Philippine FOODEX 2016Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez with Philippine food exporters and Embassy officials at the 41st International Food and Beverage Exhibition (FOODEX Japan 2016) held from March 8 to 11, 2016 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Philippine coconut, bananas, frozen fish, snacks and beverages were showcased in the #FoodPhilippines pavilion during FOODEX Japan, the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia, from March 8 to 11 in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.

Philippine FOODEX 2016_22016 FoodPhilippines Booth at FOODEX Japan

Processed coconut products and by-products featured include organic coco sugar, organic coco nectar, coconut sap vinegar, coconut flour, coconut amino sauce, coco red wine and coconut jam. The virgin coconut oil (VCO) and pure coco medium chain triglycerides (MCT) forms are highlighted to cater to the growing demand for health food and specialty products among the Japanese market.

Aside from the more popular banana chips, the saba can also be processed into a variety of food products such as flour, flakes, ketchup, wine, and vinegar. Saba is also a crop of social importance in the Philippines, where it is often used in rural areas to extend, supplement, or substitute staple food such as rice and corn.

Other products promoted in the #FoodPhilippines pavilion include frozen tuna, Peking duck, snacks, beverages, and pastry ingredients—categories that have remained strong in the Japanese market because these capture the flavor palate of Japanese consumers. Philippine manufacturers manifest their commitment to study and adapt their offering to market specificities in terms of packaging, labeling, and serving sizes.

Taking into great consideration the vitalization of the cocktail culture in Japan, Food Philippines presented Don Papa Rum as a new product offering. Don Papa Rum, touted as the first Asian sipping rum, is distilled from the finest sugar cane in Negros island in Central Philippines, one of the country’s major sugar cane producers, and aged for over seven years in American oak barrels before being blended.

Philippine FOODEX 2016_3

The Embassy’s Commercial Section/Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo reported that telemarketed leads contributed to 470 on-site business inquiries and produced an initial sale of US$27.5 million. Top trade leads were Kobe Bussan (a franchise of 658 stores in Japan), Seven&iHoldings, Otto Japan (retail stores offering women apparel, accessories, functional food & supplements, and food & living products), Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (Nissui), JFC, Cargill, Shoei Foods Corporation, eMart and ADEKA.

#FoodPhilippines in FOODEX Japan is seen to open up bigger opportunities for the Philippines’ food export industry. As the largest food and beverage show in Asia, FOODEX Japan serves as a gateway to the Japanese and Asian markets. Its 2015 key figures show that it had around 80,000 domestic and overseas visitors, and 86 percent of those visitors were decision makers. Such statistics pose optimism for the Food Philippines brand, given the high possibility to meet potential business partners and make new business contacts.

The 18 companies that joined Japan’s top food and beverage show are: CJ Uniworld Corp., GSL Premium Food Export Corporation, Prime Fruits International, Inc., and See’s International Food Manufacturing Corporation for banana chips and Federation of Cooperatives in Mindanao (FEDCO) for fresh bananas; Benevelle Corporation, BusinessPeople Inc., Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Hacienda Macalauan, Inc., Prosource International, and Team Asia Corporation for coconut products; Martsons Food Corporation, and Miesto International, Inc. for dried fruits, snacks, and fruit juices; AslaxPhils Corp., Maharlika Agro-marine Ventures Corp., and Philfresh Corporation for chicken yakitori, Peking duck and frozen tuna respectively; Chat Noir Co. Inc. for premium rum; and DLA Naturals, Inc. for baking and pastry ingredients.