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European Products in dedicated food events
FII-Reporter
Date of posting: 29-09-10
      European products are evermore in look out to enter and cement themselves in the Indian market, with an indelible impact on the consumers. To facilitate that, a few dedicated food events have been held in the last months, and we will have a look to them here.

      Taking this note further was EAT – European Art of Taste. EAT had organized a Mission EAT week in Delhi in May, which included In-store demonstrations, Press Conference, Gala Dinner et. al. Chef Andrea Golina (specially flown from Italy) demonstrated how to cook Authentic Italian food and how to combine it with the Finest Italian Wine.

      The meet was an interactive one. With representatives of food product companies for Barilla and Monini giving a little introduction to the company's product range. The brand Barilla showcased their Pasta and Sauces, and Monini it’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The highlights were the similarities between Indian and Italian food and cultures, whereby both are nations of food loving people. Both Italians and Indians are known to gather around tables laden with food, with families and friends and enjoy a hearty meal. This amazing binding factor has made the Italian government to take initiative in introducing Italian cusine to India.

      Present on the occasion was Ms.Silvia Grottola from Barilla, currently testing the Indian market. “Italian pasta should be made in the authentic manner with the right ingredients and in right proportions to savor the authentic Italian cuisine,” she said.

      A few days later, New Delhi saw the shift of taste from Italy to France. Apéritif à la française, a unique French event, was celebrated at the Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel on the 3rd June. This exclusive ‘by invitation’ evening was organised by Sopexa and supported by the French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and highlighted the rich and vivid French heritage of fine food and beverages, lifestyle and culture for the Indian audience.

      The opening address by Mr. Jean Leviol, Head of the Economic, Finance and Trade Department for India and South Asia, kicked off the festivities for the evening. Renowned sommelier Magandeep Singh hosted the grape crushing ceremony (see photo), a pressing-by-feet method used earlier in several countries in Europe. Mr. Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO Wine division for Aspri Spirits and a celebrated wine personality poured the 5-tier champagne fountain, made up of Germany’s Schott Zwiesel champagne flutes.

      Participating in the event were the likes of Dabon International providing tastes of products from Bonjour de France brie, Fol Epi cheese slices, Saint Agur blue cheeses and Chenab Impex who showcased canned fish from Connetable, Pork Pate from Henaff, Foie Gras from Valette and much more. A window into the world of the French bakery was provided by CSM GLOBAL and Le15 Pâtisserie presented the famous French macaroon.

      The concept of this event is to celebrate the diversity and simplicity of French food and drink showcased in simple yet tasty ways as part of a fun, laid-back Apéritif, a delicious ritual that is characteristic of French culinary culture.

      Summer saw also an event named OLIVEITUP (opening speech by Italian ambassador Roberto Toscano, see small photo) which is a three-year campaign financed by the European Union, in collaboration with Italy, for the promotion of European olive oil in India. Accomplished and produced by the Consortium of Guarantee of Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this campaign provides a series of training activities and information services to disseminate correct knowledge of olive oils of European origin, in terms of their quality and healthy attributes. It includes an array of activities like workshops, training programs for stakeholders, incoming/tour program, participation in trade shows, tasting sessions, advertising campaigns in print, television and other media to explain the nutritional aspects of olive oil and its importance in a healthy and balanced diet. The main aim is to promote Olive Oil to increase its use in traditional local and daily cuisine, and to spread awareness of its health benefits. The important role of Olive Oil in preventing cardiovascular diseases and obesity, reducing the risk of cancer and its positive impact on overall health will also be highlighted during the campaign.

      President of the EVC, Mr Elia Fiorillo who unveiled the India campaign intimated, “This is a promotional campaign intended to provide correct information on European olive oil with emphasis on its quality, nutrition benefits and its usage in the kitchen, local and daily cuisine".

      Later, Naini Setalvad, renowned nutrition and obesity consultant from Mumbai spoke about India’s health profile and the benefits of olive oil. “With fast food and fast-paced lifestyles, the health quotient of Indians is going down drastically. It is time we start changing our lifestyle especially our eating habits. Incorporating olive oil in our cuisines will be a perfect start", she warned.

      Every event has been unique in it's nature and dictated it's value, EAT stressed on the authentic manner of cooking to promote the products in line. While Apéritif à la française - Celebrating Connoisseurship, gave a strong platform to showcase their various products combined with jazz and a gala dinner on French food. OLIVEITUP was directed on the health benefits of Olive Oil, which had the President of EVC, visiting Professor, Chef and Nutrition Consultant laying emphasis on the induction of Olive Oil in the Indian cuisine to improve health quotient of Indians and to prevent and fight against many diseases. To prove it's quality a lunch was organized which was prepared completely in Olive Oil.

      It would be interesting to see how the Indian consumers react to the introduced European brands which hold a lot of promise and heath.

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