The Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) four food- and home-focused events wrapped up on Monday, bringing together more than 1,000 exhibitors and attracting over 430,000 eager-to-spend visitors.
Guest of honour Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), officiated at the opening ceremony for the concurrent fairs, joined by Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, and Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC.
Welcoming guests to the fairs, Dr Lam said: “Featuring a wide variety of quality products, these concurrent events highlight Hong Kong's reputation as Asia's gourmet paradise and lifestyle hub. The fairs also present an opportunity for over 1,000 local and global exhibitors to tap the tremendous buying power of Hong Kong consumers and buyers. In addition, I would like to thank the HKSAR Government for supporting the exhibitors through the Convention & Exhibition Industry Subsidy and the SME Export Marketing Fund. In challenging times, this support is invaluable to help exhibitors make use of our fairs to expand their buyer and customer base."
Exhibitors at the HKTDC Food Expo, HKTDC Home Delights Expo, HKTDC Beauty & Wellness Expo and HKTDC Hong Kong International Tea Fair were kept busy during the five-day fairs, with nearly half the visitors spending more than HK$1,000. The International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine and Health Products (ICMCM), organised by the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association (MCMIA) together with the HKTDC and eight scientific research institutions, ran concurrently with the fairs. As the events wrapped up, Sophia Chong, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “The bustling fairground, despite restrictions such as no sampling for food and drinks, showed that people have a strong appetite for shopping. The timing of the second phase of the [Hong Kong Government’s] Consumption Voucher Scheme certainly boosted spending. Meanwhile, our first-ever KOL [key opinion leader, main picture] livestreaming sessions at the fairground further stimulated visitors' enthusiasm, allowing exhibitors to drive their promotions to a wider audience and expand their customer base. We were equally encouraged to see several group pavilions and exhibitors participating in the Trade Zone of the Food Expo and the International Tea Fair through their local representatives to explore business opportunities.”
The second phase of the Consumption Voucher Scheme was disbursed just days before the fairs. A survey at the fairs showed 90% of interviewed exhibitors accepted at least one form of consumption voucher payment, the convenience of which motivated spending. The HKTDC also interviewed about 980 fair visitors with 48% of respondents saying they spent HK$1,000 or more and average per capita spending reaching HK$1,400.
The survey also showed that nearly 75% of visitors made purchases at the fairs using electronic payment methods, while 78% used consumption vouchers. The strong results demonstrated how the added convenience of e-payment can drive consumption at fairs.
Strategic promotions boost sales
Oriental Products Supplies has been supporting the Food Expo since the company’s founding in 1998. “The Food Expo has always been the perfect place to reach more customers and we have strengthened our brand through the exhibition over the years,” said Mok Wa-yan, Director of the company. “This year, we are showing a diversity of food items including fresh jellyfish and partridge. The response has been very strong, and we have had to replenish stocks again and again to meet demand. The latest batch of consumption vouchers that were distributed just before the expo also fuelled the public's buying sentiment. Our total sales will exceed HK$1 million this year – a very encouraging result.”
Another exhibitor, Star Chefs Creation Limited, saw robust sales boosted by KOL livestreaming sessions during the expo, with more than 200 products such as spicy duck blood, butterfly crisp, abalone noodles and creamy custard mooncakes sold via livestreaming platform LOOPLIVE. Betty Chan, General Sales Manager, said the KOL-led livestreaming sessions opened a new promotional channel for the company’s products.
The concurrent Beauty & Wellness Expo showcased a wide range of beauty and fitness products. Exhibitor Sandi Poon, Business Development Director at Phoelia (Far East) Company Limited, Hong Kong, featured her company’s French facial and wellness equipment during the fair and was impressed with the interest shown by visitors. “The expo gave visitors a chance to try our products and see the benefits. Each set of equipment sells for nearly HK$1 million [US$128,000] and we had already sold seven sets to two beauty salons and one rehabilitation centre on the first two days of the expo.”
Local homeware product Sam!ly Group Company has participated in the Home Delights Expo for many years. With more visitors coming to the event this year, Sales and Marketing Director Lydia Lai said the company expected sales revenue to exceed HK$200,000.
Numerous group pavilions participated at this year’s Food Expo through local representatives. From Mainland China, the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chongqing Municipality presented local specialities and shared their unique culinary cultures, along with the Aomori Prefecture of Japan, the Japan External Trade Organization and Indonesia. The HKTDC and the Aomori Prefectural Government of Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to carry out economic exchange programmes in future. Besides expanding bilateral trade and investment, the MoU will also strengthen the economic partnership between the two places to create new business opportunities.
Largely targeting industry and trade buyers, the Trade Zone of the Food Expo and the Hong Kong International Tea Fair were also open to public ticketholders this year. In addition to inviting and organising local buying missions, the HKTDC also arranged more than 700 virtual business-matching meetings. Exhibitors and buyers can continue to schedule and conduct more online meetings through Click2Match within seven days after the physical exhibitions. The brand-new exhibition model EXHIBITION+ enables global food buyers to conduct business through the physical exhibitions and an online platform at the same time. Traders were able to stay connected more easily, helping them to forge new deals.
Frozen seafood supplier Garmine Marine Products regularly joins the Food Expo to seek out new suppliers. General Manager Cameron KH Choy said: “Through the Click2Match platform, I’ve established contact with three mainland companies from Zhoushan City in Zhejiang Province for the supply of frozen seafood. Click2Match is very user-friendly, enabling smooth and effective exchanges with overseas suppliers. At the fairground, I found two other seafood suppliers from Zhoushan City at the Zhejiang Province pavilion. The hybrid EXHIBITION+ model is very useful in connecting suppliers online and offline for business expansion.”
The HKTDC arranged a activities for visitors during the four fairs, including the Star Chef Session, Road to Brewers Cup and Sharing, and numerous talks on different topics, including “Health Supplements Essential for COVID Period”, “Innovative Hard Coating for Food Appliances”, “Probiotics” and “The New Normal for Skin Care”. The Buy-more-get-more Lucky Draw and Smart Bidding sessions were also held and received a great reception from visitors.