Host country of 2019 is official!

Culinary region of Flanders invites you to the 29th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink, a culinary journey to northern Belgium.


Phenomenal attendance

Impressions of the 28th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink


Reserve it now: 29th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink


Young talent conference for aspiring leaders from the food retail industry


See, meet and discover

There is hardly another location that can embody the variety presented each year by the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink as impressively as the marketplace where traditional delicacies are combined with new products and food industry classics encounter the latest trends and innovations.

It is therefore no wonder that every year over 1,000 reputed representatives and top decision-makers from the industry, catering and retail get together in Munich to network in this inspiring atmosphere.

The marketplace is the most important component of the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink and its significance as a forum for the food industry continues to grow. In a setting away from the everyday business and negotiation environment, industry heavyweights, experts and guests get together to discuss and exchange their views on food trends over the products on offer. This is possible thanks to the unique staging of the marketplace: the creative presentation of a wide range of delicacies encourages a lively interaction among the participants.

The welcome evening in particular sets the tone of the marketplace. Guests from retail inspect and sample the abundant offering of delicacies that obviously also becomes the focus of intensive discussions. From the presentation of smaller and younger companies to the market stands of the industry heavyweights, the Symposium invariably focuses on an interesting and versatile blend as well as an ideal scale to ensure that the wide range of products and presenters is also accessible to all guests. The key purpose of the Symposium is after all to facilitate communication and interaction.

Topics, trends and perspectives

The new dimensions of the brand, promising sales concepts, the impact of the vegetarian movement on industry and retail and the opportunities of current cross-channel strategies – clearly, the trade conference of the Symposium does not focus on random topics but is always dedicated to a current, controversial topic of the food industry with the aim of focusing comprehensively on the interests of the entire industry.

Insiders from retail, the industry and the catering business report about their everyday practice, academic experts grant insights into their work and policy-makers and economic experts analyse the market situation: the speakers at the Symposium’s trade conference are exclusively directors, CEOs, top managers and select industry experts. After all, the aim of this platform is not simply to highlight trends, focal points and challenges but also to examine, analyse and subsequently discuss them extensively. The result is a comprehensive understanding of the issues – and discovering new paths and solutions.

Professionalism with practical benefits

The most important – and occasionally controversial – propositions and points of view are addressed by the individual speakers. This makes for an inspiring and exciting highlight at this key communication forum for the food industry. This is yet another reason why the trade conference enjoys such an excellent reputation and the practical benefits are exemplary.

Digital strategies for trade and industry

In 2017, the main topic of the trade conference was “Cross-channel food. The future began yesterday!” and the associated opportunities and challenges of digitisation for trade and industry. The speakers uncovered what digital transformation means for the brick and mortar trade, which business model is still sustainable and which alternatives there are.

In 2018, however, digitisation is more controversial than ever before. A recent study from PwC shows that one in every five retail companies still has no digitisation strategy and has not yet started to establish digital capabilities – despite the fact that there are numerous opportunities to make digitisation profitable. This is exactly what the 28th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink was about. The trade conference topic “The digital society – added value for trade and industry” featured high-calibre speakers and experts who demonstrated how retail and industry can reap added value from alternative, sustainable concepts emerging in these times of digital transformation. The goal of the trade conference is to reveal promising strategies, exchange ideas about them and thus ensure the future sustainability of retail and industry.

Please find the program of the conference on 15 June 2018 here.

The lectures of individual speakers can be downloaded below:

Stephan Grünewald
Author, graduate psychologist, managing director and co-founder rheingold GmbH & Co. KG
Strategien der Foodbranche im digitalen App-Solutismus

Stephan Knäble
Global Head of Consumer Panels, Global Head of Consumer Panels, GfK SE
Handel im Wandel – Digitale Herausforderungen und Chancen im Lebensmittelhandel

Karl Wehner
Managing Director Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Alibaba Group
Video of the lecture “Creating a seamless experience for the Chinese consumer”

The host country for 2019:
Off to Flanders!

French fries, beer and chocolate are generally the three culinary clichés associated with Belgium’s Dutch-speaking north. And on that note: Schol! or bon appétit! The fact that this epicurean region of Europe has many more than three export hits to offer will be demonstrated at the 29th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink on 9 and 10 May 2019 in Munich by the 2019 host country.

The Flemish people have been famous for their love of fine food and drink for centuries. This ancient love affair is reflected in art and history museums around the world. We’re talking about Baroque-era opulently decorated paintings from the brushes of Flemish masters such as Rubens and Van Dyck. Those times are long gone, of course. But even today, the inhabitants of Flanders still have a reputation as bon vivants. Anyone who has ever visited will remember one or two unexpected delicacies or one of the popular, colourful markets where tasting is not only advised but also mandatory.

Visitors to the cobblestone paved old towns, which are often interwoven with canals, are amazed by the magnificent town houses and guild houses. Trade brought prosperity to the area long ago. The economic activity of the Flemish people has been preserved over the centuries. In addition to a sophisticated inland canal system, four international seaports still ensure a buoyant flow of goods and give Flanders a top position among the top trading centres of the European Union. Raw-material traders, manufacturers, processing industry, research and logistics knit a dense network that is ideal for the flourishing food industry. The more than 70-km-long North Sea coast is also a supplier of fish and seafood, which are coveted commodities in and outside the country.

The Flemish also love diversity, not to say contradiction. Street food shops and experimental gastronomy concepts can be found in the Flemish cities of Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp with emancipated confidence alongside Michelin-starred cuisine.

Likewise, the love of tradition does not exclude an attraction to high-tech. This diversity keeps the Flemish food industry bubbling and its cooks cooking. Numerous exhibitors will bring this diversity to Munich on 9 and 10 May 2019. The contributions of the Flemish exhibitors are already eagerly anticipated at the 29th Symposium on Fine Food + Drink.


Style, ambience and glamour

The unique appeal of the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink and the lasting impression of the event are not least because of the glamorous gala evening.

On the one hand, it represents a festive finale in which a music programme and epicurean delights are a feast for the senses. On the other hand, it is the ideal opportunity to share one’s experiences and look back at the Symposium in an elegant setting. The gala evening is indeed the crowning glory of an extraordinary event.

During the evening, the guests can enjoy the unique and elegant setting of the banquet hall: every year, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof provides the perfect venue for an exceptional evening. Of course, it is not just the elegance of the venue but also the cultural programme that makes the gala evening a memorable experience. Regardless of whether the programme includes popular works of classical music or thrilling interludes, the Symposium always stages internationally renowned artists who guarantee unforgettable moments at the highest level.

In addition to the artists’ performances, the gala evening of course also includes culinary delights at their best. An excellent menu and choice wines are sure to pamper the taste buds of even the most indulgent gourmets.

Structure, agenda and unique position

Experiencing innovations, discussing market trends, interacting directly over products with top decision-makers from retail, the food and catering industry – That is what the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink stands for.

No other industry-specific event brings together decision-makers from the food industry in such an authentic and inspiring atmosphere. With its unique combination of marketplace/welcome evening, trade conference and gala evening, the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink has established itself as a key communication platform for the food industry and is today an important fixture for all decision-makers from the food industry. The vibrant marketplace constitutes the main highlight of the event and serves as an interaction and exchange platform between retail and the industry. Exhibitors invite all participants to their uniquely designed stands to sample their products and network. This is where the latest product innovations develop their potential, this is where the success stories of numerous budding start-ups are written and this where the foundations are laid for future market success. In fact, many products make it directly from the Symposium to the point of sale of the retail companies participating in the event.

Alongside the leading figures from the food industry, several reputed experts attend the event to enrich it with their specific insider know-how. The trade conference serves to provide in-depth talks and discussions on current and future trends and the practical expertise of the speakers makes the entire content tangible. Experts from the retail business and the food and catering industry, together with prominent policy-makers, economic and cultural experts, develop sustainable strategies and provide an invaluable impetus for the food industry. Each year, the trade conference deals with a topic that could not be more relevant.

The gala evening at Hotel Bayerischer Hof is the ideal setting for a festive finale to the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink. Select guests, a breath-taking venue and an enthralling programme conclude this event with a very special touch of glamour.



How can I participate at the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink

The Symposium on Fine Food + Drink is an annual, specialist trade event where leading personalities from the food industry convene in Munich. Decision-makers from the catering and retail sectors are required to register in advance. To do so, please use the relevant form available in the section “Registration”.

There are various options for representatives from the food industry to participate in the event and present their own products: there are two categories of stands “Own stand/marketplace stand” and “Joint stand“. Both the marketplace stand and the joint stand are provided by the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink. Participants can use their own stand for a more independent presentation of their products. All stands must comply with the specified dimensions.

In addition to these stands, participants also have another presentation option – namely the innovation platform where young start-ups and innovative companies have the opportunity of presenting their new products and innovative food concepts to the relevant decision-makers from the retail and catering business.

Listen up: Upon meeting all the relevant criteria, young start-ups that are new to the industry but have creative and innovative concepts can participate for free. All that is required is an e-mail application within the specified deadline.

All further information on, for instance, presentation area, participation fees and design and set-up is provided in the 2018 Invitation for Participation. To register in advance, likewise, please use the relevant form available under “Registration“. Our conference organisation will then send you all relevant details pertaining to the event.

The Symposium on Fine Food + Drink is a dialogue forum for the food industry. Every visitor agrees to attend of the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink, that his pictures/videos will be published in the relevant industry and public media, as well as on the channels of the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink.


What is the Symposium On Fine Food + Drink?

For over a quarter of a century, the Symposium for Fine Food + Drink, in cooperation with the Handelsverband Bayern e. V. (HBE, the Bavarian trade association) as a non-commercial sponsor, has been bringing together decision-makers from the food industry in Munich. With its unique combination of a marketplace and a trade conference, the Symposium is one of the most important industry-specific events in Germany. Out here, everything focuses on food – however, the main focus is not on daily products for our everyday needs but rather on products that have that special something in terms of quality, exclusivity and indulgence. Elegantly presented at the event, participants can actually touch, smell and sample innovative products that are otherwise only found on pages of brochures.

Who does the Symposium On Fine Food + Drink cater for?

The Symposium is the ideal forum for decision-makers and representatives from the retail, catering and food industry. Experts, industry insiders and select, reputed guests have the opportunity to interact among themselves at this exclusive event. And it is well received: in recent years, the event has had a steady participation of over 1,000 visitors and 120 exhibitors.

What makes the Symposium on Fine Food and Drink unique and how is it organised?

No event other than the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink offers the industry comparable opportunities to present oneself to the relevant decision-makers, to make valuable contacts and thereby set the first important cornerstone for success. The division into a marketplace and a trade conference allows the Symposium to strike an exceptional balance between presenting information and engaging in an industry-specific dialogue. At the welcome evening itself, decision-makers from the food and catering industry as well as leading managers from the retail business can have an in-depth interaction in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the pressure of everyday business and closing deals. With its extensive offering and stands as well as its enchanting ambience, the marketplace provides the ideal setting for talking about products while actually having them to hand. At the parallel trade conference, leading experts and renowned speakers express their views on a hot topic pertaining to the food industry. The exclusive gala evening provides for a touch of glamour and the perfect finale to the Symposium.

Where and when will the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink 2019 be held?

The 29th Symposium will be held at the Kulturhalle Zenith/Kesselhaus in Munich on 9 and 10 May 2019.

Will there be a shuttle service?

Yes, there will be bus transfers from the various hotels to transport the participants directly to the event venue and back. The exact bus timetable and the event documents will be sent to the participants around two to three weeks before the event.

When do I have to register by to attend the 2019 Symposium on Fine Food + Drink?

Partners from the food industry who wish to present their products in a marketplace stand/own stand, joint stand or on the innovation platform should register in writing by the end of march 2019. Decision-makers from the retail business should submit their registration in writing no later than four weeks before the event. Owing to the increased demand and to avoid disappointment, we nonetheless advise all interested parties to register well in advance.

How many people can I register from my company?

In principle there is no limit.

The only exception is for the gala evening:

  • Industry participants with a joint stand: a maximum of two people
  • Industry participants with a marketplace/own stand: maximum four people
  • Innovation platform participants may participate exclusively in the after-show party with maximum two people
  • All other participants: invitation only with a maximum of two people

I am a decision-maker from the industry and would like to attend the upcoming event. Can I also use my own stand?

Of course. Detailed information and dimensions are available on request from the conference organisers:

Söllner Communications AG
Cécile Möhring
Rosenkavalierplatz 5
81925 Munich
Tel. no.: +49 (0)89 / 41 94 73 – 16
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 41 94 73 – 26

Overview of participants

Every year, the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink brings together decision-makers from the retail and food industry as well as leading experts from across the entire food sector in Munich. Would you like to have an overview of the participants in this industry convention? Then click here to download the 2018 Directory of Participants.

Press images

Do you require image material for your reports? Out here, you will find a selection of press images which you are welcome to use free of charge with the photo credit “Symposium on Fine Food + Drink”.


You can register for the 29th Symposium Fine Food + Drink on 9 and 10 May 2019 from now on. Write to our press office and let us know for which reporting medium you require an accreditation.

 Get your accreditation now!

Press office

Do you require information or press images pertaining to the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink? Do you have any questions about our event or do you a request about conducting an interview? If so, simply send your request directly to our press office:

Press office
Söllner Communications AG
Verena Schweiger
Rosenkavalierplatz 5
81925 Munich
Telephone: +49 (0) 89 / 41 94 73 – 39



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Trade Conference

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Host Country 2017

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Gala Evening

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The decision-makers

The Symposium on Fine Food + Drink was conceived as a unique forum for the food industry. The aim of this unrivalled industry event is to provide decision-makers from retail and industry with a platform to meet and exchange ideas in an open and informative way.

If you have any questions about the event please contact:

Jörg Pretzel

Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V.

Matthias Zwingel

Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V.

Dr. Danielle Borowski

Person in charge for finance

Karl-Heinz Dautzenberg

Person in charge for retail and manufacturers

Conceptual sponsor

The Handelsverband Bayern e. V. (HBE) has served as the conceptual sponsor of the Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e.V. since its foundation.

The HBE, founded in 1946 as the Landesverband des Bayerischen Einzelhandels e. V. (LBE) , represents the business interests of the Bavarian retail sector. With 60,000 businesses, 335,000 employees and over 40,000 training places, retail is the third largest economic sector in Bavaria after industry and SMEs.

With 20,000 member businesses the HBE (formerly the Landesverband des Bayerischen Einzelhandels e.V. (LBE), founded 1946) represents the interests of the Bavarian retail industry toward the government, other areas of the
economy, the media and the general public.

Trade Partner

Together representing the interests of the business in a sustainable manner, actively shaping the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink and thereby providing important impulses for the entire food industry: this is what characterizes a successful trade partnership with the symposium.

Trade partner of the symposium Fine Food + Drink:

Cooperation / media partners

Further cooperation and media partners of the Symposium Fine Food + Drink are:

Ready for the future

Theory and practical knowledge for the decision makers of tomorrow: the junior congress for young managers from food retail.

Investing in young talent is essential for the food industry to flourish. In order to contribute to this, Symposium Feines Essen +Trinken will use this traditional industry event to offer innovative products and open up new opportunities to start-up founders and, with the Take-off junior congress, will be going a step further by investing in young new talent.

Highly renowned speakers, presentations with practical reference and an exclusive company visit – at the Take-off junior congress, participants will get an insight into what happens behind the scenes and learn valuable ways of applying this to their everyday work. The ambitious top decision-makers of tomorrow will experience two exciting days where they will learn from leading experts and can have open, relaxed discussions with industry colleagues.

The junior congress is aimed at up-and-coming managers aged 25 to 35 who seek to help actively shape their industry and create a valuable basis for this.

Take-off 2018
The junior congress will take place on 10 and 11 October in Wiesbaden, all interested parties can register here.


A detailed schedule for this year’s conference can be downloaded here

Gallery Take-off 2017

Legal information

Members of the management board of Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V.:
Jörg Pretzel Chairman, Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V., Munich
Matthias Zwingel Vice- chairman, Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V., Munich
Dr Danielle Borowski Treasurer of Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e.V., Munich
Karl-Heinz Dautzenberg Recording clerk of Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V., Munich
Other member of the Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V.:
Werner D. Prill Mallersdorf-Pfaffenberg
Andreas Saffer Auditor, Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e.V.,
Saffer Wein GmbH, Munich
Gerd Schuh Manching
Hellmut Stöhr Ammerbuch
Rainer Thiele Halle/Saale
Klaus Uhlendorf Dorsten
Wilhelm Zametzer Munich
Organiser: Symposium Feines Essen + Trinken e. V.
Haus des Handels
Brienner Straße 45
80333 Munich
Telefon: 0 89 / 55 11 81 40
Telefax: 0 89 / 55 11 81 18
Conceptual sponsor: Handelsverband Bayern e. V.
Haus des Handels
Brienner Straße 45
80333 Munich
Telefon: 0 89 / 55 11 81 40
Telefax: 0 89 / 55 11 81 18
Congress organisation: Söllner Communications AG
Rosenkavalierplatz 5
81925 Munich
Telefon: 0 89 / 41 94 73 16
Telefax: 0 89 / 41 94 73 26
Fotolia Photo credits: Host Country:
© Chris Lawton
© Carlo Villarica
© Julien Widmer


Do you have any questions about the Symposium on Fine Food + Drink? If so, please contact the congress organisation:

Söllner Communications AG
Cécile Möhring
Rosenkavalierplatz 5
81925 Munich
Telefon: 0 89 / 41 94 73 16
Telefax: 0 89 / 41 94 73 26

Site map

Eligibility, procedure and options
Overview of participants
Press releases
Press images
Press office
Welcome evening and reception/marketplace
Trade Conference
Host Country
Gala Evening
The movers and shakers
Promotional/non-commercial sponsors

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