of the previous edition of SIGEP, in July the second stage of the extension of the halls will end, raising the gross expo space of IEG’s Rimini expo centre to 123,000 square metres. The end of the work and opening of all the new halls are forecast precisely for the next edition of SIGEP, which will thus be able to count on the availability of no less than 129,000 square metres of expo space.