Food In Canada

Restaurants Canada’s ultimate treat for the food and beverage industry, RC Show 2024, successfully concluded on April 8 while providing the industry with a place to gather, learn, grow and network through its trade show, conferences, competitions, and events.

Credit: Ojasvini Parashar

This year’s ‘Level Up’ theme is aimed at supporting the industry, helping foodservice professionals, restaurants, cafes and bars discover new ways to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the industry while embracing innovation.

Kelly Higginson, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, said in a press release that the show was for everyone including people aiming to expand a business, foster a winning team, boost efficiency, or enhance the overall quality of service.

Credit: Ojasvini Parashar

As expected, several beverage brands were displaying their wares. The Food in Canada team saw multiple non/low alcoholic brands, such as Partake Brewing and Libra, as well as a smattering of coffee/tea brands with sparkling teas, functional teas, cold-brew coffees, and canned lattes. With single-source Colombian coffee and a smooth, rich taste, Manic Brews’ ready-to-use cold brews caught our eye. Other innovative products on display included Bliss Dough’s straight-from-the-jar, ready-to-eat edible cookie dough and Nana Pops’ nutritionist-approved vegan ice creams that are literally a smoothie on a stick. Many of the exhibitors were offering products, such as gluten-free breads and vegan desserts that catered to a diverse clientele.


“This year we’ll be celebrating innovation, excellence, and the dynamic and deep-rooted essence of the Canadian hospitality sector. Our emphasis is to empower attendees to elevate their skills in this constantly evolving industry, challenge conventional limits, invest in people, and wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of innovation,” Higginson said.

The new and returning competitions for this year included the Garland Canada Culinary Competition, Restaurants Canada Pizza Competition, Fried Chicken Sandwich Competition, Beyond The Rail Cocktail Competition, John Bil Oyster Shucking Competition, and Coffee Competitions.

Several speakers discuss a topic.

Credits: Ojasvini Parashar

The show also had a range of dynamic speakers such as co-owner and chef of Vij’s Restaurant Meeru Dhalwala; sommelier, winemaker, and designer André Hueston Mack; chief economist and vice president of research for Restaurants Canada Chris Elliott; foodservice analyst for Circana Vince Sgabellone; senior vice president and head of Syndicated Solutions at Ipsos Asad Amin; senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Technomic David Henkes; and founder of Marler Clark, Bill Marler.


The driving trends that we noticed this year at the The RC Show are “eatertainment”, sustainability and AI-powered personalization.

  • “Eatertainment” is driving innovation in the industry, with restaurants leveraging interactive elements and entertainment to create memorable experiences that generate positive word-of-mouth.
  • The food service industry remains focused on sustainability with a growing emphasis on plant-based products and menus including the ever-increasing trend of plant-based seafood.
  • AI-powered personalization is revolutionizing the food service industry by allowing establishments to tailor their offerings and interactions to individual customer preferences. New trending technological advancements are widespread, impacting how customers eat and drink out, including helping businesses customize menus, and create more personalized recommendations and event-targeted diner messaging.

There was a total of 11 pavilions this year like, Bar & Beverage Pavilion, Canada Pavilion, Coffee, Tea & Sweets Pavilion, Design Pavilion, Eco Pavilion, Indigenous Pavilion, Ontario Pavilion, Quebec Pavilion, Tech Pavilion, The Black Experience Pavilion, and the World Pavilion.

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