Final Press Release



122,697 trade visitors at the expo (15% more than 2011).

An impressive increase in foreign visitors: +21%

The record number of trade members boosts business on the stands. Unanimous positive feedback for the key expo for worldwide artisan gelato, pastry and bread baking

Rimini, 26th January 2012 – SIGEP 2012 exceeds itself, once again chalking up an extraordinary success with record-breaking figures. After having passing the threshold of 100,000 trade visitors in 2011, the 33rd edition that ended yesterday at Rimini Fiera was attended by a total of 122,697 visitors over five exhibiting days, with an increase of 15% on 2011.

So, the persistent signs of economic crisis remained outside the expo halls and were excluded from the positive, even joyful atmosphere felt at the exhibition. There were unanimous comments regarding the feeling of confidence reported at the expo, confirmed by the numerous business contacts and sales orders taken by companies taking part, with very consistent increases as far as both the international and domestic markets were concerned.

There was also a confirmation from the boom of foreign attendees, who rose to 23.854, with an increase of 21%. These figures are even more significant if one considers that, as well as of the leading companies, the economic system of the artisan confectionery trade is made up of numerous extremely export-oriented medium and small enterprises.

The exciting SIGEP format gave further proof of itself: on one hand the expo with 90,000 m2, occupied by 850 business-oriented companies, led to tens of thousands of business meetings; on the other, great events, such as the World Gelato Cup, Pastry Queen, Pastry Grand Gala Pastry and SIGEP Bread Cup, with nations from the five continents and approximately a hundred teams competing for the various titles.

Moreover, from the point of view of communication and events, the concrete results were seen of Rimini Fiera's investments, starting from the projects connected with the presence of SIGEP on social networks and the setting up of real television at the contests’ venues. The live (streaming) television coverage on the Web was commented in Italian and English, and recordings aired at night for viewers in other time zones. Ten hours of live coverage every day, with an audience of approximately 15,000 spectators worldwide following the events in streaming, evidently a high-profile audience interested in the work techniques seen during the championships.

Other figures show the sheer scale of SIGEP and its growth. In the pressroom, 565 journalists were accredited (496 in 2011), of whom no less than 132 were from abroad. Numerous television reports on Italian national TV, wide coverage by printed press and specialist and regional media for a total (so far) of 85 million contacts.

The 33rd SIGEP was inaugurated on Saturday 21st January with the participation of the Emilia-Romagna Regional councillor for Manufacturing Activities Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, the president of Rimini Provincial Government Stefano Vitali, Rimini Town Councillor for Manufacturing Activities Jamil Sadegholvaad and Rimini Fiera chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, TV show host Caterina Balivo and rocker Marky Ramone.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony a spot was transmitted presenting A.B. TECH EXPO 2013, the third edition of the expo dedicated to the entire chain of the baker’s art, which next year will be staged for the first time alongside SIGEP, further complementing the expo showcase. This sector’s trade members, already taking part in SIGEP, confirmed that the great results achieved by this edition are the premise and driving force for realizing an extraordinary edition of A.B. TECH EXPO with complete confidence and great market feedback, next January in Rimini.

SIGEP was the crossroads for the world’s greatest artisan confectionery masters. Among the contestants, in the panels of judges and at the demos and performances… nobody wanted to miss SIGEP 2012

The numerous guests at SIGEP 2012 included three very important personalities: Shinsaku Katahira, a young Japanese gelato maker from Fukushima taking part in the Rimini Fiera show for the first time, and the Egyptian Ambassador in Italy, Farib Monib. Plus Stephane Klein from France, considered the world’s top sugar master and giving a performance for the first time outside his home country.

The Web site was taken by storm: from January 9th to 25th, it was visited 244,482 times, with the busiest day on the eve of SIGEP, with 24,418 hits. As well as from Italy (190,230 visits), navigators arrived from France (4,408) and Spain (4,128). No less than 2,300 from the USA.


Rimini Fiera Chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni comments, “We kept our promise, staging a SIGEP able to perfectly combine its role as a trade fair and a stage for great world-level events. The figures say plenty of the success of this 33rd edition, even more was said by the collaborative atmosphere created between the most authoritative players in the chain and the common intent to spread the artisan culture that Italy boasts in the confectionery trade beyond all borders. With these results, we are ready to start work on further expanding SIGEP on international markets.”

Rimini Fiera business unit manager Patrizia Cecchi confirms, “Companies have a great opinion of SIGEP. On the stands there was a business-oriented atmosphere; many attendees stated they had felt a widespread desire to begin investing in their activity again. In SIGEP, the artisan confectionery sector in Italy has a great asset to exploit worldwide, a positive high-grade image. At this edition, we once again saw a concentration of the top in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial dynamism, closely linked with a constantly growing international demand. Having responded to this task completely confirms that the SIGEP format is right, as does the extraordinary appeal it has at all levels of interest.”

The positive opinion of Rimini Fiera extends to all the areas that have gradually grown to take their place alongside the main nucleus, formed by gelato, pastry and bread.

A great debut and excellent business feedback and results were obtained by SIGEP COFFEE and TECH PASTA, as was the case with the BioSIGEP route, which highlighted companies that have launched new production lines. A real exploit of the new trend regarding cake design, the Cake Design area aroused real curiosity, as did that of the person who can be considered the sector’s testimonial, television personality Enzo Miccio.



At the opening of SIGEP 2012 a new Guinness World Record was set at Rimini Fiera. After the gelato cone in 2011, this time the aim was to make the world’s largest chocolate. Goal achieved. The Guinness adjudicator from London certified a weight of 802 kg, much more that the previous record of 196.3 kg, set in Halle, at the Halloren Chocolate Museum in 2008.

The Guinness World Record was set by Mirco Della Vecchia and his team. The creation was donated to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Arezzo. It will then be divided and sold in 100-gram bags, to support the growth and expansion of the religious community’s workshop and the existing collaboration with the Karibu Association, which cares for the disabled.


The Gelato World Cup returns to Italy at SIGEP it was won by the members of the team trained by Pier Paolo Magni and Diego Crosara. France came second and Switzerland third. This was the key event at SIGEP 2012, organized by Rimini Fiera in collaboration with the GelatoeCultura association and Co.gel-Fipe.

Thirteen nations competed: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. The theme of the competition was “The fruits of the Earth and Sea”.

The panel of international technical judges that decreed the Italian victory was made up of the thirteen team managers of the individual teams. The world champions are Leonardo Ceschin, gelato maker from Pordenone, winner in 2011 of the SIGEP Gelato d’Oro; Ernst Knam, from Milan (the captain), was responsible for the chocolate sculpture; Francesco Falasconi from Tavullia (PU) the ice sculptor and the chef was Filippo Novelli from Turin. The team was supported by chocolatier-pastry chef Andrea Olivero. Team Manager Pierpaolo Magni trained the team along with Diego Crosara.


On day two, SIGEP 2012 offered the great satisfaction of seeing an Italian, 29-year old Sonia Balacchi, on the throne of the World Pastry Queen, elected by a highly qualified panel of international judges. After the two days, Ms. Balacchi beat the other nine international contestants.

Final rankings: 1st Sonia Balacchi – ITALY; 2nd Kyun Ran Baccon – FRANCE; 3rd Susan Notter - USA

Special mentions: for Innovation, to Sonia Balacchi (ITALY), Press Award to Susan Notter (USA), Award for the best sugar sculpture to Kyun Ran Baccon (FRANCE), for workshop cleanness and organization to Kyun Ran Baccon (FRANCE), for the best chocolate cake to Sonia Balacchi (ITALY).


Davide Verga, 20 years of age, from Como, is the new Italian Junior Pastry and Chocolate Champion. He won the titled, coming ahead of 21-year old Roman Gianluca Forino. The pair will represent Italy at the Junior Pastry World Cup, being held at SIGEP 2013. Ten under-22 pastry chefs took part in the Italian Junior Pastry and Chocolate Championship. The panel of judges was led by Gianluca Fusto and Davide Malizia.

Special mentions: the best gelato praline went to Davide Verga (20 years of age, Como), the best cake-stand in chocolate also to Davide Verga, the best cake-stand in sugar to Gianluca Forino (21 years old, Rome), the best chocolate cake also went to Gianluca Forino.


23-year old Francesco Boccia from Stigliano in the province of Naples is the new Italian Senior Pastry Champion. The title was contended until the final ballot by his younger brother Marcello, in an exciting challenge in which both won the right to represent Italy (along with Riccardo Patalani from Viareggio, who came third) at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon in 2013. As far as SIGEP participants can remember, this is the first time that two brothers reach world level together at such a young age.


Entirely focussed on the combination of gelato and fairy tales the proposal of the Idea Workshop, at which for each day of the exhibition the creative area animated by the Maestros of Italian Gelato-making, in collaboration with the Italian School of Gelato, proposed a story for children, on which teams of new graduates from the Italian School of Gelato based their creation of new gelatos, inspired by the atmosphere of the individual tales.

Special guests were the Rimini schoolchildren taking part in the project to make the public aware of the need to combat the phenomenon of bullying Don’t Freeze Our Smile, promoted by the Rimini CNA and Confartigianato Rimini with the collaboration of the University of Bologna, Rimini Provincial Government, Rimini Chamber of Commerce, the CARIM Foundation and Rimini Fiera - SIGEP, with the support of Mo.Ca. The children met the Maestros of Italian Gelato Making and the authors of books for children, as well as tasting and voting for the competing gelatos.

1st place went to Nuvola d’Autunno (mascarpone soft cheese, marrons glacés and meringue) made by Valeria Viziello from Matera, Sergio Maniscalco from Palermo and Carlo Piccinini from Fiumicino (Rome);

2nd came Leccatina (strawberry-streaked mascarpone) by Gianluca Giannoni from Vernazza (La Spezia), Massimo Lecca from Sanluri (Medio Campidano) and Enrico Piccinin (Udine);

3rd was Biancarancio Peanuts (stracciatella, orange and chocolate-coated peanuts) by Simona Maroncelli and Mattia Zavatta of Cesenatico.


This year, the Italian Gelato Makers Association chose coffee as the theme for the competing gelato parlours. This is the final ranking: 1st Cafeteria Gelato Parlour Dalmedio (Lamezia Terme), 2nd Guenther Rohregger (Rome), and 3rd Andriy Vynogradsky (Zhitomir – Ukraine).


The other traditional contest organized by the Italian Gelato Makers Association is left to the free fantasy of the gelato makers. 1st Gelateria Mariber di Cristina Lacché with the flavour Bitter dark chocolate (Rome), 2nd Gelateria Fratelli Nurzia with the flavour White Eagle (L’Aquila), 3rd Gelateria Golosa di Riccardo Fazzolari with the flavour Golosino (Marina di Gioiosa – Reggio Calabria).


Ten nations competed in the sixth edition of the SIGEP BREAD CUP, the international bread baking championship, with 40 contestants, supported by 80 professionals and pupils. The event was organized by Rimini Fiera and coordinated by Club Arti & Mestieri.

At the end, among France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Portugal, England, Israel, Morocco, Mexico and Mali, Israel came out on top.

Votes for the entries were given by a Panel of professional judges and a Popular "jury". The former was chaired by Harry Peemoeller, captain of the US team that won at the 2011 edition. During the first four days of SIGEP, the tests regarded “Traditional bread’, “Healthy bread, a “Baked cake’ and “Artistic bread”

On the last day, space was dedicated to the pastry contest ”Fame”, open to newcomers taking their first steps in their profession.


On the last day of SIGEP 2012 the spotlight in the Bread Cup area was on the “Fame!’, pastry contest, dedicated to newcomers taking their first steps in their profession. This was won by Eden Alkobi from Israel.

The area of SIGEP dedicated to coffee was further boosted, with the participation of companies from the entire chain, from the cultivation of plants to espresso and the use of coffee in pastry and chocolate making. The initiative, organized by Rimini Fiera with the patronage of S.C.A.E./Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, featured the best bartenders and barmaids at international level, as well as a large representation of the sector’s companies. SIGEP COFFEE was made even more interesting by the Italian Barista Championships, thanks to a three-year agreement between Rimini Fiera and A.C.I.B./ Italian Barista Championship Association. The results were as follows.


1st place: Elisa Molle from Frosinone; 2nd place: Eddy Righi from Modena; 3rd - Davide Cavalieri from Brescia.


1st place: Francesco Corona (aged 35) born in the Marches, works in Genoa; 2nd place Fabio Menichelli, who has worked for 10 years in Australia; 3rd - Luca Ventriglia (28) from Montesilvano (Pescara)


1st place: Chiara Bergonzi (26) from Piacenza; 2nd place: Riccardo Trabattengo (24) from Massalengo (LO),

3rd place: Luca Ventriglia (28) from Montesilvano (Pescara).


Sixty contestants from Italy, Poland and Bulgaria fought it out to see who was able to make a pizza able to combine traditional dough and a dressing of patisserie produce. At the end, the best was the one made by Maurizio Gaccione, from Pergine Valsugana (Trento). Second place went to Maurizio Capodicasa from Rome and third to Luana Cestari from Terracina (Latina).


For over ten years, SIGEP has hosted schools that hold training courses in the pastry making field. This year, seven took part, each preparing a table with a “pièce”, mignons, chocolates and a typical product of the school’s local area. Each school also made a three-tier cake that was judged by the panel along with the table. At the end, the best was Engim Veneto - C.F.P. "Eugenio Reffo" Hotel School in Tonezza del Cimone (Vicenza).


A great new feature that met with great success, Cake Design featured areas dedicated to demos, contests, workshops and events. Great interest was attracted by the workshops dedicated to cake decoration and the professional demos, as well as by the twin parade of wedding cakes and wedding dresses. Having seen the excellent feedback, there will be a follow-up to the initiative at SAPORE (25-28 February), on 25th February (inauguration day), with the award ceremony for the winner of the contest Vote the most Glamorous cake, decided after the scrutiny of thousands of forms (


Gift art was in the spotlight in the Sigift event area, in which every day visitors were able to take part in thematic demos dedicated to packaging and favours. The area was organized by Sagittarius Design, Associazione F.I.R.B. and publishers Edimemme.