BANGKOK – THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2016, Asia’s leading food and beverage show closed on 29 May on an overwhelmingly positive note after five days of power-packed programmes and activities.
The 13th edition was THAIFEX-World of Food Asia‘s largest and most impactful show yet, attracting a total of 42,528 trade visitors – a 21% increase from 35,205 in 2015 and 1,919 exhibitors from 40 countries.
Mr Michael Dreyer, Managing Director and Vice President, Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd said, “THAIFEX-World of Food Asia has once again surpassed expectations in both participation and visitors, emphasising the strategic role it plays as an important business platform for the international food and beverage community.”
“THAIFEX-World of Food Asia shares a similar vision as the ASEAN Economic Community which is to help ASEAN integrate with global markets and reach its maximum potential to become one of the largest economies in the world. This strategic alignment has helped establish us as a brand that is associated with quality and returns as well as innovation, trends and significant trade opportunities.”
“Moreover, we are pleased to share that 1,700 trade mission buyers attended this year’s event, reaffirming the importance of THAIFEX-World of Food Asia’s position as a global player in the food and beverage industry. We are encouraged by the overwhelming response and positive feedback from 33,024 Thai visitors and 9,504 international visitors and are already looking forward to expanding our presence with the 2017 edition.” he added.
For the first time ever, international participation matched that of local exhibitors – an impressive total number of 1,919 exhibitors took part in this year’s show of which a strong international representation of 955 were from Europe, North and South America North and South Asia and Southeast Asia. New country groups like Chile, India, Indonesia, Norway and Cambodia were also added to the mix, leading to an increase of exhibition space totaling 80,000 sqm across seven halls.
One significant success story was from an exhibitor at the new Indonesia Country Pavilion who secured on-the-spot orders from China and South Korea for an impressive 35 containers of kerupuk (popular Indonesian prawn and fish crackers) at a total order value of US$ 950,000. Indonesian seafood exporters were also able to clinch deals with international buyers from the EU, US, Mexico and Thailand.
“This was our first time participating at THAIFEX-World of Food Asia and it was most definitely a positive experience for all 41 Indonesian companies exhibiting at the show. THAIFEX-World of Food Asia proved to be an effective gateway to global trade with a healthy representation of both regional and international participation and visitors. The one-to-one business matching is second to none and I look forward to making this event a priority in our yearly trade calendar.” said Indonesian trade attaché member in Bangkok, Rita Tri Mutiawati.
Partner country, Germany expands presence
Well-known for its trademark ‘Made in Germany’ products synonymous with Quality, Reliability and Innovation, Germany was at the centre of attention as THAIFEX –World of Food Asia’s 2016 partner country. Led by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Germany Pavilion expanded in size this year occupying a total of 306 sqm of exhibition space. 24 exhibitors were represented at the fair presenting food products ranging from traditional to organic fare as well as chef demonstrations by two of Germany’s popular culinary stars, Steffen Burkhardt and Soeren Jahnke.
Notable German exhibitors included popular beer brands like Zoller-Hof who featured two of their best-selling beers on tap for sampling while Beckers Bester presented premium-quality fruit juices. Dr. Suwelack’s freeze-dried coffee with low calorie table top sweeteners made quite an impact at this year’s show as well.
Axel Wildner, Counsellor for Food and Agriculture, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bangkok said, “This was a proud moment for Germany. Being the official Partner Country for the 2016 edition of THAIFEX-World of Food Asia cast a spotlight on our impressive showcase of ‘Made in Germany’ products and created many opportunities to meet with potential buyers in ASEAN. This year’s show was extremely successful and we are excited to see what 2017 brings.”
“I am convinced that Germany being the official Partner Country this year gave WHAPOW a great boost in visibility at THAIFEX. WHAPOW is a German/Thai food start-up company. Our promotion at the German Pavilion under the ‘Made in Germany’ label – which stands for professional design, branding, quality management and international market presence – in combination with the sourcing of all natural and organic certified food ingredients from small farmers in Thailand is a recipe for international success and a unique selling point. Thank you THAIFEX-World of Food Asia for giving us this global platform.” exclaimed Ingo Puhl, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Whapow Co. Ltd.
Asia’s culinary talents shine bright
THAIFEX-World of Food Asia prides itself in bringing together some of the world’s leading culinary talents. This year was no exception with the return of the highly anticipated, Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge which saw an impressive line-up of 1,046 entries from 11 countries competing head-to-head in a series of culinary tests including the new ‘Pastry & Bakery Challenge’. Hosted by Thai Chefs Association, World Association of Chef Societies (WACS) and Koelnmesse, this year saw Mr Anucha Chuatbamrung from Impact Exhibition Management emerge victorious in the “4 Individually Western Plated Dessert” segment with the highest competition score of 94.75.
Mr Willment Leong, Organizing Chairman for the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge said, “This was an exhilarating five-day event as we saw some of the world’s best culinary talents displaying their masterful skills. In its 5th edition, we welcomed 30 internationally-acclaimed judges including 26 WACS approved international judges which had the hard task of critiquing a record-breaking number of entries. The energy level was electric due to the largest ever group of participants. We are extremely proud to be one of the organisers of such a prestigious culinary event.”
World of Coffee & Tea – offering the best brews by global champions
Supported by ASEAN Coffee Federation, Barista Assocation of Thailand, Lao Coffee Association, Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association, Philippines Coffee Board, Singapore Coffee Association, Indonesia Coffee Exporters Association and Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia, the World of Coffee & Tea surpassed expectations this year with the largest gathering of the coffee and tea industry in Thailand.
Mr Victor Mah, President of ASEAN Coffee Federation said, “We are proud to have once again given our support to the World of Coffee & Tea. This is a great vehicle for the coffee and tea industry to network and gain new business opportunities. The many activities surrounding this segment serve as a spotlight on Asia’s coffee and tea industry.”
Over at the Celebrity Coffee Bar, an exciting line-up of 16 of the world’s best baristas and judges demonstrated their finest coffee skills with LIVEon-demand performances, meet and greet sessions, free-style espresso and cappuccino challenges, to name a few. The star-studded event featured three world champion baristas – namely Japan’s Hidenori Izaki (World Barista Champion 2014), Greece’s Stefanos Domatiotis (World Brewers Cup Champion 2014) and George Koustoumpardis (World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion 2015) who were among the 11 national champions as well as two World Barista Championship judges. Visitors got a chance to rub shoulders with the creme-de-la-creme of the coffee world, as well as sample one of the world‘s most expensive cup of coffees, Ninety Plus Coffee retailing at US$100.
2014 World Champion Barista, Hidenori Izaki said, “As the first Asian World Champion Barista, it was heartening to meet many of my counterparts from all over the world, exchange knowledge and collaborate on LIVE demos to a crowd of global coffee aficionados. I look forward to seeing them again in 2017!”
2016 Singapore National Barista Champion Regina Tay said, “It’s been a privilege to showcase my skills in front of such a dynamic crowd at Celebrity Coffee Bar. Being among industry greats was truly the icing on the cake!”
Visitors also gained valuable knowledge and insights from industry professionals at True Artisan Cafe by La Marzocco and Boncafe Training Sessions. The return of CTI Latte Art Duel where local Thai baristas compete against each other in a race against the clock to impress a panel of Champion Baristas was particularly captivating.
“Thailand is often regarded as the entry point to the Asian market with its rich culture and welcoming trade environment. World of Coffee & Tea provides us with a great opportunity to be in this part of the world in order to meet key industry players. We are very pleased with this year’s event.” Christoph Ziegler, Head of Sales Business Unit Coffee, Buhler AG.
Eye-opening insights from leading Food Safety and Franchising experts
From seminars and forums to business networking opportunities, THAIFEX-World of Food Asia delivered on its promise to be a leader in knowledge exchange. Now in its fourth edition, the World of Food Safety Conference welcomed more than 100 CEOs and top management from global corporations such as Danone, Mondelez, Tesco Lotus, General Mills, Cargill Meats (Thailand), Nestle and Sakae Holdings Limited. The conference touched on various food safety topics ranging from food safety regulatory issues to traceability and contaminants.
“This year marked my fourth year participating in the World of Food Safety Conference. I am always amazed at the level of expertise and insights that our speakers share during the two-day conference, each year,“ said Mr Yves Rey, Advisor to the Board of Danone.
In addition, the one-day Asian Franchising Forum led by Albert Kong, CEO of Asiawide Franchise Consultants Pte Ltd, offered franchisors, franchisees, licensees and entrepreneurs an intensive and interactive session on the newest trends and directions of the food franchise industry. Companies present included McDonald’s Thailand, MFG Franchising and Thai Food Concepts, Food Franchise Institute, to name a few.
A big hit with the crowds – NEW THAIFEX Trend Zone and Trend Topics
For the first time ever, THAIFEX-World of Food Asia partnered with Innova Market Insights, the event’s official knowledge partner, to introduce THAIFEX Trend Zone. The knowledge kiosk gave visitors a venue to gather information on top consumer trends and important insights. It included hot topic issues driving the food and beverage industry like ‘clean label’, ‘free-from movements’ and the ‘flexitarian effect’.
Also new to this year’s show was the introduction of THAIFEX Trend Topics. This new category grouped all exhibitors by the respective trends which made it easier for visitors to find out what they needed, whether a product or the right partner. What was significant was the strong representation for trends like Halal, Health & Functional Foods, Private Label and Ingredients which had the highest number of exhibitors each, clearly indicating the growing importance of these trends. Also on the rise were trends such as Gluten Free with 41 exhibitors and Vegan with 60 exhibitors. Additionally, an impressive 169 products from all over the world were on display at the inaugural Organic Supermarket.
“We are delighted that THAIFEX-World of Food Asia recognized the hottest trends including Organic. We have seen a rise in consumer demand for Organic products and the Organic Supermarket gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase just that,” said Mike Nguyen Quoc, Rita Food & Drink Co., Ltd.
On the back of another successful show, THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2017 is set to return from 31 May – 4 June 2017.
THAIFEX – World of Food Asia is organised by Koelnmesse Pte Ltd in partnership with Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion and The Thai Chamber of Commerce.