By Manik Mehta
COLOGNE, Oct 19 (Bernama) — Malaysian companies that participated
in the just-concluded ANUGA fair of Cologne, the world’s largest food
fair and a barometer that indicates trends in the world’s food trade,
bagged good business deals despite the economic uncertainties and
downturn in demand.
The 22-member Malaysian companies, 13 of which first-time
exhibitors at the fair, displayed a wide range of food items including
biscuits, cookies, ready-mix coffee, mooncakes, palm oil and palm
oil-derived products, tomato ketchup, pudding, desserts, cereals and
Mohamad Sabri Ab Rahman, Malaysia’s trade commissioner based in
Frankfurt, said Malaysian companies were able to clinch businesses
despite the economic slowdown that continued to plague consumer
confidence and drive down demand.
Data furnished to Sabri’s office by individual Malaysian
exhibitors showed orders worth RM8.7 million were received during the
show while there was a strong possibility of further orders worth RM19
million would follow.
The exhibitors said most of the businesses were received from
countries outside Europe. Besides businesses from new buyers, there
were also a good number of repeat orders for new products from existing
A leading UK-based supermarket and other supermarket chains in Europe placed orders with Malaysian companies at the fair.
While palm oil and palm oil-based products generated good demand,
other products such as frozen seafood and crackers better known as “Mr
Potato” were also popular.
Sabri said Melaka-headquartered Mr Potato exports to more than 80 countries.
“Mr Potato seems to have been doing its home work well as far as marketing in foreign markets is concerned,” he said.
Another popular item that interest buyers at the fair was the “corn-in-cup” sold by Nelson Franchise.
Sabri said Nelson Franchise is intensifying its exports to
penetrate into new markets and strengthen its position in existing
Though Malaysian companies are gradually being bitten by the
export marketing bug, they need to take a strategic approach by
participating in trade fairs and using them as a marketing tool.
This is being done by countries such as Thailand, Singapore,
Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia and not to mention the two
giants — China and India — whose presence in numbers at trade shows
Malaysia could utilise its strength and expertise in areas such as
halal food products for which Germany and other western countries with
a growing Muslim population offer a niche market.
Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that
buy halal food products from other countries, including Malaysia, are
themselves becoming halal food suppliers.
Penang, keen to profile itself as a halal hub, was represented by
Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Othman, who made a pitch for his state as
a halal hub and highlighted the halal facilities.
The Frankfurt-based MATRADE office also promoted the Malaysian
International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May
“The idea is to provide visibility to Malaysia’s prowess in the
halal industry. This is also a good way to promote Malaysia’s halal
“As foreign buyers come to participate in MIHAS, they will realise that
Malaysia is not just an exporter of halal products, but has highly
specialised know-how in this field,” Sabri added.