Sigep 2018 Breaks Records as Coffee Sector Continues to Grow

Attendance at this year’s Sigep 2018 expo in Rimini, Italy, shattered records as more than 209,000 visitors passed through the doors over the five-day event from January 20-24.

BY KENNETH R. OLSON
BARISTA MAGAZINE

Over the course of the last handful of years, the massive international trade show Sigep, which fills the sprawling fiera, or convention center, just outside the beachside resort city of Rimini on the Adriatic Coast, has made a concerted effort to increase its reach into the coffee sector. At Sigep 2018, the results were tangible.

Sigep 2018
The new La Marzocco Leva machine at the Quarta Caffe booth drew many admirers at Sigep.

Sigep traditionally focused on confections, baked goods, chocolate, and the Italian desert staple of gelato. And once again those sectors and halls took the lion’s share of the convention center. But coffee—specifically specialty coffee—continues to make inroads. Over the last five years, the space devoted to specialty coffee on the show floor has nearly quintupled, expanding from one hall in the fiera to five halls in the most recent iteration of the event.

Sigep 2018
2017 World Roasting Champion Rubens Gardelli receives a special achievement award from the Italian Specialty Coffee Association.

Of the more than 200,000 attendees, roughly 32,200 were from outside of Italy, with 180 countries represented. But Sigep is about more than just exhibits and the always-bustling show floor; it also hosts a wide variety of popular competitions. This year, Sigep 2018 was home to the international championships of the Gelato World Cup and The Pastry Queen (the women’s world pastry championship), as well as host to the Italian Coffee Championships.

Sigep 2018
Barista & Farmer founder Francesco Sanapo gives an interview on the Sigep show floor.

Additionally, Sigep is one of the primary sponsors for Barista & Farmer, the reality show and competition that brings an international team of coffee professionals to live and work on a coffee farm. This year, Barista & Farmer will head to Colombia for its latest edition. A press conference featuring the Colombian ambassador to Italy was held at Sigep 2018 to make the formal announcement of the host site for the innovative event.

Here are some additional highlights from Sigep 2018:

Sigep 2018
Sunshine and sparkling fountains welcomed a record-setting number of attendees at Sigep 2018 in Rimini, Italy.

 

Sigep 2018
An entry for the coffee dessert portion of The Pastry Queen championship, where creativity, skill, and of course taste are prized.

 

Sigep 2018
Ice carving is an important part of the international championship of the Gelato World Cup, which featured 12 teams from across the globe.

 

Sigep 2018
Huge crowds filled the arena each day to watch the Gelato World Cup and cheer for their favorite team. Here, supporters of the French team give a boisterous roar as they watch their team bring home the crown.

 

Sigep 2018
The 2018 Italian Latte Art Champion Manuela Fensore celebrates her win.

 

Sigep 2018
Davide Cavaglieri, last year’s runner-up in the Italian Barista Championship, collapses in relief as he is announced as the winner for 2018.

 

Sigep 2018
The coffee competition judges stop for a group selfie before the final round of the Italian Brewers Cup.

 

Sigep 2018
The Arch of Augustus, erected in 27 B.C., stands at the edge of the old city of Rimini—just a couple of miles from the fiera home to Sigep.

Sigep will return for its 40th year January 19-23, 2019. Mark your calendars now!

About Ken 256 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.