THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019 envisions the future of food and solidifies its position as the foremost F&B trade show in Asia
|Largest, dedicated industry trade show in the region attracts over 67,000 visitors from 134 countries; 2,745 exhibitors, including 28 start-ups exposed to an international audience; 2020 edition to be rebranded as THAIFEX-Anuga Asia|
Plant-based meats, drone-based food delivery, an edible coating solution that prolongs the shelf life of fruit, smart packaging for traceability and authentication, and insect-based protein powder. These were a sampler of future food offerings tasted and experienced by over 67,000 trade visitors from 134 countries during THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019, which concluded its 16th edition on 1 June at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.
Envisioning the future of F&B, this year’s edition marks the largest volume of Asia’s foremost dedicated F&B trade show to date. It played host to 67,136 visitors, with representatives from countries such as China, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia and the USA amongst others, holding a strong presence at the show as international visitorship numbers continued its increase from the previous year.
Business and commerce continued to be the main focus of THAIFEX-World of Food Asia with more than 2,000 international hosted buyers in attendance. Out of this, 152 handpicked top hosted buyers participated in a 2-day closed-door business matchmaking program exclusively organized for international exhibitors to discuss trade deals. Across the program, over 1,300 successful meetings took place. The meetings were pre-arranged through an online business matching platform, which allowed top buyers from across Asia to select the international exhibitors they wanted to do business with in the weeks running up to the event.
“This is the best Hosted Buyer Program in the region as it is well organized, and a great improvement with the way the business meetings were structured. This year, the meetings were well scheduled making it easier to manage our time as well as the exhibitors, because they knew who they would be meeting. This is truly an event to connect easily with our business partners,” said Enrique Miquel Valles, President/COO, Mida Food Distributors Inc.
F&B trends and innovations of the future
Bringing visitors into the Future of Food were programs such as the inaugural THAIFEXfuture Food Experience+, which received overwhelming response from attendees, evident from the high sign-up and participation rates. Demonstrations at Future Food Live! included a unique cooking show hosted by the ASEAN Food and Feed Insects Association, where Le Cordon Bleu chef Frederic Legras created well-loved desserts with a twist – incorporating cricket powder and whole insects, much to the audience’s bewilderment and excitement.
In addition, the THAIFEX Startup Zone boasted a contingent of 28 start-ups, which engaged in networking sessions with investors and venture capitalists from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Oman, US and Thailand. Through this specially curated program, these budding companies received a tailored experience to encourage business matchmaking.
“The exposure we achieved at THAIFEX-World of Food Asia was truly phenomenal. The networking session, in particular, provided a great platform for us to present our innovative food technology solution to combat diabetes to an international audience of media, buyers and potential investors,” said Alan Phua, CEO & Master Builder of Singapore-based Alchemy Foodtech Pte. Ltd. – a foodtech start-up which created a patent-pending food composition to lower the glycemic index of carbohydrate staples such as rice. “We hope our participation at THAIFEX-World of Food Asia will be a springboard for us to help improve food and nutrition in the region, and across the world.”
“We are doing a lot of work with the start-ups through our LEVEL3 setup in Singapore. To see the different start-ups here in THAIFEXfuture Food Experience+, from a different perspective, especially focused on the food industry, is a great inspiration, and of course, a source of new business for us in the future,” said Hans-Friedrich Zeh, Vice President Supply Chain Foods & Refreshment SEAA, Unilever.
Another new program this year, the Leadership in Food Innovation Conference series was attended by more than 300 participants, who tuned in to talks by leading trade professionals providing insights into the future of the F&B industry. Speakers at the show gave presentations tackling how food was changing across several different topics, such as innovation and growth in 2019, accelerating business in food and technology, sustainability, consumer insights and marketing strategies, and a greater focus on nutrition.
New countries and regions bring local tastes to global platform
THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019 welcomed 6 new country groups, Australia (AUSVEG), Brazil, Poland, Spain, USA, and Sri Lanka. Spain provided a unique experience at their pavilion with seminars and a tapas-style networking lunch, while Sri Lanka arranged a lunch buffet with a selection of local delights for visitors to sample.
“The United States is proud to have had major exhibitors like the California Milk Advisory Board, U.S. Potato Board, U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, and Washington Apple Commission represented at our inaugural stand in THAIFEX-World of Food Asia. As Asia’s largest F&B trade show, the trade fair is an important opportunity for us to showcase new-to-market products and innovative applications from the United States to the rest of the world,” said Russ Nicely, Agricultural Counselor, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bangkok, Thailand.
Thailand, the Kitchen of the World
The 8th edition of the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge (TUCC) saw over 1,300 professional and budding chefs from 13 countries display their skills to 47 judges from all over the world to win the coveted championship titles. The titles were won by:
- Best Establishment Award Chef Tiddawn Culinary Club
- Best Ultimate Professional Chef AwardNatrada Keeratipattarawut, Chef Tiddawn Culinary Club
- Best Ultimate Junior Chef Award Mayurin Tongto, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University
- Best Ultimate Pastry Chef Award Ting Yu Wang, Kun Shan University
The qualifying final Asia round of the Global Chef Challenge (GCC) was also held at THAIFEX-World of Food Asia for the third time running. Finalists for the three categories include:
- Global Chefs Challenge Chia Ho Li, Taiwan Chef’s Association
- Global Pastry Chefs Challenge Fang Qianqian, Shanghai Disneyland Resort
- Global Young Chefs Challenge – The Hans Bueschkens Trophy Wei Xiaoyue, Wangsen School
A new, improved identity for the largest dedicate F&B trade show in the region
THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019 was made possible through the unique private-public synergistic collaboration between Koelnmesse, the leading trade fair organizer for food and food technology, Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion, and the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Now, after 16 years of this strong partnership, the organizers will be elevating the trade fair to the next level with a rebranding to THAIFEX-Anuga Asia.
The refreshed name will further emphasize the strong relationship between THAIFEX-World of Food Asia and Anuga, the world’s largest F&B trade show, as well as affirm the global standard of the fair, with Anuga’s 100 years of history and experience backing THAIFEX-World of Food Asia.
Koelnmesse will continue to work with the Department of International Trade Promotion and the Thai Chamber of Commerce to grow the show and bring an unprecedented business matching platform and experience to the industry.
“As organizers, we’re constantly fine-tuning our programs based on feedback from exhibitors, buyers and visitors, and aligning them with the latest industry trends. We were delighted to hear that our new programs such as the THAIFEXfuture Food Experience+ and the THAIFEX Startup Zone were very well received. The future of the F&B sector is always evolving as consumers’ tastes, considerations and preferences progress, and we hope to continue refreshing and creating new programs that will deliver the ultimate trade show experience to keep attendees – even exhibitors and buyers – ahead of the curve,” said Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd.
THAIFEX-Anuga Asia 2020 will continue to focus on the Future of Food and will take place from 26-30 May.