SINGAPORE, 25 July 2019 – Speciality & Fine Food Asia (SFFA) and Restaurant, Pub & Bar Asia (RPB Asia) capped off a third successful year, breaking both visitor and exhibitor records from previous shows. The 2019 edition drew in close to 4,200 trade visitors from the foodservice, retail and hospitality industries across Southeast Asia, with 196 local and international exhibiting companies from 27 countries and 15 national pavilions taking part over the three-day period. The trade-only shows also featured an expanded programme line-up that catered to a growing segment of the industry with the brand-new SG Food Tech Stage which focused on innovations and technology that impact the future of food. This was complemented by an outstanding line-up of insightful panel discussions, engaging cooking demos, exciting bartending displays and beverage masterclasses by various industry experts, across Fine Food Live, Centre Stage and the 31st National Cocktail Competition.
“This year’s shows were phenomenal with record visitor and exhibitor numbers,” says Christopher McCuin, Managing Director of show organisers, Montgomery Asia. “There was such palpable energy and excitement throughout the halls from the exhibitor stands to event stages and the feedback we’ve received from participants has been extremely positive. We could not have done it without our partners – World Gourmet Summit, FoodBev Media, the Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore, The Bar Awards and our fantastic panel of Industry Ambassadors – who have been so integral to our success every step of the way. The future is bright, and we’re looking forward to bringing even more innovative initiatives for the shows next year.”
2019 Show Highlights
Inaugural SG Food Tech Week – SFFA and RPB Asia launched the first ever SG Food Tech Week, to deep dive into the world of food tech from blockchain to big data, the rise of plant-based and clean meat and its implications on the F&B industry along with highlighting pressing topics in the wider business landscape. Developed in consultation with Edelman Predictive Intelligence Centre, SG Food Tech Week saw top minds in food and beverage technologies and consultancies such as Varun Deshpande, Managing Director for India, Good Food Institute, Dr Christine Pitt, Executive Director, GROW Accelerator, Jonathan
Hargreaves, Vice Chairman, Edelman Predictive Intelligence Centre and Pedram Assadi, COO, foodpanda APAC, come together to discuss challenges and opportunities surrounding food security, safety, and sustainability and what the future holds for companies in food production. Real-life issues faced by women in various industries were also spotlighted in the ‘Women in Business’ panel, with leaders such as Alysia Chan, Head Chef of The Black Swan, Jessica Karr, Head of Product, Karana, Penny Cox, VP of New Channels, Redmart and Dr Sandhya Sriram, CEO, Shiok Meats driving the discussion.
PITCH! – The popular investor pitching series, PITCH! returned to SFFA and RPB Asia this year on the SG Food Tech Week stage, providing a practical springboard for companies with exciting, innovative ideas to pitch their concepts and products to a panel of industry judges for real-time feedback. Split into two tracks – ‘Technology Innovations and Solutions’ and ‘Sustainable Solutions’, both catering to the hospitality and foodservice industries – the sessions drew packed audiences across the three days, with 9 companies livepitching their ideas to a panel of industry experts including representatives from Golden Equator Consulting, The Lo & Behold Group, Unlisted Collection, Big Idea Ventures, Boost and more. After an intense round of competition, bespoke 3D food printing solutions provider, Anrich3D, and plantbased food solutions provider, Karana, took home the grand prize for tracks 1 and 2 respectively, each winning $3,000 in prize money and complimentary exhibition space at the 2020 shows.
Asia Food Innovation Awards by FoodBev Media – The second Asian edition of the globally-recognised Food Innovation Awards also took place at SFFA. Designed to celebrate excellence across every category of the global food industry, the Awards offer brands an exciting way to showcase their achievements in product and design.
13 winners were announced from an extremely competitive pool of participants, a number of whom were also exhibiting at the Shows. KROODI swept the awards, taking home three top accolades for – ‘Best Artisan Product’, ‘Best Concept’ and ‘Best ‘Free-From’ Product’ for their Artisan Cashew Cheese; NLYTech BIOTECH Sdn Bhd, clinched ‘Best Sustainable Packaging’ for their RiceStraws; and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, was awarded ‘Best Convenience Packaging’ and ‘Best Packaging Design’ for their Nutril Life bottle. A full list of winners can be found here.
Chef Demos and Hot Topic Panel Discussions at Fine Food Live – Fine Food Live was a bevy of activity for chef demos and panel discussions centred around themes of heritage and sustainability. The first day saw Singapore’s traditional food and hawker heritage take centre stage with a panel session featuring prominent artisanal producers and local food champions – Claire Ariela Shen of Cooking Art Industries, Nizam Iskandar and Aisha Hashim of Haig Road Putu Piring and Jeremy Nguee of Preparazzi and Batu Lesung – discussing the everyday challenges and highlighting their hopes for hawker culture in Singapore. Industry Ambassador, Chef Edmund Toh, President, Disciples Escoffier International – Singapore Delegation and Vice President, Culinary, Iron Chef F&B Pte Ltd, also took to the stage to create his modern take on laksa, using pasta instead of the traditional thick beehoon, with locally farmed barramundi.
For the first time, SFFA also collaborated with World Gourmet Summit (WGS) – the region’s premier haute cuisine festival – to curate two days of interactive programming on the second and third days. The sessions were presented by reputable chefs from popular local establishments such as The Sampan, Ding Dong and Tower Club, and dishes incorporated sustainable produce from SFFA exhibitors such as organic chicken from Aqina Farm and natural lobster courtesy of Gourmet Chef Packers.
31st National Cocktail Competition – RPB Asia also hosted one of the region’s most prestigious bartending competitions – the 31st National Cocktail Competition (NCC) by the Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore (ABSS) for the first time in the show’s history – underscoring RPB Asia’s position as Southeast Asia’s only trade show dedicated to the restaurant, pub and bar community.
The legendary National Cocktail Competition saw participants take part across six categories across two days of heats before the finals on 19 July. Visitors were treated to scintillating action and the highest level of craftsmanship at the competition, with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (Flair) and ‘Pride of Singapore’ (Classic) emerging victorious; winning prize money and a return air ticket to Chengdu, China to represent Singapore at the prestigious IBA World Cocktail Championships, later in the year.
Insights and a new SG Signature Cocktail at Centre Stage – On the final day, the top four bartenders in the NCC Classic Category were paired with four renowned bartenders in Singapore for the SG Signature Cocktail Competition and tasked to create a brand-new iconic drink for Singapore, in celebration of the nation’s bicentennial. Each pair had to develop a cocktail inspired by, has elements of, or can be paired with one of the nation’s signature dishes – Chicken Rice. Team Royal Tandem, consisting of Benedict Poh from The Monarchy and Chris Anthony Casas from Andaz Hotel, showed off impeccable teamwork and creative flair to create a concoction that won over the judges and spectators, taking home $1,000 in prize money.
Show Partner, The Bar Awards, also curated an exciting line-up of masterclasses and talks across topics ranging from speciality spirits to sake, beer and wine at Centre Stage. Industry experts who took to the stage included Kamil Foltan of IBHQ Singapore, Chris Marshall of Distilled LLP, Symphony Loo of Campari, Hideki Fukada of Maruishi Brewery, Jason Willis of Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and many more.
Retail Industry Report by KPMG – To provide a tangible resource to reference after the show, SFFA and RPB Asia have collaborated with KPMG for the first time to develop a Retail Industry Report, available to all registered visitors. The Retail Industry Report is packed full of information and insights into consumer purchase trends, the future of F&B retail and how trade attendees can best transform and future-proof their business.
Highlights from Exhibitors and Visitors – This year’s enhanced programming and offerings impressed both exhibitors and visitors alike. YT Law, CEO of NLYTech Biotech Sdn Bhd who exhibited at the shows this year, said, “This is the best show so far that we’ve joined in Singapore. We found the response very positive and are looking forward to coming back next year!”
Aivonne Chong, Founder of Brown Bag Wines commented, “The show attracts such a quality audience both locally, as well as from other countries. For exhibitors who are looking to expand beyond the Singapore market, this is a very good platform.”
Millette Manalo-Burgos, Editorial Strategist at Tasty Asia, added, “I think this year’s shows are better and bigger with a mix of exhibitors in terms of food tech, ingredients and fine food, and I saw a good representation of countries from Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia.”
Christian Cadeo, Managing Partner, Asia of Big Idea Ventures expressed similar sentiments about the shows, citing it as “Probably one of the best shows in Asia, in terms of meeting people within the food industry as well as the new food tech industry.”
Speciality & Fine Food Asia and Restaurant, Pub & Bar Asia will be back even bigger next year from 29 September – 1 October 2020, while the UK edition will take place from 1 – 3 September 2019 at Olympia, London later this year.
For future updates, visit the official show websites – Speciality-Asia.com and RPB-Asia.com, and follow the shows on social media.