The Ruby Jubilee edition of Food&HotelAsia (FHA) closed on 27 April, marking a resounding 40 years of excellence in enabling business transformation. The event saw 81,896 attendees from more than 105 countries/regions, an increase of 14 per cent from 2016. From first time exhibitors to decades-long partnerships, FHA played host to 3,500 exhibitors from 76 countries/regions and 71 international group pavilions, including new entrants Latvia, Tunisia and Qatar.
Recognising and Rewarding Partnerships
For the first time, FHA2018 saw a large number of foreign and local dignitaries attend the four-day event with Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Dr. Koh Poh Koon kicking off the opening ceremony with highlighted key trends in the food and hospitality landscape. New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters; Hungarian ministers – Ms. Katalin Toth, Deputy State Secretary for International Relations, Ministry of Agriculture and Ms. Pana Petra, Deputy Minister of State for Foreign Economics Affairs; the Polish contingent led by Mr. Jacek Bogucki, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Prime Minister, H. E. Mr. Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, also visited their respective country pavilions at FHA2018.
“It is my job to build connections between companies from New Zealand and Singapore that will help them grow across the region,” said Hayley Horan, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore. “Asia is our largest export destination, and as a country that exports 80 per cent of our produce to over 100 different markets, it is incredibly important to us. Food&HotelAsia presents the ideal opportunity to build partnerships in the region that will help up us grow in this essential market. I am excited to see how the partnerships and collaborations our companies have built at FHA will develop in the coming months, and look forward to bringing more New Zealand companies to FHA in 2020.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Geoffrey Keating, Ambassador from the Embassy of Ireland for Irish duck supplier Silver Hill Duck, for two regional distributorship agreements: one with Malaysia’s Food Age Trading, the other with Indonesia’s Indoguna.
“FHA presents a huge opportunity for food exports to Singapore and the wider Asia region. Silver Hill Duck has really taken off in Singapore and we are back again this year. To be able to sign distribution deals with Malaysia and Indonesia is great news for us,” said Keating. “We are very proud to be working together with Silver Hill Duck. There is a huge market potential in Malaysia, as we consume about 20 million ducks a year. Silver Hill Duck will allow us to provide more options for the Malaysian consumers,” said Nasser Bin Ismail, Vice President of Malaysia Food Age Trading. “We have already received enquiries from all over Malaysia and they cannot wait for the product to come in.”
Of the many highlights at FHA2018, one of the noteworthy success stories who scored big was Cretel Food Equipment, a distributer of high quality food processing machinery. The company clinched a half million-dollar deal with Chun Hong Enterprise, on the first day of the event.
“This is the very first time that Cretel Food Equipment is exhibiting products from FES (Shanghai) Technologies. We are happy that the FHA platform has enabled us to secure a deal for the self-stacking spiral freezers from FES on our very first day,” said Andrew Khoo Kok Beng, Managing Director of Cretel Food Equipment, Singapore.
Harnessing opportunities and growth
Several conferences were also held at FHA2018, which served as a thought leadership platform for the robust exchange of ideas about the industry. Spanning across four key tracks – Hotels & Resorts, Food Manufacturing, Central Kitchen, as well as Food Services, delegates gained several insights and engaged in thoughtful discourse.
“It was great to have a technology focus on the conference programme for Hotels & Resorts, where diverse groups of people from startups, tech professionals, to hotel veterans came together with the goal to deliver the best customer experience possible,” said Ramya Ravikumar, Head of Business Development, Anquan. “The honest conversations were definitely worthwhile in exchanging knowledge to further fuel the hotel industry,” she added.
“Interesting and very insightful sessions from speakers. It is a good platform for participants to network and understand what are the current trends in food manufacturing, best practices, etc,” said Bryan Lim, Liquid Project Scientist, Diageo.
Conference speaker Mr. Nick Halla, Chief Strategy Officer, Impossible Foods, who visited the exhibition said, “We’re going to start expanding through Asia really quickly, and FHA is a great place for us to start meeting people and think about how we can introduce our products throughout Asia’s food system.”
Platform for new innovations
From robotics at RESTAURANT 3.0 to a universal plug & play 3D food printing solution, FHA2018 played host to several new innovations and worldwide launches. It showcased technological innovations as companies look into digital initiatives to transform consumers’ dining experiences and revolutionise businesses.
One of the innovative products on display is the 3D Food Printing System from Procusini, brought in for the first time by Continental Equipment. The machine prints designs using chocolate, pasta, cassis, fondant and marzipan.
“FHA is a platform for connection and for reconnection. We have been exhibiting since the very first FHA exhibition and have always used it as a launch pad for new products. This year, we have already garnered sales for the innovative 3D Food Printing machines,” said Y M Seow, Managing Director, Continental Equipment, Singapore.
RESTAURANT 3.0 at Suntec was a major highlight at FHA2018, where new concepts for enhancing consumers’ dining experiences and improving back-of-house processes through technology were showcased. The exhibit included digital, robotics and technology-enabled modular systems that can improve the overall supply chain – from farm to processing and production, to service at the table. RESTAURANT 3.0 is a multi-agency collaboration between Enterprise Singapore, Workforce Singapore, Singapore Productivity Centre and Restaurant Association of Singapore.
“The newer technologies on display, like robotic cooking arms and food vaults, show the potential that technology has to offer,” added Kee Ai Nah, Executive Director of Lifestyle & Consumer Cluster, Enterprise Singapore. “We are pleased to partner with FHA this year to showcase these concepts, and hope that RESTAURANT 3.0 was able to inspire food and beverage operators to embrace innovation.”
Competitions spotlight international culinary excellence
The FHA Culinary Challenge (FCC) served as one of the major highlights, where hundreds of culinary talents from around the world flock in to display their skills and compete at the region’s most prestigious international culinary competition. Other competitions included the first Asian Gelato Cup, the Asian Pastry Week (Asian Pastry Cup, the new Valrhona C3 (Chocolate Chef Competition) & Global Star Chefs Pastry Show), Barista Super Duo Challenge, Latte Art Showdown and the inaugural SCI Equipment Awards.
– Asian Gelato Cup: Competing amongst 11 teams from 10 Asian countries/regions, Team Singapore emerged the winner and will represent the country at the Gelato World Cup 2020 in Rimini, Italy.
– Asian Pastry Cup: The Malaysian team won the gold and will be competing in the World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France next year.
– C3 (Chocolate Chef Competition): Pastry chef, Yusuke Aoki, representing Indonesia won the competition and will be participating in the C3 Valrhona grand finale in New York this year.
– FCC Gourmet Challenge: The team from Singapore Chefs’ Association emerged the winner.
– FCC Individual Challenge: The team from Lyceum of the Philippines University – Laguna was the winner of the Best Culinary Establishment.
– FCC National Team Challenge & Battle for the Lion: Nine nations competed with the Czech National Culinary Team winning the coveted Battle for the Lion.
– FCC Sweet High Tea Challenge: The challenge was won by the Singapore Curious Duo team from RC Hotels (Shared Services).
– SCI Equipment Awards: Granuldisk emerged as the champion in the Heavy Equipment category, whilst MEIKO Maschinenbau won the Light Equipment award.
Full competition results are in Appendix 1.
Looking ahead 2020
The success of FHA2018 underscores the event’s ability to understand and discover trends, evolving to meet industry shifts and ensure that businesses are well-positioned for growth in the industry.
“In an inter-connected economy, platforms like FHA serves as the heart for the community – to learn, experience and witness remarkable products and technologies being developed in the food and hospitality ecosystem,” said Rodolphe Lameyse, Project Director, Food & Hospitality of UBM, organiser of FHA2018. “We are delighted at the event’s achievement for bringing both new and relevant players under one roof. This puts us in a great position to roll out our 2020 growth vision with two shows – FHA-HoReCa and FHA-Food & Beverage. The high level of trust our exhibitors have in us is evident in the bookings we’ve recorded even before the 2018 show ended. Looking ahead in 2020, we are excited to gather the best of industry professionals, and bring to them the greatest international food & hospitality trade event ever experienced in the region.”
“Asia is the future and FHA is the ideal platform for us to make an impactful entry into the market,” Juan Carlos Jimenez Tobon, Director, Procolombia. “We look forward to having a Colombian Pavilion in 2020 to establish a greater presence for our quality coffee and cocoa growers at FHA, as well as meet and greet the buyers that will help us penetrate the market into Asia.”
“FHA is clearly one of the top shows of its kind, not just in Asia, but in the world,” Carl Sacks, Executive Director, Leading Caterers of America, said. “It is well-organised and stunningly complete. The importance of the Asian market draws both attendees and exhibitors from all over the world, and we will strongly recommend to our US and Canada based caterers that they consider attending the next FHA in 2020,” he added.
The next edition of FHA will return in 2020 as two dedicated shows – FHA-HoReCa from 3 to 6 March 2020 and FHA-Food & Beverage from 31 March to 3 April 2020. ProWine Asia (Singapore) 2020 will also be co-located with FHA-Food & Beverage. For more information, please visit www.foodnhotelasia.com.