The Food Expo, Beauty & Wellness Expo and Home Delights Expo, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), concluded on a high note today while the two trade fairs – Food Expo PRO and Hong Kong International Tea Fair – drew to a successful close on 19 August. The five fairs featured more than 1,800 exhibitors from 24 countries and regions and attracted close to 480,000 public visitors, an encouraging recovery sign for the trade and fairs industries. The International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine and Health Products (ICMCM), organised by the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association (MCMIIA) in collaboration with the HKTDC and eight major research institutes, also concluded on 18 August.
Food tasting returned at the Expo following a ban during COVID-19, the Food Expo and concurrent fairs became festive public events attracting both local families and visitors.
The newly rebranded Food Expo PRO, previously known as the Trade Hall, was held for the first time since travel links returned to normal. Food Expo PRO and the Tea Fair together attracted more than 20,100 buyers from 69 countries and regions, including Mainland China, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Mexico and Poland, reaffirming Hong Kong’s F&B trading hub role in Asia.
Sophia Chong, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “This year’s Food Expo and the concurrent events have been truly exciting and bustling, with the number of visitors and exhibitors’ sales showing positive signs, underlining strong public demand and appetite for food shopping. The two trade fairs, including the rebranded Food Expo PRO and concurrent Hong Kong International Tea Fair, were well supported by group pavilions and exhibitors from a vast spectrum of countries and regions. We are pleased to see that the five events have successfully created business opportunities for exhibitors and the public, who were truly satisfied.”
Electronic payment helps boost spending
The second phase of the Consumption Voucher Scheme rolled out shortly before the fairs and the promotion of electronic payments at the expo by HKTDC has made transactions faster and more convenient. More than 50% of about 1,300 respondents in an on-site survey had spent HK$1,000 (US$128) or more at the exhibition; the overall per capita spending was about HK$1,500, a year-on-year rise of more than 8%. Nearly 80% of survey respondents paid electronically, underlining the spending boost e-payment brought.
Strong consumer sentiment brings rewarding sales
The Food Expo has always been Hong Kong’s annual culinary highlight, bringing together a selection of the world’s finest specialities. Eric Lin, Managing Director of exhibitor Hop Hing Loong Company Limited, said: “We import more than 100 brands from different countries worldwide. Consumers are keen to make purchases while Japanese fruit liqueurs and sake are among the best sellers. We expect total sales to reach HK$800,000 to HK$1 million at the Expo this year.”
Trade buyers broaden business networks
The Food Science and Technology Zone was a new addition at the Food Expo PRO. A Hong Kong exhibitor, Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), showcased non-alcoholic beer and the “electronic tongue”, a smart device which carries out a full range of quantitative and qualitative taste sensing analysis. Dr Carmen Man, a lecturer at the institute, said: “We have met a good number of food-tech companies and government representatives from different countries, including Japan and Singapore. They expressed keen interest in our technology and products and we will continue to explore business collaboration.”
At the Hong Kong International Tea Fair, Shobel Mulinge, Commercial Director of Nala Tea Company Ltd from Kenya, established links with buyers from Egypt, Mainland China and Singapore. The company expects to receive new orders worth US$400,000 through this year’s fair.
EXHIBITION+ hybrid mode boosts borderless business exchange
Food Expo PRO and the Tea Fair are still being held online under the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model. Buyers and sellers can continue to check out AI-recommended business leads as well as arrange and conduct online meetings with each other through Click2Match, a smart business-matching platform, until 26 August. The trade fairs also launched the offline-to-online communication function Scan2Match, helping buyers bookmark favourite exhibitors, browse product information, and continue their online chat with exhibitors during and after the physical fairs.
The concurrent Beauty & Wellness Expo offered a wide range of beauty and health products. Exhibitor Erica Yu, Founder & CEO of Quantumbeauty Biotechnology Co, Ltd from Mainland China said: “Our main goal in participating in the Beauty & Wellness Expo for the first time is to promote our brand and our home beauty device. We prepared 100 sets at our booth, but they were all sold out on the first day. We had to immediately replenish another 500 sets from Shenzhen. We expect sales will reach HK$650,000.”
Home Delights Expo exhibitor Qivation Company Limited, showcased various nano photocatalytic home and personal products. Director Jeff Chan expected that their onsite sales turnover would rise 30% from last year to HK$400,000.
Mainland and overseas participants return, unleashing business opportunities
This year’s five major events featured various group pavilions, including Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Sri Lanka, Thailand, 10 provinces from Mainland China and more. The turnout showed that mainland and overseas exhibitors and buyers were eager to return to physical fairs in Hong Kong.
At Food Expo PRO, Singapore buyer Gary Lee, Business Development Director of San SeSan Global Pte Ltd, met 10 exhibitors through the business matching service, placing orders with exhibitors from Poland, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mainland China and more, seeking frozen foods, instant foods, cashew nuts and tea leaves completing orders worth SG$300,000 (US$221,000).
Chinese Medicine conference creates synergies
The Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association (MCMIA), together with the HKTDC and eight scientific research institutions, presented the latest International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM), offering invaluable Chinese medicine insights and information for industry participants. Under the theme Inheritance and Innovation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 18 keynote speakers from around the globe discussed Chinese medicine research and development and shared on successful product commercialisation. The conference was held in conjunction with five major fairs, achieving a cross-fair synergy effect.