9 Aug 2019
A feast for the senses
Hong Kong is well known as a paradise for gourmets and the gastronomic world is set for its annual assembly, when food industry players from across the globe converge on the city for the HKTDC Food Expo 2019.
The expo is one of five lifestyle events organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) which swing into action on Thursday, 15 August. The Food Expo, the Hong Kong International Tea Fair, the Beauty & Wellness Expo, the Home Delights Expo and the International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM) will be staged concurrently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). This year’s events will feature more than 2,100 exhibitors, of which over 1,570 from more than 20 countries and regions will join the Food Expo. They will showcase a plethora of global delicacies and innovative products to public visitors and trade buyers.
At an event preview, Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “The five-day Food Expo is Hong Kong’s annual gourmet event. This year, the Gourmet Zone will add a new thematic zone, Coffee Avenue, featuring specialty coffees and related products.”
Mr Chau said the expo will continue to adopt green measures which include expanding the on-site utensil-lending service, adding self-service utensil cleaning stations, and encouraging exhibitors to offer perks to visitors who bring their own utensils, promoting waste reduction at source.
Coffee Avenue debuts
The 30th Food Expo will have three sections − the Public Hall, Gourmet Zone and Trade Hall. The highly anticipated Gourmet Zone will be open to public ticket-holders for four days (15-18 August). Gathering more than 90 exhibitors, the zone will present five themes − Asian Cuisine, Western Delicacy, Sweet Delight, Green Palate and the all-new Coffee Avenue − serving up delicacies from renowned local and overseas brands. Highlighted products include a local craft coffee beer, a truffle ice-cream with truffle flakes, and a Japanese plum wine sorbet that takes only a night in the freezer to make.
The Public Hall features nearly 600 exhibitors, including five group pavilions − from Mainland China, Canada, Japan, Korea and Taiwan – to offer visitors a five-day international gastronomic extravaganza. Featured products include an all-new quinoa and fish maw sweet soup dessert created by a Hong Kong brand, frozen popcorn, a Japanese sake set featuring bottles adorned with 12 illustrations of Hong Kong’s attractions, and an authentic German pork knuckle.
At the Premium Food Zone, more than 30 renowned brands will exhibit, including Apollo, Chewy International, Kee Wah Bakery, Maxim’s Group, Nissin Foods, On Kee Dry Seafood, Tai Pan and many others. Hang Heung Cake Shop, European Gourmet and Cheong Kwan Jang will all make their debuts at this zone. And, as Hong Kong consumers become increasingly health and diet conscious, the Vegetable Marketing Organization and Fish Marketing Organization will display some of the city’s premier agricultural and fishery products.
The Trade Hall, meanwhile, will open to trade buyers during the first two days of the fair (15-16 August) and to public ticket-holders on the final day (17 August). More than 900 exhibitors including 22 group pavilions will showcase their products at the hall, along with two themed product zones, Chinese Medicine and Halal Food. Featured products include black wagyu beef from Arita, Japan, a Normandy apple cider and Thai low-calorie salad dressings with various flavours.
On the first four nights of the expo, visitors will not need to head home for dinner; a Night Bazaar will open from 7pm to 10pm with more than 30 exhibitors offering further discounts. The fair will feature a series of exciting activities, including cooking demonstrations by 17 celebrity chefs. They include popular TV cooking show hosts Steve Lee and Helen Tam, plus four leading chefs – Takashi Tamura, the third-generation Chef of Tsukiji Tamura, Ming Leung, Executive Chef of Ah Yat Harbour View Restaurant, Jacky Chung, Executive Chef of J & T Restaurant Ltd, and Lai Wai-hung, founder of Hung’s Delicacies and Master Hung, who will demonstrate various “less salt, less sugar” recipes.
Other highlighted activities at the Food Expo include the launch of the 2019-2020 Wan Chai à La Carte food map, the “Coffee X Chocolate – Find the Perfect Match” seminar, which helps coffee lovers find the ideal chocolates to go with their brew, and a seminar on table manners.
Beauty & Wellness Expo
The fourth Beauty & Wellness Expo will be open to public visitors for five days and will feature more than 100 exhibitors showcasing an array of cosmetics, skincare and haircare products, beauty appliances and fitness solutions. This year, the HKTDC will again cooperate with the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) to set up the “K-Beauty Expo Hong Kong” pavilion that will feature fabulous products from more than 40 Korean companies and brands. These include Korean dress perfumes designed to match the wearer’s astrological sign; crowdfunded massage headphones that perform an ear reflexology massage; and a nutritious coffee that beautifies the skin and offers weight-loss benefits.
In addition to product demonstrations and a sharing session on makeup tips for summer parties, talks will see Yoko Tsang, a beauty and food therapy columnist, offering tips for the quick reduction of facial and eye puffiness, and Yvonne Ryding, a former Miss Universe, sharing her skincare routines.
Home Delights Expo
At the sixth Home Delights Expo, 185 exhibitors will showcase a broad range of stylish kitchen appliances, cookware, tableware and bedroom items. Highlighted products include a temperature-controlled, anti-scorch built-in hob, an award-winning wok made with stone from the German Alps, and a porcelain-energy instantaneous electric water shower that can produce hot water in just three seconds.
The Avenue of Delights will gather 42 exhibitors to present products from an array of leading lifestyle brands, including AIRLAND, CLP, Decor House, Jamie Oliver, Kenwood, Ladyship, Goodway, Towngas, OGAWA, OTO, Tiger and Philips.
To support start-ups, the HKTDC has partnered with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong for the first time to launch the “Start-up Square” Entrepreneur Experience Taster programme. A Start-up Square will be set up at the expo at which 16 selected youth entrepreneurs will display their quality products and services, including a portable movable type printer that allows users to easily create personalised name cards. Home Therapy’s founder, Sharon Lam, will also share the danshari decluttering techniques that have taken the world by storm.
Tea ancient and modern
The 11th Tea Fair will be open exclusively to trade buyers on the first two days (15-16 August) and will welcome public ticket-holders on the third day (17 August). This year, the fair will feature more than 250 exhibitors from nine countries and regions, with 13 group pavilions. An exhibitor from Laos will make the country’s fair debut, bringing Phongsaly Organic Green Tea from the mountains of northern Laos. Other exhibitors will showcase numerous exquisite teas, including a Pu’er tea cake made from tea leaves picked from a 2,800-year-old tea tree on the slopes of Baiying Mountain, Yunnan province, and the Wellness Collection of teas that offer various metabolic and health benefits. Also displayed at the fair will be collectible tea ware, including Fujian JianZhan tea ware that was favoured at the court of the Song dynasty to enhance the aroma of tea.
Greater Bay Area KamCha
The International KamCha Competition, organised by the Association of Coffee and Tea of Hong Kong, has always been a highlight of the fair. This year will see the staging of the inaugural Greater Bay Area KamCha Competition 2019 (Hong Kong Milk Tea), with milk tea masters from across the region competing in the final on 15 August at the Tea Fair. This will be followed by the International KamCha Competition 2019 (Hong Kong Style Milk Tea) Final on 17 August, with Hong Kong’s contestants up against milk tea masters from Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Melbourne and Toronto to compete for the highest accolade.
Other events at the fair include the Hong Kong International Tea Fair Tea Competition, International Tea Arts Performance and a seminar on Tea Science and Branding Strategies. On the public day of the fair (17 August), a Tea Forum will be held to discuss a range of topics including kombucha, which has gained a following in recent years, the life of a tea appraiser, tea ceremonies by teenagers, and Japanese sado (tea ceremony) and wagashi (confection) pairing.
Prospects for traditional Chinese medicine
Jointly organised by the HKTDC and the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association Ltd (MCMIA), the International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM) is a platform where traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) professionals can hear the latest industry insights. The theme for this year’s conference is “TCM Modernisation & Internationalisation: Start from the Greater Bay Area”. Fifteen heavyweight speakers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan and Korea will share the latest research and developments, trends and prospects for TCM in the Greater Bay Area, helping industry professionals gain a better understanding of the markets and opportunities.
On 17 August, public ticket-holders can join the Chinese Medicine Health Public Forum at which TCM practitioners will discuss health topics such as eczema, gastrointestinal care, knee care, diets for summer and autumn, and acupressure massage for pain relief.
This year’s Food Expo continues with its “Lead the Scene, Let’s Go Green!” ethos, with enhanced environmentally friendly measures at the fair. Partnering with social enterprise BottLess and health insurance company Bupa, the HKTDC will expand the on-site utensil-lending service and provide around 5,000 reusable food containers, 5,000 stainless steel forks and 2,000 reusable cups per day to cut disposable utensil use. Visitors simply pay a HK$20 cash deposit per item to borrow the utensils at borrowing stations. Visitors can return the used utensil to a collection station and reclaim the deposit. Since the quantity is limited to cater to the large number of visitors, the HKTDC encourages people to bring their own utensils and shopping bags. Additionally, two self-service utensil cleaning stations will be set up, making it easy for visitors to clean their own utensils.
To encourage visitors to embrace green living and reduce waste at source, the HKTDC is also encouraging exhibitors to offer more perks, such as discounts and bigger portions, to visitors who bring their own utensils. In addition, the HKTDC is working with Food Angel and Food for Good to collect and recycle packaged edible food and food waste at the fairground and invite exhibitors to donate food to needy communities after the fair.