The inaugural SIGEP Asia 2024 and the 5th edition of Restaurant Asia came to a close with resounding success

The mega platform welcomed more than 11,000 F&B industry players, trade visitors from Singapore, ASEAN and around the world

Europe’s crème de la crème Dolce event, SIGEP, has now planted its roots in Singapore, marking a significant milestone for the Asian hospitality and food industries. The inaugural three-day SIGEP Asia 2024 and the 5th edition of Restaurant Asia 2024 concluded successfully on 28 June at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre of the iconic Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Co-located with IEG Asia’s recently acquired series of food and beverage (F&B) trade shows Speciality Food & Drinks Asia (SFDA), Speciality Coffee & Tea Asia (SCTA), and takeaway and delivery exhibition Food2Go, the mega platform was the hub of a significant three-day gathering of the F&B industry which welcomed more than 11,000 visitors, conference delegates, and seminar attendees from Singapore, ASEAN, and around the world.

Opening Ceremony and Keynote

The shows were officially opened by Guest of Honour Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

At the official opening, the F&B Industry Jobs Portal (FABjobs, was unveiled to address the ongoing challenges in the industry. As manpower continues to be a perennial issue for the F&B sector, particularly in attracting locals to join the industry, the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) responded to this pressing challenge by launching FABjobs, which is solely dedicated to the F&B industry, underscoring the importance of human capital in this sector.

A Landmark Event for the F&B Industry

The first-ever SIGEP Asia, a satellite trade show of the renowned SIGEP WORLD in Rimini, alongside the well-established Restaurant Asia, provided a robust platform for the F&B community to converge, innovate, and collaborate.  With a 45-year legacy of inspiring the foodservice community, SIGEP is celebrated as the most dynamic event in the industry, attracting international professionals from the realms of artisan gelato, pastry, chocolate, coffee, and bakery. It serves as a global reference point for the dolce foodservice industry, offering exclusive insights into future trends, unexplored flavors, and technological advancements.

The event saw participation from over 300 exhibitors and brands from 30 countries and regions, showcasing the latest trends, technologies, and products in the foodservice industry.

IEG Asia CEO Opens SIGEP Asia and Restaurant Asia 2024, Celebrates Industry Milestone

Mrs. Ilaria Cicero, Chief Executive Officer of IEG Asia, said,

“We are thrilled to officially open the doors of the inaugural SIGEP Asia and the fifth edition of Restaurant Asia, bringing together industry leaders, trade visitors, buyers, and exhibitors from Singapore, ASEAN, and around the world.”

“This event marks a significant milestone for the F&B industry, providing an unparalleled platform for innovation, collaboration, and the sharing of expertise. We are excited to see the connections and opportunities emerging over the next three days as we continue to drive the industry to greater heights.”

Remarks from International Food & Beverage Association

Hai Poh Cheong, President of the International Food & Beverage Association remarked:

“It’s a tremendous honor to be invited as a VIP Delegate to the opening ceremony of SIGEP Restaurant Asia Sigep – ITALIAN EXHIBITION GROUP at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore.


I had the privilege of witnessing a compelling speech by SMS Low Yen Ling, focusing on three crucial areas: investing in human capital, continuous innovation and technology adoption, and embracing sustainability. These pillars are poised to significantly strengthen our food services sector. Looking forward to insightful discussions and groundbreaking ideas at tomorrow’s IFBA Roundtable Talk Show.”

Highlights from SIGEP Asia and Restaurant Asia 2024

Highlights of the three-day event: Showcasing F&B solutions & innovations, new knowledge, and industry achievements

The event featured a comprehensive programme tailored to meet the diverse interests and needs of the foodservice sector:

SIGEP Sessions: Trade visitors engaged with master chefs and experts from Italy and the region in intensive masterclasses and culinary demonstrations. These sessions covered a range of topics including the art of gelato making, crafting artisanal breads, creating gourmet desserts, perfecting pizza techniques, and pairing beverages with fine dining. Renowned chefs shared their expertise, providing attendees with hands-on learning experiences and deep insights into the latest culinary trends and techniques.


 RAS Leadership Symposium 2024: Themed on ‘Building Your Dream Culture,’ this knowledge conference featured Will Scott, author and founder of The Culture Fix®. Scott shared valuable insights on creating thriving corporate cultures, emphasizing the importance of aligning company values with employee engagement and customer satisfaction. His session provided actionable strategies for fostering a positive and productive workplace culture, which is crucial for the success of any organization in the F&B sector.

ASEAN Restaurant Associations Alliance (ARAA) Board Meeting: The ARAA meeting brought together key representatives from the ASEAN region to forge stronger ties and create mutual benefits across the F&B sectors. The discussions focused on collaborative efforts to address common challenges, share best practices, and leverage regional strengths to enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN’s F&B industry.

Singapore National Coffee Championship (SNCC): Organized by the Singapore Coffee Association (SCA), this championship showcased the skills of top baristas in categories such as barista skills, latte art, brewers cup, and cup tasting. The competition highlighted the growing appreciation for specialty coffee in Singapore and provided a platform for baristas to demonstrate their expertise. Winners of the championship earned the honor of representing Singapore at the World Coffee Championship 2025 in Milan, Italy.

 Technology & Innovation Pavilion (TIP) and Sandbox: This specially curated showcase featured the latest cutting-edge technologies aimed at strengthening F&B operations and promoting sustainability within the industry. Attendees explored innovative solutions such as advanced kitchen equipment, smart inventory management systems, and eco-friendly packaging options. The pavilion also included interactive demonstrations and workshops, allowing visitors to experience firsthand how these technologies can enhance efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Hosted Buyers’ Programme: This program facilitated bespoke B2B meetings, matching top-level decision-makers with suppliers and service providers to meet their specific business needs. The meetings provided a platform for meaningful connections and negotiations, helping businesses forge strategic partnerships and explore new opportunities for growth and collaboration.

 Chef’s Table Luncheon: A dedicated networking event for key leaders and players in the F&B industry from Singapore and ASEAN, including visiting delegates from the ARAA. The luncheon provided a relaxed and intimate setting for attendees to discuss industry trends, share insights, and build relationships. It also featured a gourmet menu crafted by renowned chefs, showcasing the finest culinary talents from the region.

IFBA Roundtable 2024: A Pinnacle of Leadership and Innovation

The IFBA Roundtable 2024 was a highlight of the event, offering a valuable platform for discussions about leadership and innovation within the foodservice and hospitality industries. Influential industry leaders and experts gathered to share insights and strategies for future growth. Key sessions included discussions on technology innovation in hospitality, where Mr. Maxim Tint, Founder and CEO of Gtriip, explored the transformative impact of AI, IoT, blockchain, and virtual reality on enhancing guest experiences, optimizing operations, and promoting sustainability.

Ms. Jennifer Ong, Founder and CEO of HAPA®, highlighted regional educational initiatives and their role in developing future leaders, emphasizing the importance of professional growth and certification. Dr. Han Bin, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Hotel Alliance, led a session on embedding sustainable initiatives and practices that reduce environmental impact, prioritize social equity, and boost community engagement.

Mr. Lens Gwee, President of Food and Beverage Management of Singapore, provided insights on innovative service models and proactive engagement strategies to revolutionize customer interactions. Mr. Will Yeo, COO of YY Holding, underscored the importance of cross-sector partnerships, innovation hubs, and collective problem-solving in driving growth and sustainability.

Strategies for Navigating Emerging Markets

Lastly, a panel discussion featuring industry stalwarts, including Mr. Wu Honghua, Director of the Cultural and Tourism Working Committee of the China Association for Promotion of Ethnic Trade; Jocelyn Chng, Chairman and Group CEO of JR Group Holdings; and Mr. Cheong Hai Poh, President of the International Food & Beverage Association (IFBA), explored strategic approaches for market expansion and adapting to consumer preferences, equipping participants with strategies for navigating emerging markets. Their collaborative expertise provided actionable strategies for capitalizing on market dynamics and consumer preferences, ensuring businesses are well-positioned to leverage opportunities and drive significant growth.

Strategic Partnerships

The Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the governmental agency that supports the business development of Italian companies abroad and promotes the attraction of foreign investment in Italy, participated in the event with a dedicated Lounge set up to host the Italian clientele.

With the support of the Embassy of Italy in Singapore, the Italian Chamber of Commerce Singapore also became an important strategic partner of IEG Asia to foster stronger ties between Italy and Asia’s culinary industries. Both parties remain committed to promoting future events, facilitating future networking opportunities, inviting buyers, and encouraging a more profound cultural exchange. SIGEP Asia was supported by Singapore Airlines as its Official Airline, and Hotel Planner as its Official Accommodation Partner.

Looking Beyond 2024

The successes of SIGEP Asia 2024 and Restaurant Asia 2024 have set a new benchmark for future editions. As the industry evolves, these events will remain pivotal in driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and creating new business opportunities.

The second edition of SIGEP Asia and the sixth edition of Restaurant Asia is set to welcome visitors from 18 June to 20 June 2025 at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

Future Collaborations and the IFBA Roundtable 2025

Building on the success of this year’s events, the International Food & Beverage Association (IFBA) is already planning for the next significant gathering – the IFBA Roundtable 2025. This event will focus on further fostering leadership, innovation, and collaboration within the global F&B sector. The roundtable will provide an unparalleled opportunity for industry leaders, innovators, and stakeholders to discuss the future of food and beverage, share best practices, and forge strategic partnerships, collaborations and innovations, driving the industry towards a sustainable and prosperous future

The inaugural SIGEP Asia and the fifth edition of Restaurant Asia have established a new milestone in the F&B industry, underscoring the vitality and innovation within the sector. As the industry evolves, these events will remain crucial in shaping the future of food and beverage. Join us at these pivotal gatherings and be part of a global movement towards innovation, sustainability, and excellence in the F&B industry!

Stay tuned to IFBA News & Events for more updates and insights from the world of food and beverage.

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