Food Industry Innovation and Opportunity at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024: Global Reach, Regional Expertise, Local Partnership
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Food Industry Innovation and Opportunity at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024: Global Reach, Regional Expertise, Local Partnership

Suppliers and purchasers from around the globe come together to discuss and explore exciting F&B trends at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024, Asia-Pacific’s biggest food-tech trade fair.
Suppliers and purchasers from around the globe come together to discuss and explore exciting F&B trends at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024, Asia-Pacific’s biggest food-tech trade fair.

THAIFEX - Anuga Asia returns to Thailand this May 28th to June 1st at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. The 2024 edition of Asia Pacific’s premier food and beverage (F&B) trade exhibition promises visitors a sweeping array of flavors, cutting-edge technology and indispensable solutions on display by more than 3,000 suppliers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, providing F&B businesses with a one-stop resource to help meet ever-growing and rapidly evolving consumer demand for foods with added benefits.

New Trends Making Global F&B Waves

“THAIFEX - Anuga Asia has always been a showcase and supply source for well-known international products, but it’s also a window on what's new in the industry” according to Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director and Vice President Asia Pacific at Koelnmesse, THAIFEX - Anuga Asia’s longtime co-organizer.

“Of course, we see a lot of these trends year after year, but this year, they’ve come with a bit of a twist, because they are also driven by consumer behavior” said Mr. Kuepper, explaining that “Consumers are losing interest in ‘one dimensional’ product; they now want products with various traits”.

He cites Halal products—a THAIFEX – Anuga Asia mainstay for many years—as indicative of evolving consumption profiles. “Consumers now want halal products with different traits, such as sustainably sourced ingredients; meatless/plant-based; or organically grown;’’ he pointed out, “So it’s a combination of products with various trends and characteristics where we see rising demand.”

Elsewhere on the quick dining spectrum, Ready-to-Eat (RTE) foods are popular for their convenience, but grab-n-go diners also want sustainably-sourced, nutritious choices: “Now we’re seeing high interest in RTE meals made with quinoa and other superfood ingredients”.

Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director and VP-APAC, Koelnmesse

New Normal: Welcome To The Matrix

One distinguishing feature of the trade fair is that the key trend topics are represented across each segment. “So it’s kind of a food-function matrix that visitors will find user friendly and time-saving … this is why more and more companies at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia are offering enhanced products that feature multiple trending traits and attributes such as these.”

The physical layout and content grouping at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024 are designed to make it more convenient for buyers to identify the products and the companies they’re looking for.

Elaborating on how the event is structured, Mr. Kuepper explained: “With THAIFEX – Anuga Asia as the umbrella trade fair event, there are 11 individual trade shows within the main hall – each specializing in a specific industry segment, such as seafood, drinks, sweets and confectionery and so on. This makes it more convenient for buyers to identify the products and specific companies they’re looking for.”

Commenting on the content unique layout, Mr. Kuepper pointed out that “we have made sure that these trend topics are included across each segment. With various activities, demonstrations and purchase opportunities, what we’ve created is a kind of an F&B-industry matrix that visitors will find user friendly and time-saving.”

Strong Showing for 2024

Emerging from covid-related slowdowns and challenging world economic recovery, THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2024 is set to surpass previous attendance figures by double digits in all metrics, as the Koelnmesse MD-VP APAC explains:

” After record-breaking attendance in 2023, the 2024 edition has sold out faster than last year. We’re expecting around 80,000 to attend, and it’s not just Thai buyers looking for export goods.

We have a lot of attendees from in China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar … I think this shows there is considerable interest and demand for our F&B products in these developing markets as well.”

Enthusiastic Exhibitor Participation

“On the sales side, we’ve booked nearly 2,000 international exhibitors representing 50 countries/regions out of a total 3,000 slots … up 12% sqm from last year! And the 59 group pavilions we have registered represent a tremendous year-on-year growth rate of around 40%” Mr. Kuepper said.

He attributed the welcome, across-the-board participation uptick to robust demand by consumers for diverse foods from all corners of the world, and that the show is a welcome break from the “zoom meeting” culture that dominated the pandemic era.

“It’s a chance for everyone to get together, meet face-to-face, socialize … and see, smell and taste the vast selection of culinary offerings”

Of course, in any F&B industry event, taste and mouthfeel are going to take center sensory stage, and nowhere does this better apply than with the rapidly expanding alternative protein segment.

“Visitors are used to the flavor of meat, but here they try all these new innovations in alternate protein and can rate them according to taste, texture and so on. Only those in attendance can experience this kind of first-hand comparison and assessment “.

New Faces, New Flavors

In line with increasingly important role F&B supply and innovation, this year’s addition will feature a number of newcomers including Czech Republic, Bolivia, Egypt, Mexico, Macedonia and Sudan.

As these countries are not often seen at F&B trade events in this market, “… I think that really shows the tremendous interest in this region. These countries see opportunity in marketing their products here due to an openness and curiosity on the consumer side for these foods from all over the world.”

Even Norway has, this year, added organic foods and craft beers to its perennial salmon offerings, an example of a legacy-product nation adapting the growing sophistication and diversity of today’s F&B consumer.

Activities for Learning and Cheering

A sweeping host of activities are featured at this year’s fair; a “content stage” will host the Future Food Experience+ with 20+ seminars, workshops and in-depth discussions on hot-topic F&B trends by industry experts.

An activity highlight, the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge will bring together a staggering 700 chefs from all over the region and the world, who will battle for fame in 23 cooking categories and rated by no less than 40 judges.

“I know our event is mostly down-to-business activities, but there’s going to be fun stuff as well…”

11 exhibition halls and 6 special exhibition zones displaying products from 50 countries at this premier F&B industry event.

Energizing Local Business, Expanding Global Reach

THAIFEX – Anuga Asia is a partnership between Koelnmesse, the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and the Thai Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce. As Mr. Kuepper explains, this arrangement ensures a balance of benefit from the massive gathering of purveyors and purchasers: “TCC and DITP look after the needs of Thai exhibitors and exporters in helping to drive Thai F&B exports and boost related businesses … as they a huge part of the Thai economy in terms of employment and GDP.”

“Our role is to leverage our more than 100 years of experience as an international trade show organizer in recognizing trends bringing together suppliers from distant and diverse markets.”

Emphasizing the show’s steady growth and impeccable status, he continued: “After coming to Thailand 20 years ago, THAIFEX – Anuga Asia is now a leading global F&B trade show and the biggest in the Asia Pacific region.”

A World-Blended F&B Event

As a co-organizer, Mathias Kuepper had this advice for F&B professionals looking to embrace world cuisine while avoiding costly travel expenses: “THAIFEX – Anuga Asia presents a once-yearly opportunity for those in F&B manufacturing, retail, hotels, and restaurant operators from multiple countries to come together and truly source from around the globe”.

Concluding his pitch for this prestigious and popular event, Mathias had this to say: “For F&B professionals looking for something exciting and fresh, it just makes sense to avoid world travel and come to Bangkok and get your business done in a week. I think that’s really a key selling point of this trade show.”

About Koelnmesse

Established in 1823, Germany-based Koelnmesse is today a leading international F&B food fair and event organizer. In its more than a century in the industry, Koelnmesse has grown dramatically beyond its legacy territory of Cologne, expanding into such diverse global growth markets as Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, Thailand, the United States, and United Arab Emirates.

Mathias Kuepper is a 20-year MICE industry veteran originally from Germany. He has served as Managing Director and Vice President Asia Pacific at Koelnmesse overseeing key Asia-Pacific region offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan.

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