Get the best out of Food Ingredients China (FIC)

The single most influential event in the Chinese food ingredients market is Food Ingredients China (FIC). The main show is in Spring, late March –  early April, in Shanghai, followed by a more modest Autumn Show in November, in rotating venues

FIC 2020, March 17 – 19, National Exhibitiioin and Convention Centre, Shanghai

The China Food Additives Association has announced that FIC 2020 exhibition will be postponed to a not yet fixed later date.

When you regularly zoom in onto this blog, you probably know this already. What you may not know is that I have been personally present at the birth of this trade fare more than two decades ago.

What then still was the Food Additives Branch of the China Food Industry Association organized China’s first food ingredients show in a hall of the Beijing Military Museum in 1991. It was simply a few rows of tables, on which the producers exhibited samples of their additives.

I was the representative in China of Gist-brocades (now part of DSM). The Association asked me to give a speech in the lecture series that was held alongside the show. I talked, in Chinese, about the latest trends in food ingredients, in particular the need for more natural ingredients.

The Branch is now an independent association: the China Food Additives Association (CFAA). FIC is already the world’s second largest trade fair in this business and has grown into a fully international event, where all serious Chinese players and multinationals meet.

The Chinese food ingredients industry has been the fastest growing for many years now, as is shown in the following graph produced by Mcinsey.

FIC is literally a mine of information and you cannot afford not getting the utmost from the show. What better way there is than to let the person who oversaw the beginning of FIC assist you?

Do you need information about a certain ingredient, or ingredient type?

I can interview companies exhibiting such products at FIC and complement my findings with data from our huge in-house database of the Chinese food industry.

Perhaps you have a more general interest in trends, innovative products, or what is the current talk of the town?

Westerners who speak Chinese fluently are the best equipped consultants in the business. Chinese are intrigued by being able to talk freely to a foreigner using their own language. They open up and will freely provide much more information than you can obtain using a local intermediary.

Do you want to see what your competitors are up to, without them knowing that you are monitoring them?

I am a neutral person, walking around on the floors only representing myself. While doing so I watch, listen and analyze, simultaneously.

You may want to walk around the floors in the company of THE expert in Chinese food ingredients at your side

Past experience shows that the efficiency of doing whatever it is you want to do at FIC will at least double with Eurasia Consult by your side. I see what you may overlook, I hear what may escape your attention, I ask the questions that you may fail to come up with. I am your sparring partner in discussing your strategy for the Chinese market.

CFAA reframes its trade fair portfolio

CFAA has renamed its FIC Autumn Fair into China International Natural Extracts & Health Ingredients Exhibition in August 2019. This marks the beginning of a new phase in the competition between FIC and Food Ingredients Asia China by Informa. Once upon a time CFAA and FiA-C were co-located in March. After the management of FiA-C (then operating as UBM) decided to break with CFAA, the latter retained the March slot, forcing the downsized FiA-C to co-locate with CPhI China in June.

To tighten its grip in the market, CFAA also launched an autumn edition of its show, positioning FIC as the international event and FIC Autumn as a more local trade fair. Informa, that already operated trade fairs under the Health Ingredients (Hi) label, launched a health-focused event in Guangzhou in winter, obviously to compete with FIC Autumn. CFAA’s newly framed Autumn fair is again undoubtedly a move to neutralise Informa. The next autumn event will be held November 14-16, 2019.

FIC has gone a long way. It became the largest food ingredients show in Asia soon after the break-up with FiA-C, and therefore also the second largest in the world, after FiE. Probably from 2017, FIC has also surpassed FiE in size, though not yet in global impact. In view of the growth of China’s influence in the food ingredients market, in particular health and functional ingredients, the reframed Autumn show also has the potential to grow to the world’s largest trade fair in this sector.

Eurasia Consult’s expertise with the Chinese food ingredients industry dates from 1985 and is unmatched.

We are looking forward to your contacts.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975 and regularly travels to the remotest corners of that vast nation. He is a co-author of a major book introducing the cultural drivers behind China’s economic success.