MANILA — The International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines is returning as an in-person event beginning Thursday, with organizers promising a "multi-sensory experience" for both guests and participants.
This year's IFEX marks the first time that the country's long-running food export show will be held as a live event since the COVID-19 pandemic's onset.
In a statement, organizers said the upcoming IFEX aims to "showcase the best food products by local producers and manufacturers in a three-day event that includes thematic settings of distinct and innovative food and ingredients, networking and business-to-business (B2B) activities, talks and seminars, cooking demos and product presentations [and] special events."
On its first day, IFEX Philippines is set to recognize "new and innovative Filipino food products" via the Katha Awards for Food for 2022, which aims to "strengthen the reputation of the Philippines as a go-to destination for globally competitive food products."
"Katha recognizes exporters that explore new galleries of flavors, original brand ideas, unique food fusions, and creative packaging methods," organizers said.
The event will also feature a special section called Flavor Finds, "a collection of new food discoveries and innovations in the Philippine food scene."
"[Flavor Finds] will also showcase new products from select exhibitors and emerging Philippine food products and ingredients with tremendous export potential–ube, plant-based food, and Philippine craft beer," organizers said.
Another feature, Open House, is intended to introduce the latest programs and activities in the food sector.
"[Open House] will also highlight government efforts to champion Filipino food exporters, manufacturers, and MSMEs (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises)."
There will also be a dedicated space for food-tasting activities, cooking demonstrations, and product presentations, as well as talks on sustainability in the food sector and intellectual property, among other topics, according to organizers.
Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), IFEX Philippines is expected to attract around 3,000 visitors and buyers, and feature thousands of Filipino food products and ingredients from nearly 400 exhibitors.
The on-site activities will be complemented by digital components such as virtual business-to-business meetings and online streaming for special events.