By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Philippines is bent on putting its cuisine into the world’s stage with its participation in the specialty food fair in New York.
Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is organizing Filipino specialty foods companies’ participating at the Summer Fancy Food Show (SFFS) at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on June 23-25, 2019.
CITEM’s participation in Summer Fancy Food Show will be a follow up to its successful foray in the Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) in San Francisco.
The New York fancy food fair is the largest specialty food industry event in North America and the premier showcase for industry innovation. Organized by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), it is a marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food products on display.
“We are intent on bolstering the Philippines’ market presence and reach in US specialty and gourmet food as we lead the country’s first participation in one of New York’s hottest food events,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.
Specialty foods are defined as foods or beverages of the highest grade, style or quality in their respective categories. Their specialty nature derives from a combination of some or all of the following qualities: uniqueness, origin, processing method, design, limited supply, unusual application or use, extraordinary packaging, or channel of distribution/sales.
Last year, the show featured over 2,400 exhibitors from 54 nations, exhibiting their products to over 34,000 attendees of the event. The show features retailers, restaurants, food service providers and producers from North America and beyond, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Formaggio Kitchen, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, UNFI and Southern Season.
According to Suaco-Juan, the food manufacturers and exporters that will represent the Philippines are compliant with US international food safety and quality regulations and certification requirements like the USDA Organic and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“For this year, DTI-CITEM aims to generate at least 8 million US dollars’ worth of export sales,” Suaco-Juan noted. “We hope to lead a successful exhibit in New York’s biggest specialty food show and learn more from the nuances and demands of food trade in North America.”
Suaco-Juan also invited food buyers and traders to join the upcoming IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest export oriented food show, on May 24-26 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila. IFEX Philippines 2019 will present “NXTFOOD ASIA” where it will showcase the next big thing in Asian food with the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the Asian food.
Philippine food has been identified as one of the hottest food trends in North America, according to forecast published in the Specialty Food Magazine by SFA last year, titled “Trend Watch: Summer Fancy Food Show Trends.”
As of August 2018, the United States is the Philippines’ second top export destination next to China and followed by Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
In 2017, the Philippines’ total food and agricultural exports to the US totaled $1.2 billion, according to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Leading categories include tropical oils ($555 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($199 million), tree nuts ($109 million), raw beet and cane sugar ($105 million), and fruit and vegetable juices ($79 million).