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Looking For The Next Big Food Trend? IFEX Philippines: NXTFOOD Asia Is The Place To Be

The widespread interest in premium, quality food options around the globe has increasingly developed on our shores. In the same way, the exposure to Filipino recipes and tastes has gained serious momentum in the international culinary scene—matching many of the dynamic flavors across Asia. As we continue to look for only the best in produce and culinary ingredients, we can possibly discover the “NXT big thing” right at home.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines collaborate on another exciting food convention: NXTFOOD ASIA. Together, they have established the nation’s biggest international trade exhibit for specialty foods and ingredients where you can be one of the very first to uncover the latest and greatest in Asian food. This year’s 13th edition IFEX Philippines will be held from May 24 to 26, 2019 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.


Last year’s IFEX Philippines


“IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD Asia seeks to answer the question, ‘What’s NXT in the world of FOOD?’ by giving exhibitors from the Philippines and beyond a platform to showcase premium food exports, emerging trends, best practices, and industry innovations to the world’s biggest buyers,” shares DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan. Apart from the boundless variety in tastes, colors, and textures, visitors can expect an “Asian Food Bonanza” to fully immerse themselves in a hodgepodge of Asian cultures. We break down this three-day celebration to help you on your hunt for the next big food trend!

Pauline Suaco-Juan at the NXTFOOD Asia media preview


1. The “rising stars” of local ingredients

An entire section devoted to our homegrown champions will awaken your inner patriot. The Food Philippines hall will house top Philippine food brands and ingredients that have taken the world by storm. Here, guests will find the nation’s Premium 7 exporting goods, along with the up-and-coming “rising stars” like Philippine cacao, calamansi (Philippine lime), pili nuts, and the thriving Western food trend, ube or purple yam.


“Rising star” calamansi featured in this Calamansi Sherbet with Pomelo Bits served during the media preview


2. Fermented foods and noodles

Find the world-renowned pavilions of China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and other Asian cuisine giants at the Asian Food Champions. Buyers and visitors can explore an eclectic mix of fermented food such as pickles, relishes, condiments, from sweet to savory and the classic tangy. Have your pick between traditional and ready-to-eat noodle products in its many forms. Whether it’s ramen, pho, lo mein, and everything in between, get ready to slurp away to your heart’s content! 


Asian noodles on exhibit


3. Fresh local seafood

Described as one of the convention’s most innovative exhibits, The Cold Room is where you will find all the seafood options you crave for. From shellfish to other high-value marine food products, guests can walk through a literal cold-storage and sample fresh sashimi, ceviche, and shrimp cocktails


Local crab highlighted in this Cebuanong Alimasag ala Brandade Gratinée


4. Asian herbs and spices

Spice up your life and find your latest zing. Delve deeper into the art and science of Asian herbs and spices. See how to mix and match aromas, and learn the health benefits these bring. Catch something new to add to your lifestyle, or perhaps deepen your knowledge of your go-to seasonings at the Flavors and Spices Garden.


Asian spices on display


5. Tropical fruit-based beverages

Quench your thirst with an exclusive preview of the latest alcoholic and non-alcoholic fruit based beverages to hit the market. From fresh juices, fruit-based wines, and spirits, visitors can expect an endless list of drink choices produced locally. Go for a little wine tasting or opt to play bartender with cocktail mixing activities featuring prime local brands that work with indigenous ingredients.


Tropical fruit cocktails


6. Local products to taste and take home

One of the most highly awaited is a unique food tasting experience with a fiesta approach. Taking center stage at the Islands on a Plate exhibit are local food brands and delicacies from every region. Learn about the diverse culinary heritage of each city and taste the many flavors of the Philippines. Once you’re through, bring home some fun finds and maybe some old favorites too.


Local ingredients like cacao, asused in this Champoradong Waray with Danggit, featured in Islands on a Plate


Believe it or not, this is just a teaser of what to expect at this year’s IFEX Philippines. Suaco-Juan shares that everyone, from visitors, businesses, to exhibitors, can count on a direct focus on Asian and Philippine flavors to further strengthen its position as a “premier sourcing event for Asian food and ingredients.” With the mammoth success of last year’s convention garnering nearly 600 food exhibitors, 7,000 visitors, and 1,800 trade buyers from 40 countries, the 13th edition IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD Asia will continue to support a platform that honors our culture and shares the taste of home.                       



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