This week, on November 8–10, the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre Litexpo will be holding two international exhibitions – the exhibition for shop, hotel and restaurant requisites BaltShop. BaltHotel. BaltGastro 2018 and the Baltic food and beverage fair BAF, a press release from Litexpo states.
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Together, they make up the biggest event in the gastronomy, HoReCa and hospitality sectors in the Baltic countries. In addition this year, guests will be invited to two conferences that will take place on the same day, November 9, which will be open to visitors of both exhibitions.

Global trends in hospitality and gastronomy

The biannual exhibition BaltShop. BaltHotel. BaltGastro 2018 will feature something new – a conference focusing on global trends in the hospitality and gastronomy business.

The speakers of this year's conference include Chef Deivydas Praspaliauskas, who will be presenting restaurant trends for the 21st century, as well as the Head of the State Department of Tourism Indrė Trakimaitė-Šeškuvienė. Her topic is particularly intriguing: 'Is Lithuania good at GASTRO-tourism?' (word play: in Lithuanian, gastroliuoti is a general word for touring).

"Gastro-tourism remains an absolute phenomenon as a fast-growing branch of tourism around the world. According to data from the World Tourism Organisation, the growth of more than 50% in this tourism area recorded in recent years is explained by the fact that amidst the ever-increasing convergence of countries due to the processes of globalisation, gastronomy remains specific and attractive to travellers seeking various sensations and experiences," Indrė Trakimaitė-Šeškuvienė explains, adding that gastro-tourism in Lithuania is completely on par with global trends.

She will provide more figures and insights on November 9 during the one-day conference. It will also feature another guest from abroad, member of the Swedish Chefs Association Jari Karlsson, who will be presenting his own topic.

"Sweden is currently very big on local seasonal products. Another important trend is vegetarian and vegan food. Alternatives to meat are now very popular in our country's dishes," Jari Karlsson explains, providing a brief glimpse into Sweden's latest gastronomic developments.

Besides the one-day conference, visitors to BaltShop. BaltHotel. BaltGastro 2018 will be introduced to innovative solutions for hotels, restaurants and shops. Furthermore, throughout all three days, guests will have the chance to watch chefs compete for the titles of the Best Lithuanian Chef and Best Young Lithuanian Chef.

Shifts in consumer culture

Another gastronomic event that will be happening simultaneously, the Baltic food and drink exhibition BAF, will be inviting guests to the conference's NAPA Talks, an event that is more specialised and dedicated to product packaging and design.

At the NAPA Talks, design, production, marketing and sales experts from the Baltic countries will be talking about shifts in consumer culture through various examples and practices, as well as the impact these changes are having on product packaging.

"A good chunk of time passes from the first task being assigned to the designer and the primary ideas to an attractive product landing on the shop shelves. It may be a few months or maybe sometimes even a few years. NAPA Talks was born out of the idea to introduce the client to all the processes, and the creator to the client's needs," says Darius Kisielius, Board Member of the Lithuanian Graphic Design Association (LGDA) and organiser of NAPA BALTIC.

Besides the conference, the BAF exhibition will also be hosting the NAPA National Packaging Awards, culinary performances in the Kitchen Studio and nutritionists' and dieticians' consultations, while the World's Kitchen space will be offering delicious meals. Furthermore, more than 100 stands will be inviting visitors to feast their eyes on gastronomic novelties – and to taste and purchase them too.

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