Movable feast for consumers
A food expo showcases cuisines from across the world for traditionally globe-trotting Hongkongers.
24 August 2021
Hong Kong people have long beaten a path to destinations far and near in search of new sights, cultures, environments and of course food and drink.
As most of the city’s residents spend a second summer at home on staycation, it was possible to quickly travel across the world and around the region without crossing any borders or undergoing quarantine — the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) brought representatives of food and beverage suppliers and their products from around the world for the city’s gourmets and wine lovers.
The HKTDC Food Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Special Edition) and HKTDC Hong Kong International Tea Fair, ran concurrently in the middle of August, alongside the HKTDC Home Delights Expo and HKTDC Beauty & Wellness Expo (main picture). All five events were organised by the HKTDC
“The Food Expo and concurrent fairs welcomed more than 370,000 visitors, showing that people are willing to spend and keen to use their consumption vouchers [distributed by the local government] even though food and beverage sampling was not allowed in the fairground due to the pandemic,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.
“We were also encouraged to see a number of group pavilions participating through their local representatives to grasp business opportunities, confirming Hong Kong as an important trading platform.”
The HKTDC interviewed more than 1,400 visitors during the fairs, revealing a positive appetite for consumption as 44% of the respondents spent HK$1,000 (US$128) or more. Average per capita spending reached HK$1,273.
With 85% of exhibitors at the fairs accepting at least one consumption-voucher payment method, the survey showed that nearly 80% of visitors made purchases at the fairs using electronic-payment technology, while more than half the respondents used consumption vouchers, highlighting the growing popularity of e-payment services (EPS).
Under the Consumption Voucher Scheme, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government distributed HK$5,000 to most city residents in consumption vouchers through EPS to encourage consumption and boost economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All our exhibitors adopted e-payment services to create a seamless shopping experience for customers. During the expo, around 80% of our sales were transacted through e-payment platforms. The Consumption Voucher Scheme has certainly helped to stimulate consumption and our sales result was better than expected,” said Michael Li, Director of the Hong Kong & Kowloon Provisions, Wine & Spirit Dealers' Association Limited, which partnered the Nam Pak Hong Association to set up a pavilion at the Food Expo for the first time. The pavilion featured about 20 food companies showcasing alcoholic beverages, canned foods, snacks, fruits and other food items.
“We plan to expand our participation at next year’s expo,” Mr Li added.
With great food and wine pairings in mind, some of the exhibitors at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Special Edition) said running the fair in conjunction with the Food Expo had boosted exhibitors’ sales performance.
“To engage more customers, we offered discount vouchers during the fair period which can be used when they make purchases at our stores at a later date. Our eye-catching booth also attracted many customers to visit. We expect our onsite sales turnover to reach HK$1 million,” said John Lee, Director at Everrise International Trading Co Ltd and spokesperson for Wuliangye International (HK) Limited, an exhibitor at the wine fair.
At the Home Delights Expo, exhibitor Bingo Leung, Customer Service Assistant at local exhibitor Smartech International Marketing Limited, said the company’s participation in the expo over the years had helped promote the company’s brand and new products to consumers and Smartech launched a promotion tailored to the Consumption Voucher Scheme this year.
“We provided discount offers, free gifts and four e-payment methods to tempt consumers to use their consumption vouchers for purchases. Our bestsellers included handheld vacuum cleaners, robotic vacuum cleaners and dehumidifiers. We are very satisfied with the results and expect the five-day expo to generate HK$500,000 in sales turnover,” said Mr Leung.
Since the Beauty & Wellness Expo debuted in 2016, Beauty Sensation Co Ltd, Hong Kong has participated as an exhibitor every year. Marketing Director Kin Wong expressed strong confidence in the company’s sales performance at this year’s event.
“The expo provides an effective platform to raise brand awareness and promote our Australian skincare products to both existing and new customers,” he said. “Visitors were particularly interested in our organic skincare products this year and we expect our onsite sales turnover to exceed HK$1 million.”
Global traders flock to Hong Kong trading platform
Despite the ongoing travel restrictions, a number of groups participated as pavilions at the Food Expo through local representatives. They came from various countries and regions including Mainland China, Japan, Korea and Poland, offering their food specialities to local shoppers.
The Tea Fair featured the Guizhou Pavilion to promote famous teas from the province. In addition to organising local buying missions, the HKTDC arranged nearly 200 virtual business matching meetings to enable global traders to stay connected and forge new deals.
Blanka Golebiowska, Deputy Consul-General of Poland in Hong Kong, said the Food Expo had given Polish suppliers the chance to connect with local importers to explore further cooperation.
“The expo is a great place for us to promote Polish food products and test the market. We really appreciate the HKTDC’s efforts in organising virtual business matching meetings to enable potential business development,” Ms Golebiowska said.
HKTDC Food Expo
- Food & Beverages
- Hong Kong