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THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024 sets the stage for Asia’s F&B boom

NONTHABURI, Thailand — With a record-breaking 85,850 visitors from 131 countries and regions, THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024 has cemented its status as Asia's premier international expo for the food and beverage industry, setting the stage for significant growth and development in the Asian F&B market.

Held last May 28 to 31 at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center in Nonthaburi province, Thailand, the 32nd edition of THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024 spotlighted products, innovations, solutions and trends in regional and global food scenes that are shaping the industry's future.

The high turnout at THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024 highlights the increasing significance of the Asian F&B market on a global scale, with a notable jump from last year’s 78,764 visitors and a remarkable 22% surge in international attendees, emphasizing its worldwide appeal and the heightened interest in the Asian F&B sector.

Themed “Beyond Food Experience,” here’s what went down at the five-day event in Thailand:

Koelnmesse emphasizes how cross-border collaborations can boost Asian economy

This year's edition showcased the products of 3,133 exhibitors from 52 countries

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In an interview, Koelnmesse Managing Director and Vice-President Asia Pacific Mathias Kuepper said THAIFEX can contribute to boosting Asian economy by providing a platform for collaborations. It can help address concerns that the food supply chain is facing today such as logistics and raw materials.

“It’s really critical to set this in motion once a year, and then we have a year for people to go back and do their business and trade, and then return here next year and be inspired again,” he said.

Additionally, Lynn How, THAIFEX – Anuga Asia project director, highlighted Koelnmesse's various initiatives aimed at supporting farmers and producers in exporting essential raw materials from their countries.

"We organize workshops to provide insights into how other companies conduct their business in Asia or internationally. Furthermore, we run hosted buyer programs where we bring buyers to them,” she said.

This year, THAIFEX – Anuga Asia, in partnership with the government, brought in 1,935 carefully selected buyers from 46 countries to connect them with the exhibitors for potential partnerships.

For Koelnmesse, it is important to provide exhibitors an intertnational platform and connect them with the right customers by inviting targeted buyers interested in the specific products at the show and create more productive business interactions.

THAIFEX – Anuga Asia gets United States Department of Agriculture endorsement

Robert Frank Godec, United States ambassador to Thailand and Gerald Böse, president & chief executive officer of Koelnmesse

Philstar.com/Jap Tobias

Koelnmesse announced that starting in 2025, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will officially endorse THAIFEX – Anuga Asia, showing a joint commitment to boosting global business opportunities and economic prosperity.

The announcement came from Robert Frank Godec, the United States Ambassador to Thailand, and Gerald Böse, President and CEO of Koelnmesse, at the opening of the United States Pavilion at THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2024.

This partnership will open up new doors for the US food industry, helping both small and large companies explore and expand in Asian markets. By bringing in more top-notch US products to the trade show, everyone—from exhibitors to visitors—will get access to a wider range of innovative ideas and solutions.

FIlipino businesses showcase the taste of the Philippines

Visitors get a taste of the Philippines at the Philippine Pavillion.

Philstar.com/Jap Tobias

For the ninth year, Philippine exporters showcased their products at this year’s show, presenting Filipino offerings on the international stage through the "Taste of The Philippines" Philippine Pavilion.

Supported by the Philippine Food Processors & Exporters Organization (Philfoodex Inc.), along with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport), 25 Philippine-based exporters joined forces to exhibit a diverse range of products, spanning from snacks and beverages to canned goods and condiments.

PhilFoodex President Ruben See shared with Philstar.com that the Philippines secured $79 million in deals and sales from the expo last year, with banana chips, dried mangoes, canned seafood, coconut and coco-related products leading the way.

As regional competition grows fiercer and the Philippines offers similar products to its neighbors, See emphasized the rising significance of regular participation in the show for Philippine businesses and exporters, enabling them to attract buyers seeking similar products.

Notably, Filipino snack brand OSH Oh So Healthy emerged as a finalist in the event’s TasteInnovation Awards for its line of "guilt-free" snacking treats, crafted from 100% real fruits and veggies without frying or oil.

According to the brand’s profile, OSH is committed to supporting local agriculture by sourcing its products from local producers who advocate for a sustainable and diversified future for farmers.

Consumers look for “multi-dimensional” food: Koelnmesse

From left: THAIFEX – Anuga Asia Project Director Lynn How, Koelnmesse Managing Director & VP Asia-Pacific Mathias Kuepper and Koelnmesse General Manager – Food & Food Technology Exhibitions Wendy Lim

Philstar.com/Jap Tobias

This year's food show unveiled several key trends driven by evolving consumer preferences. Convenience, plant-based options, and sustainability were among the most prominent.

In an interview, Kuepper of Koelnmesse emphasized that when it comes to the Asian market, most trends still center around personal health. Consumers are increasingly interested in the origin, sourcing, packaging, and health impact of their food choices, including whether it's organic.

Moreover, Koelnmesse elaborated that today's consumers are looking beyond just health. They seek "multi-dimensional" food that meets all of their needs rather than just one.

For example, consumers might want food that is not only organic and healthy, but also that convenient and is produced sustainably.

"It's a challenge for manufacturers, but I believe it's essential for consumers to understand what they're putting in their bodies. That's a very clear trend," Kuepper noted.

Spotlight on innovations in the F&B scene

Stellar food products and solutions were featured in the event.

Philstar.com/Jap Tobias

Visitors to the THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2024 fair were left amazed with numerous innovations that can shape the future of food.

For instance, Fundodai from Japan showcased a completely clear soy sauce that looks like water. This innovative product allows dishes to retain their vibrant colors while still delivering the classic soy sauce flavor.

Another example is a PCR testing kit made by Korean company Genelix, which can accurately check the presence or absence of animal species in a food by analyzing the genes of raw food material and food products.

For beverage lovers on the go, Vinca is making Sicilian Organic Wines travel-friendly by offering them in convenient cans. These cans replace traditional glass bottles and are lined with a special resin material to ensure the wine stays fresh for years.

Additionally, as part of the trends, this year’s edition also saw the first-ever Alternative Protein flavor and taste contest.

CPF Global Food Solution Public Company Limited emerged victorious in the "Best Taste" category with their plant-based Thai Green Curry Gyoza. HA LI FA PTE LTD also claimed the "Best Texture" award for their innovative zero-cholesterol EPL Mushroom Ball and vegetable ball.

Malaysia's MORNING ARCH Sdn. Bhd took home the "Best Aroma and Innovation" double win for their Hello M'arch Quinoa Noodle Meal Kit made with high-protein wheat flour and organic quinoa, all free from MSG, artificial colors and preservatives.

Boosting the Asian economy, growing the show

Deemed a catalyst for redefining Asia-Pacific F&B commerce, the event is projected to generate a whopping THB 100 billion in revenue, with Thai businesses contributing an estimated THB 60 billion, according to Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Mr. Phumtham Wechayachai.

During the opening day, Phumtham expressed that the trade show is an exceptional opportunity for Thai businesses, especially SMEs and startups, as well as regional entrepreneurs, to showcase their products and services and connect with potential international buyers and importers.

Looking ahead, Koelnmesse envisions THAIFEX as the premier F&B business platform in Asia-Pacific. "Our long-term vision is to maintain THAIFEX as the leading platform," said Kuepper, hinting at increasing exhibitor diversity, sustainability initiatives, and showcasing even more cutting-edge trends in future editions.

To achieve this goal, organizers continuously look for ways to grow the show. This year, they implemented innovative initiatives like interactive maps, mobile apps, and streamlined processes, all of which contributed to efficient connections and maximized business potential for both visitors and exhibitors.

As THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024 concluded with a record-breaking turnout, the event served as a launchpad for the latest trends and innovations in the food and beverage industry, inspiring Asian economies to compete and thrive on a global scale amid an ever-evolving food and beverage landscape.

The next edition of THAIFEX Anuga Asia is slated for May 27 to 31, 2025. The event is co-organized by Thailand's Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), The Thai Chamber of Commerce and Koelnmesse.

Editor’s Note: Philstar.com is an official media partner of THAIFEX Anuga Asia 2024. This story was produced from a visiting program in Thailand hosted by the organizers.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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