Participation hits an all-time high; platform successfully melds science and business
Vitafoods Asia, the only dedicated event for the nutraceutical, functional food and beverages, and dietary supplements in Asia, concluded its seventh edition on a high note for the first time in Singapore.
Held in the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands, the seventh edition of Vitafoods Asia welcomed a total of 5,067 industry professionals (representing a 113% increase over its 2016 edition) from 62 countries to discover a remarkable showcase presented by 260 global exhibitors from 40 countries that cover the entire nutraceutical supply chain. The event also enabled trade visitors to learn from over 40 world-class industry expert speakers, who shared deep insights from their wealth of experience.
"The strategic relocation of Vitafoods Asia saw the show double - both in size and attendance," revealed Chris LEE, managing director at Informa Exhibitions' Global Health & Nutrition Network, Europe. "The quality of visitors who came through and the meaningful connections made at the event have been phenomenal. While it's never just about the numbers, we're very heartened by the industry's response."
New venue, renewed interest
Earlier, Vitafoods Asia's relocation to Singapore generated a lot of buzz, and the industry was overwhelmingly positive about the move, with expressed approval from exhibitors and visitors alike.
"The experience of exhibiting at this new venue has been very positive," commented Camilo SUAREZ, Business Intelligence Director at Procaps Columbia. "We were looking to expand our business in Southeast Asia, and many of the enquiries were made by contacts based in Singapore and ASEAN countries. We're happy with the quality and volume of leads received."
First-time exhibitor Ivy NG, CEO of Vitakids Pte Ltd, said, "We decided to participate in Vitafoods Asia at the last minute, and I'm very happy that we did! Our goals were to launch our new dietary supplement brand, and to source for distributors. The success we've had over these two days has given us the confidence to book a larger booth for next year, and we look forward to returning again in September 2018."
Returning visitor, Sandeep JHA, CEO of Generix Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., shared, "I've been to previous editions of Vitafoods Asia in Hong Kong, and this year's is much bigger and better. I was specially invited to attend as a hosted buyer, and it was great to hear from a pre-selected group of companies who are keen on entering the India market. I didn't have to seek them out myself, and the fact that they've done their 'homework' made it much easier to do business with them."
Sourcing simplified: visitor attractions hit the mark
Over the two-day event, attendees had the opportunity to uncover the latest raw materials, ingredients, finished products, equipment, and services available in the market. Visitor attractions such as the Inspiration Showcase highlighted exhibitors' best-selling products and new launches, while the International Pavilions and Omega-3 Resource Centre helped attendees zoom in on exhibitors from a certain country, or with a specific offering.
"The Inspiration Showcase is a great place to start my time at the show," said Iwona MAMCZUR, Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) at Nicholas Hall Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd. "Now, I know which exhibitors to visit, based on the interesting showcase items that I've seen. I run a pharmaceutical consultancy in Singapore and my team is here looking for new products to inform our clients about trends and developments in the industry. I'm happy that the event has moved to Singapore so that my whole team can attend the show, see the products, and meet the exhibitors."
First-time visitor Dr TAN Keah Kee, Medical Advisor at Klinik Q, shared, "We've spoken with two exhibitors within the Omega-3 Resource Centre so far, and I think it's a very welcome concept for visitors who are looking for a specific ingredient. It saves us time and makes it easier for us by narrowing our search."
Visitors to the Tasting Centre had the opportunity to see, taste,
and touch an array of the latest functional food and beverage items.
Another perennial attraction that was well-received by attendees was the Tasting Centre. Here, visitors were able to see, touch, and taste an array of the latest functional finished products. Commenting on their visitor experience at the Tasting Centre, first-time attendee from Malaysia, Kambric YIN, Assistant at Sun Ten Pharmaceutical, expressed, "I've never seen anything like this before. The exhibitors' varied offerings are impressive, and it is a great chance for me to compare different products all at once."
Exhibitors participating in this feature were automatically in the running for the Tasting Centre Awards, where visitors voted for the best tasting functional food and beverage from a total of 37 entries across two categories. OptiPharm Pty Ltd's Premium Vegan Dairy Free Cheese and TCI Co. Ltd's Vita-Botanico Liquid Concentrate eventually emerged as winners in the Best Functional Food and Best Functional Beverage Awards respectively.
When asked about their win, Garry McDONALD, Managing Director of OptiPharm Pty Ltd, stated, "We're very happy to have won the award! We made it to Top 3 last year, so winning this year is a big step forward. Putting our product on the Tasting Centre has definitely helped bring some visitors over to our booth. We've met people from Cambodia and gathered more leads from Korea and Taiwan this year, so that's really good for us."
Effective learning platforms inject vitality to the event
Apart from business opportunities, Vitafoods Asia also offered multiple knowledge-sharing platforms led by the some of the industry's best minds, covering both commercial and academic standpoints. Collectively, the learning platforms - Vitafoods Asia Conference, Innovation Theatre, and Life Stages Theatre - included content that address business challenges for a variety of job roles and business types, whether on market entry and access, scientific and technical know-how, or regulatory changes.
The Vitafoods Asia Conference featured an impressive panel of global industry experts, who shared their knowledge and expertise with attendees
"We're here mainly for the Digestive Health and Microbiome Summit," said Dr Harpreet SINGH BHATIA, CEO of Hoap Industries. "The sessions have been nothing short of great! The organisers managed to secure world-class speakers, and we've benefitted much from the knowledge-sharing that took place in the morning sessions. This is my second time attending Vitafoods Asia, and we're seriously considering coming in as exhibitors next year."
Innovation Theatre Speaker and Exhibitor, Dr Vincent CANDRAWINATA, Technical Director at Renovatio Bioscience, disclosed, "Of the many events I've participated in, Vitafoods Asia stands out as one of the most well-designed and organised. It's an excellent platform for researchers like myself to share our knowledge with the right audiences. Informa has succeeded in bringing science, business, and government agencies together, which is hard to come by. Without any of these three factors, it's hard to bring new innovations from lab to market - and Vitafoods Asia has made it easier for us."
"This is my maiden visit to Vitafoods Asia, and I'm really impressed by the content offered," commented Tunku Saidatul SA'ADIAH, Technical Sales Executive of LCP Supplies (M) Sdn Bhd. "I'm here to source for health supplement distributors, and the sessions in the Life Stages Theatre were very relevant for me. They allowed me to learn and keep up with the latest trends, news, and findings of the nutrition industry."
Bespoke events by DuPont and AstaReal further added to the breadth of learning and networking activities offered at Vitafoods Asia. DuPont's Regional Marketing Lead, Jasmine CHIA, mentioned, "Having a Hospitality Suite allowed us to engage with our guests in a cozy setting, so that deeper conversations could take place with our various experts, addressing technical, sales, and legal enquiries."
"I attended the AstaReal Lunch Brief to learn more about the health and wellness markets of Southeast Asia," said Jerry SHI, Head of Sales for Southeast Asia & Pacific (Medical Specialties), Clariant. "The session was very informative and the topics were relevant for our business. It was also an opportunity for networking and I found it beneficial."
LEE concluded, "Over the last six years, Vitafoods Asia has been bridging the gap between ingredients suppliers, food manufacturers, and distributors by facilitating business and providing learning opportunities. The number of exhibitors and visitors at Vitafoods Asia is ever-growing, and we're very excited to be a facilitator in these companies' journey of establishing a presence in Asia's nutraceutical industry."
The eighth edition of Vitafoods Asia will be held from 11 to12 September 2018 in the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.