Ingredients for healthy living Ni and Hi were developed by show organisers UBM in order to respond to the food industry's growing interest in the application of health and natural ingredients to improve product quality and consumer health. China's ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which is based on the philosophy of health and wellness through natural ingredients, made it the perfect location for visitors to explore the world's most established source of functional ingredients.
There are over 8,000 registered TCM ingredients in China and many are being tested by major international corporations like Unilever and research organisations such as Wageningen University for use as functional food ingredients. China is already the leading supplier of herbal extracts like artemisinin, solanesol, St John's wort and gingko extract and is set to become a major source of 'superfruits' like Goji and seabuckthorn berries which are gaining worldwide attention.
Hi/Fi Asia-China provided the ideal platform for companies searching for high quality suppliers of these ingredients. Event manager Vincent Brain says, "The Chinese consumer is becoming more sophisticated. As buyers start to look beyond price, there is an increased demand for products that have demonstrable health benefits. Companies such as Nestle and Coca Cola have established R&D bases in China to develop products for both the domestic and international market. These shows are designed to bring suppliers of functional and natural ingredients, both Chinese and international - to the attention of major industry players."
Industry experts shine a light on key trends in China
The International Union of Food Science and Technology
(IUFoST) developed a high-level conference programme highlighting the ingredients industry's business
critical issues in China. Health ingredients and their role in combating obesity was high on agenda, as was the food safety, one of the most high profile issues effecting the food ingredients industry.
Visitors to Fi Asia-China turned out to see for themselves how China's comprehensive new food law was being put into effect by China's low cost suppliers, as Fi Asia-China was the first industry event in China after the law came into effect on June 1, 2009. A captive audience was present to hear how the crucial issue of food safety is China is impacting the global supply chain for ingredients.
The world's fastest growing market for ingredients
The promise of cost effective, safe ingredients is a major factor in the industry's enthusiasm for Fi Asia-China. However, equally enticing was the opportunity to explore the incredible potential of the Chinese market. As Brain explains, "Whilst the present economic climate has hit consumer confidence, the Chinese food industry is still expected to grow an additional 109 per cent by 2013. China's new middle class remains a resilient market for international companies looking to protect their revenues as core markets mature".
The company attributes the success of the show to its efforts to continually evolve its content to meet the demands of the functional ingredient industry and provide a showcase for growing global markets.