Informa Markets Thailand brought together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in the food ingredient and dietary supplement industries from over 40 countries for the “Fi Asia 2023” and “Vitafoods Asia 2023” events held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from September 20 to 22.
The back-to-back trade show is a crucial event for the food industry, offering networking, market insights, product showcases, education, and international reach. It fosters collaboration, business development, and regulatory compliance, making it a valuable platform for professionals, suppliers, and stakeholders in the food ingredient sector.
During the opening ceremony of Food ingredient (Fi) Asia and Vitafoods Asia 2023 in Thailand on September 19, DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Blesila Lantayona confirmed that the Philippines had intended to send 16 delegates but only six were able to attend. She also highlighted Thailand’s significant advancements in science, technology, and innovation in her remarks.
In an interview with Manila Standard Life, Lantayona underscored Thailand’s prominence in the fields of food science, technology, and innovation. The official said that the Philippines was exploring Thailand’s advanced technology in food development and how it could benefit the Philippines’ food industry.
“Thailand possesses technology and equipment for converting raw materials, especially in the food industry, into value-added materials or finished products,” Lantayona stated.
Lantayona mentioned that they had started discussions with Thailand about various aspects, including their approach to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). While 16 MSMEs from the Philippines were invited to participate in the event, only six were able to attend. The Philippines was exploring opportunities to benefit its food industry, either by becoming a supplier of certain raw materials or by expanding its network of suppliers and industry connections through collaboration with Thailand.
“They are quite advanced. And in fact, we are learning from them. We [began] talking already with them as well as their definition of micros [and] how they plan for the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector,” Lantayona emphasized.
Lantayona also highlighted some challenges in the Philippines’ food industry, such as expensive logistics costs and the high cost of acquiring technology, which can sometimes be unavailable or difficult for MSMEs to access.
Informa Markets Asean Regional Director Rungphech Chitanuwat emphasized Thailand’s potential to serve as a hub for global exports of food ingredients, underlining the country’s importance in the food industry.
“This year’s Fi Asia was revamped to give a more modern sense, solidifying our position as the tastemaker, being a hub that gathered raw materials from every corner of the world. Thus, it proved Thailand’s potential to become a platform for raw material exports in the future,” Chitanuwat said in an interview with the Philippine press.
The goal of the trade show was to transform Thailand into a food and nutrition powerhouse and a gathering place for future food experts. This ensured easy access for both industry operators and consumers.
Concurrently, the dietary supplements industry has experienced significant growth as global consumers prioritize health and well-being. They sought high-quality dietary supplements to fulfill their physical needs, boost immunity, prevent diseases, and enhance skin health.
In the Asia Pacific region, the dietary supplements market had surged to $187 billion and was projected to reach $229 billion by 2025, with a growth rate of 6 percent. Key markets included China, Japan, and India, while markets with high growth potential were Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Thailand’s dietary supplements market also exhibited steady growth, expected to rise from USD 190 billion in 2021 to $239 billion in 2025, boasting a growth rate of 9 percent.
Fi Asia 2023 was attended by over 21,000 visitors and a trade value exceeding THB 500 million. Additionally, the event stimulated economic activity, generating over THB 180 million in spending by foreigners in Thailand.
Ultimately, the event provided a valuable opportunity for operators to connect with buyers and manufacturers, expand international business networks, optimize products, enhance quality and production, and ensure the health of Thai and Asian consumers.