ASIA FOOD EXPO (AFEX) 2007 Manila, Philippines

AsiaFood Expo (AFEX) 2007 is the 16th International Exposition on Food, Processing, Packaging and Handling Machinery, Equipment and Technology. It's considered a major annual event by most food manufacturers in the Philippines. Primarily because it's where you will also find the latest trends on food and ingredients. The opening ceremony was graced by no less than Senator Ping Lacson and Senator Kiko Pangilinan.




Unfortunately, the event started with some appaling procedures. The entrance gate was opened quite late. The organizers did not follow the declared 11:00 am opening time thus, visitors became impatient while waiting outside the World Trade Center. When finally the door was opened, the misadventure continued at the registration area. Having your name registered turned out to be equally time consuming as the long wait outside. Therefore, it was not surprising that people started throwing real awful comments - "Why is it taking so long? Didn't you see we already waited too long outside? Why is it only now that you're testing your system? Can you replace the guy over that PC? It seemed like it's just now that you're conducting the training with your people! Hey, can you do it a little faster? I still have a flight to catch up this afternoon? etc. etc." Lucky Us! My colleagues and I didn't have that heightened emotion perhaps, we have chosen the right queue.
In spite of these "not so welcoming" episodes, as usual we have to get into the business. Maybe there's much more, better things inside. So, off we go and these were the highlights of the Expo.
















Generally, it's the usual show as the past years have offered. There's really not much new things to see. More and more, AFEX is losing its industry appeal and interesting quality. Exhibitors have become fewer; the likes of Nestle and Unilever who used to be "big" participants are nowhere to be found. The product highlights of the expo will include wines, juice and tea drinks, meat products (sausages, ham, bacon etc.), noodles, coffee, ionized water, soy milk products, savoury snacks, chocolate goodies, ice cream, dips and sauces. Food trends seen very visible are fried ice cream, slimming herbs (especially those with L-Carnitine), low sugar food and beverages, food products with all natural claim and energy drink and fruit juice blend with herbal extracts for colon cleansing (e.g. Red Juice featured in Korina Sanchez's Rated K program).


Worth noting from the expo is the presence of 100% PINOY innovative products such as tahong (mussel) chips (but I think I've seen this already some years back), bottled oyster and tahong, crispy shrimps and crablets, crispy dilis (anchovies) and pusit (squid), bangus (milkfish) tocino, sardines in vegetable oil and many more.


In addition, there are booths that featured familiar supermarket items like WhiteKing "instant goodies", Pocky Pretzels, Fontana Juice Concentrates, Dole Drinks etc. What are these products doing here when in fact they have their own share of market shelves already? Well, possibly to gain more product exposure. Is there anything else? What do you think?

Like in the previous years, more franchising booths have surfaced. Master Siomai, Coffee (Concept Specialist Inc.) and Meat products stands are the favorites in the show as exemplified by the long queue in the product sampling. Hence, for the up coming entrepreneurs these might be interesting. There's also this company - Teazers, that strives to be the brand (TeaFuzions) of choice for premium iced tea. The interesting flavors are tamarind and calamansi. However, we just find them plain acceptable. The calamansi did not deliver much in taste as it did in its aroma. Actually, Teazers is more popular in the catering industry. They usually offer a party package of 150 8 oz. glasses (4 flavored iced teas) for Php9000. Another well observed product is chocolate available in many different forms. From blocks, to chocolate fountain to something ready to eat or cook.



To sum it all up, if AFEX wants to live with its tagline of being "The Country's Leader in Food Industry Event", major improvements have to be taken seriously. It goes with being specific from the simplest matter of organizing a smooth flow of the event to providing better, more valuable content. I would like to see it transform from being just mere socialization in the Food Industry, or connecting with fellow food servants even from plain product selling to something more edifying, innovative food expo. Otherwise, Philippine Food Show will stay underrated alongside other International Trade Fairs.

ASIAFOOD EXPO - AFEX 2007
World Trade Center Manila, Philippines
September 5 - 8, 2007
Sept 5-7 11:00 am - 7:00 pm (Trade Business Visitors Only)
Sept 8 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (open to Non-Trade Visitors)

Comments

feng said…
hi Sherra. I've seen a segment in Magandang Umaga Pilipinas featuring IFEX. and encountering it again here in your Blog gave me much interest and curiosity to go there perhaps this Sunday. my bestfriend, whose based in Cebu, is starting a wine business and to help her, I might as well go to IFEX and find great suppliers for her.

thanks for sharing this. :)
Sherra said…
Hi Feng,

Yeah, you'll surely find a lot of ideas and suppliers of wines there. It's one of the most featured items at the Expo!
Anonymous said…
hi where can i possibly buy the red juice? thanks
freewilly said…
Red Juice is available at:

HEALTHNEST
G/F Hi-Top Supermart
1650 Quezon Ave. corner Sgt. Esguerra St.
Quezon City

Tel.: (632)431-9085
freewilly said…
hi anonymous,

Please refer to my previous post. You can buy at
HEALTHNEST
Tel. no.: (02)431-9085
Website: http://healtnest.multiply.com

Thanks.,
Willy said…
You can also order Red Juice from Healthnest thru email healthnest.store@gmail.com

Thanks.
Anonymous said…
sherra?are you really a food technologist?if so, where did you graduate?
Sherra said…
Anonymous, yes I am a Food Technologist and serving as a Product Development Specialist in one of the country's leading manufacturers of FMCGs for more than a decade already. I had my degree from UP.

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