Predictions range for 10 to 15 years before China overtakes the USA as the world’s largest import market for food and beverages. Regardless of the time frame, one fact that is undisputed by industry experts is that China, currently the fastest growing import food and wine market today, will one day become the biggest market in the world. The driving force for this rapid growth is China’s expanding middle class and their appetite for all imported foods from basic meat, fruit, vegetables, seafood to sauces and spices, teas and coffee to ice cream, confectionary to bakery products. Not forgetting the headline grabbing wine and spirits. This growth in scale and range of products available, can most visibly be seen at the annual FHC China expo, next scheduled for Shanghai from 16-18 November 2011.

FHC China 2011 will be the 15th edition of this exhibition billed as “China’s Global Food and Hospitality Expo”. The last edition in November 2010 attracted 1,017 companies from 79 countries and regions, whilst a record 23,539 buyers visited the 3 day show. Reflecting market demand and showcasing the growth in imports of foreign food in China, the total numbers of visitors increased by +13% and the exhibition area, with more companies and more food and beverages on show, grew by +21% over the 2009 event.

The market and closely followed by the size of FHC, continue their meteoric rise in 2011. China International Exhibitions, the organisers of FHC China 2011, report that with 8 months remaining before the start of the show, over 80% of all available space has been allocated to prospective exhibitors. The majority of this area has been taken by returning companies and country groups. Currently, country and regional pavilions offering their best food and wines have been confirmed from the following returning pavilions – Argentina, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey and USA. While new pavilions this year will come from Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Greece. The largest group booked so far comes from Taiwan. While Europe is dominated by pavilions from Spain, closely followed by France.

Facilitating the import of food and wine to the China market are importers and distributors. A unique feature of FHC is the number of importers and distributors that actually participate every year as exhibitors in the show. In 2010, 107 of China’s leading importers exhibited including such companies as Goodwell, SIMS, Foodlever, and BSI Foods. This is in addition to the 5,152 importers that attend the show as visitors. Importers and distributors offer the vital contact for international companies accessing the China market. The fact that so many of the top importers actually participate in FHC as exhibitors provides a guaranteed contact source for the international companies attend the show.

FHC China offers a platform for all food, wines, beverages and hospitality equipment selling to the China market and products from all these sectors can be found throughout the show. To assist visitors in their product search, the show organiser has concentrated the suppliers of Tea & Coffee, Wine & Spirits and Meat in distinct areas of the exhibition halls. Each of these product sectors will be supported by seperate industry events and promotions guaranteed to attract specialist buyers to the show. Including wine competition and seminars, butchers training events, barista and coffee roasting tutorials.

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