Thaifex ends on a high note

Bangkok was the meeting point in Southeast Asia for food and beverage buyers and traders from 13 to 17 May 2009. 


The sixth edition of Thaifex – World of Food Asia ended with a bang.
21,101 trade visitors crowded the halls of Thaifex – World of Food Asia
2009, conducting business with the 988 exhibitors from 21 countries/
regions. Some 21% (4,431) of the visitors came from abroad,
representing 104 countries/ regions around the world. The figures are
quite consistent with the last two fairs.


“The good results of Thaifex – World of Food Asia 2009 amidst the
economic downturn and other situations show that we are indeed the
first choice for a food and beverage trade communication platform in
Southeast Asia. Our pre-registered visitors totaled 10,231, about 40%
higher than 2008, of which 42% are from overseas. This clearly
indicates that Thaifex is at the top of the minds of the industry


Our strong partnership with the Department of Export Promotion and Thai
Chamber of Commerce has proved very fruitful,” said Mr Michael Dreyer,
Vice President Asia Pacific of organizer Koelnmesse.


The halls bustled with lively discussions between the buyers and
exhibitors. Most of the exhibitors were satisfied with their
participation. Kent Kirkham from PC Water of the USA is exhibiting for
the first time, said, “It is our first time in Asia and we received a
very warm response. This is beyond our expectations. We look forward to
returning next year.”

The majority of the foreign visitors came from Malaysia, USA,
Singapore, China, Hong Kong, China and Japan. “Our exhibitors received
good response. I think the show is getting more international,” said
organizer of the Netherlands pavilion, Mr Rubert Konijn, Agricultural
Counsellor, Head of Department, Dutch Embassy in Bangkok.


The number of exhibitors showcasing seafood products has increased by
40%. The Thai Frozen Food Association took up 1,944 sqm and made up the
new sector of frozen food. Their presence is a reflection of the global
food industry where packaged and convenience food are gaining more
demand. The new ASEAN Seafood Federation was also formed on the opening
day of Thaifex – World of Food Asia which shows the significance of the
trade fair in the regional food industry. The Thai Frozen Association
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with five other ASEAN
representatives from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia and


Asia makes up more than 60% of the world’s total population with over
4.1 billion people. In addition, there are a few key emerging markets
in this part of the world, India and China being two of them. Food and
beverage expenditure is expected to increase and international
producers are not missing out on these growing economies.

exhibitors occupy 41% of the total exhibitor number at Thaifex – World
of Food Asia 2009, which is consistent with the past few years. Many
producers of developed markets are looking outside their home countries
for new business.


In reverse, relatively low-cost producers in Asia have the opportunity
to enter the developed markets with their quality food products. Ms
Rachelle V. Favis of Monde M.Y. San Corporation from The Philippines
were at the trade fair to seek new buyers, “We received more enquiries
than at some other trade fairs in the region.”


Major food trends were covered at the fair such as functional foods,
“healthy indulgence” and comfort foods. It was reported in the Chicago
Tribune in January 2009 that consumers seek foods that deliver benefits
against multiple conditions, such as added-fiber products promoting
digestive health and appetite-curbing benefits. Mr Sanguan
Chanyaputhipong, Managing Director ofMawai Food Corporation Limited,
Thailand, spoke on how instant noodles can be healthy during a seminar
at the trade fair. He said, “Instant noodles are often criticized as
being unhealthy or junk food. We saw a demand for an instant noodle
product that is healthier by using better ingredients and adding
functional ingredients such as Omega 3, Inulin and DHA etc.”


The seminars were all very well-received. The rooms were crowded and
participants enjoyed rewarding discussions with the panel speakers.
Industry professionals spoke on food safety and quality management
standards, the palm oil industry, market trends, challenges in import
and export as well as health food.


Mr Michael Gerling, CEO of the Food Retail Association in Germany (BVL)
was one of the many visitors at the trade fair. He observed that, “The
wide range of Asian food products presented at Thaifex would perfectly
match with current European trends towards convenience and healthy
food.” As a representative of a leading international food association,
he also presented on trends and topics in the European food retail


Thaifex – World of Food Asia is organized by Koelnmesse Pte Ltd in
cooperation with the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) and the Thai
Chamber of Commerce (TCC). Itwas open to trade visitors on the first
three days (13 to 15 May) and to the public on the last two days (16
and 17 May). The trade fair covers food & beverage featuring halal
and organic, food catering & hospitality services, food technology
and retail & franchise. Special zones for ‘Halal Food’, ‘Organic
Food’, ‘Food Safety from Thailand’ and ‘Design in Thailand’ were set up
to highlight market trends and concerns.


The next Thaifex – World of Food Asia will be held 12 to 16 May 2010.