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6 February, 1996
Hong Kong Food Items Appeal to Japanese Tastes
A growing market for Hong Kong food products in Japan has prompted the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to organise its first commercial delegation to the International Food and Beverage Exhibition in Tokyo.
The Hong Kong delegation will participate at the 21st annual FOODEX Japan '96 from 12 to 15 March in the Nippon Convention Centre (Makuhari Messe), Hall 5007.
"Hong Kong food and beverage processors are keen to find new Japanese customers while introducing their new products to existing customers," said the HKTDC's manager for trade promotion in Japan, Miss Lingki Chau.
"We have organised Hong Kong product displays at FOODEX since 1990, and there has been a notable surge of interest among visitors to our displays.
"In bringing a full commercial delegation to this year's fair, we plan to serve the needs of both Japanese and Hong Kong traders," she added. "Buyers will learn about high-quality Hong Kong foods, while the exhibitors meet new customers and update their knowledge of consumer preferences and market trends in Japan."
Strong demand for price-competitive, private brand products has created new opportunities for Hong Kong companies. "Consumers in Japan are diversifying and becoming more international in their eating habits," Ms Chau said.
Private brand products are often jointly developed by Japanese and Hong Kong companies for distribution in major supermarkets and retail outlets. Japanese enterprises such as Nissin and Yoahan are leading investors in Hong Kong's processed food and beverage industry. Their major products include instant noodles and preserved meat.
From January to November 1995, Japan imported US$257 million worth of processed food and beverages from Hong Kong, up four per cent on the same period in 1994. Only China and Macau imported more.
Hong Kong's total food and beverage exports in the same period rose 11 per cent to US$2.8 billion. The US, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada and the Philippines are also important markets.
The territory's FOODEX delegation includes well known manufacturers, such as Amoy Food Limited, with its popular frozen dim sum items and seasoning sauces.
"Due to improved production techniques and economies of scale resulting from mass production and intensive marketing, dim sum has become an important growth area," Ms Chau said.
Another exhibitor, Consumer Distribution Co Ltd, specialises in canned foods, such as mushrooms, asparagus, water chestnuts, green beans, pineapple, mandarin oranges, prawn crackers and beer.
Sun Way (HK) Confectionery Mfg Ltd offers chocolate of all kinds, including mint, gummy, almond and macadamia, while Triple Power Food Products Co displays frozen roasted eel, sea-urchin, squid, vegetables and preserved vegetables.
The food and beverage industry is also featured at the Hong Kong Food Expo, a consumer fair attracting more than 200,000 visitors to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre each summer. The 7th Food Expo is set for 22 to 26 August 1996.
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