Thailand, the country that welcomes millions of tourists each year is definitely not slowing down; evident from the recent THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2016. The show’s 13th edition recorded 42,528 trade visitors – a 21% increase from 35,205 in 2015 and 1,919 exhibitors from 40 countries. It was also a personal triumph for the organiser being the first time where international participation matched local exhibitors. A total of 1,919 exhibitors participated with 955 booths cumulatively from Europe, Nor th and South America North and South Asia and Southeast Asia. Country groups like Chile, India, Indonesia, Nor way and Cambodia joined in the fray which eventually stretched the exhibition space to 80,000 sqm across seven halls.
Aspiring chefs took the stage by storm in the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge. 1,046 entries from 11 countries braved various culinary tests including the new ‘Pastry & Baker y Challenge’. The display of knowledge and skills definitely did not make the task of 30 internationally acclaimed judges including 26 WACS approved international judges easy! From food to beverages, the Celebrity Coffee Barwas abuzz as 16 of the world’s best baristas and judges demonstrated their finest coffee skills with live on demand performances, meet-and-greet sessions, freestyle espresso and cappuccino challenges. Among the java celebrities were 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). The bar was set up in conjuction with the World of Coffee & Tea gathering which comprised of coffee associations and boards from the Southeast Asian region.
Where there is food in business, there must also be food safety. The 4th edition of World of Food Safety Conference touched on topics ranging from food safety regulator y 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 Forumled 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.
2016’s edition introduced the new THAIFEX Trend Zone. Partnering Innova Market Insights, the knowledge kiosk gave visitors a venue to gather insights on top consumer trends. It included hot topic issues like ‘clean label’, ‘freefrom movements’ and the ‘flexitarian effect’. Meanwhile, THAIFEX Trend Topics was a new direction to group all exhibitors by the respective trends; making it easier for visitors to find what they needed – from Halal, Health & Functional Foods, Private Label and Ingredients, Gluten Free, Vegan to the inaugural Organic Supermarket.
THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2017 returns from 31 May – 4 June 2017. www.worldoffoodasia.com