The 2024 SIRHA Budapest will open soon

The most important international food and HoReCa trade fair of East-Central Europe will take place in Budapest, at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Centre, between 5-7 March. This year, the central theme of SIRHA Budapest will be ice cream, but the exhibition will also cover all aspects of gastronomy.

This year, for the sixth time, HUNGEXPO will host the most important representatives of gastronomy in Hungary and the region. Based on the experience of the past years, around 20,000 professional visitors will meet more than 300 exhibitors from 16 countries on an exhibition area of 30,000 square metres.

Recent years have brought many new challenges for domestic and international market players. The HoReCa sector has also faced higher costs and changing demand due to the surge in energy and raw material prices and changes in demand. SIRHA Budapest is an international event that follows the industry trends and provides an opportunity for professionals to discuss and share best practices and innovations in energy efficiency and sustainability, to foster business contacts and to find new partners.

The SIRHA Budapest International Trade Fair covers seven themes. These are: bakery and pastry, confectionery, food, hotel, restaurant and catering, coffee and beverages, and packaging and kitchen technology.

Taking into account the international trends of the product, the organisers will add a new element to the offer in 2024: this time the focus of the event will be on craft ice cream.  Ice cream is becoming increasingly popular around the world, and the dynamics of this development are reflected in the fact that, according to a survey by EXPO Consulting, the product will reach a worldwide turnover of €9 billion in 2021. Hungary has never before hosted such a major event, with a large number of foreign and domestic participants.

What’s new at SIRHA Budapest

The Gelato Festival World Masters – Hungary Challenge will be one of the professional programmes of SIRHA Budapest. Launched two years ago, the world event, organised by Carpigiani and Sigep- Italian Exhibition Group, is looking for the best gelato in the world. On the first day of the exhibition, the ice creams will be prepared in three competition boxes and judged by a panel of experts. The winning ice-cream makers will go through to the final in Bologna, from where two will qualify for the world final.

On the second day, a playful and creative ice cream competition with pastry students will be organised under the title “Ice cream adventure 2024”. The primary aim of the programme is to educate young people about the mysteries of ice cream making. The main organisers of the programme are the Hungarian Confectioners’ Association and Hungexpo Zrt.A kiállításon megjelennek és bemutatókat tartanak a legfontosabb alapanyag gyártók és forgalmazók

SIRHA Budapest’s new programme will include the World Pizza Championship Selections – Hungary, where national and regional pizza competitors will compete against each other. The event will feature star chefs and Michelin-starred gastronomic experts promoting the world-famous Italian pizza and, of course, pizza tasting.

SIRHA Budapest, a long-time exhibitor, is preparing a new programme for this year’s exhibition with its partners Trade magazine. Next to the Future Store they will open a stand under the name START-UP ISLAND. Ten start-ups, selected by a professional jury from among the applicants, will be exhibiting as the most promising companies to have started their career in the FMCG market in the last 3 years. Trade Magazine will also open its almost 800 m2 Future Store Innovations stand this year, where visitors will be able to see the latest product developments, innovative equipment solutions and services on the market that are about to be launched.

Professional competitions

The SIRHA Innovation Competition will be held again this year, where Hungarian and foreign innovative products and services launched between the two exhibitions will compete. The prizes will be awarded at the opening ceremony.

In the traditional Public Catering Cooking Competition, participants compete on the basis of quality and sustainability. This year’s competition is part of the “One Meat Free Day” campaign to promote the food culture, showcase the use of fresh local ingredients and provide professional training for entrants and visitors. The competing teams are made up of four people and the event is hosted by Zsófia Mautner, who is well known for her books and recipes.

This time, the Hungarian Bakers’ Association’s programmes will also be prominently featured at the exhibition. The Tasty Bakery Product Competition, linked to the Easter celebrations, will be open to participants with a Hungarian-Russian calacia pastry and a puff pastry. This year, the Bakers’ Association is organising a competition for students of vocational schools.

The President of the Bakers’ Association, József Septe and his board members, as well as his staff, will answer professional questions at the Association’s stand on all three days of the exhibition.

This year, the qualifying round of the Hungary’s Cake competition will again take place at SIRHA Budapest.

For the fifth time, the Hungarian Confectioners’ Association is organising the János Pataki Memorial Competition for pastry students and pastry graduates. The competition is completely informal, with free choice of theme in all categories. The industry body intends to showcase outstanding Hungarian confectionery at the spectacular competition at the SIRHA Budapest trade fair and to give a boost to the young generation of confectioners with new ideas. The decorative works will be on display at the Industry Association’s stand on all three days of the exhibition. The latest entries to the János Pataki Memorial Competition attracted 46 entries, and interest remains high among both professionals and visitors alike.

Professional conferences, round tables

SIRHA Budapest will again host a number of professional conferences and round tables.

These include the conference of the Pannon Gastronomic Academy (PGA), which brings together the best of the best in the field, where the latest gastronomic trends will be discussed.

LANDRA AI Roundtable – Artificial Intelligence in Hospitality and Food will host a roundtable on the closing day of SIRHA Budapest. The theme is the potential of AI and industry experiences. The food industry will be represented by Nestlé, hospitality by Foodora and robotics by Enjoyrobotics.

The HoReCa Marketing Communication Workshop will focus on topics of concern to professionals, which can be approached through the tools of marketing.
The National Association for Packaging and Material Handling (CSAOSZ) and the

EUROFINS Food and Feed Testing Budapest, Gyula Laboratories are organising a joint professional programme to discuss the changes in the new EU food safety and environmental regulations on packaging.

For more than 10 years, the Responsible Gastronomy Foundation has been helping Hungarian restaurants to reduce their ecological footprint by providing advice and tips on environmentally friendly operations. The Foundation will participate in the 2024 edition of the exhibition and will contribute to the diversity of the event by organising the Sustainability Conference.

To help food (or cosmetics, pharmaceuticals) companies enter the Islamic market, this year’s Halal Conference will help participants to understand the halal purity standards standards and regulations.