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FoodEx and Hoteres 2006


okinawaChris
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I've made my reservations and will be attending the FoodEx Japan show next March in Tokyo. Has anyone attended the show in the past? Any tips, advice and "not to miss" aspects of the show?

It should be fun to visit as it is the largest Restaurant/Hospitality show in Asia. The show is at Tokyo Big Sight in March.

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I think that the show at Tokyo Big Sight is actually Hoteres, which has an exchange that allows you free admission if you have a ticket to FoodEx at Makuhari Messe.

Hoteres is where the restaurant/hospitality focused exhibitors are, and this includes things such as equipment (cooking, washing, sanitizing), franchise concepts, hospital sanitation equipment, vendors of hinoki bath prefab materials, smallwares, and packaging. FoodEx, on the other hand, focuses primarily on the food itself, including packaged foods, restaurant/foodservice conveniences such as frozen commissary dough or premade Japanese-style pizza crusts, etc, and manufacturer ingredient supplies and OEM/Private Label manufacturers. You'll see a little overlap, but the environment is quite different.

FoodEx is insanely large, so it's hard to say what you should focus on, but with two years of experience, I now find the international halls more interesting than the Japanese halls. In my case, I'm looking for companies interested in exporting things, and most of the interesting companies in the Japan section are smaller and concerned about their ability to handle export transactions, or are incredibly large and don't need people like me.

The least interesting (to me) sections were companies from China, and the most interesting to me were companies from Malaysia/Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. I usually don't spend much time in the Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Austrian sections, since they are outside of my market focus, but if you're a fan of European foods (which I am) it's definitely worth a look.

Usually a few Japanese companies will do some interesting things; I quite liked the Fuji Oil/Soyafarms booth, and in my first year, the Saison Factory booth.

I haven't really spent my time in the lectures and classes that are offered at FoodEx, but I did like some of the demos at HoTeRes, which were perfect for restaurateurs looking to be moderately innovative while keeping a very clear food cost consciousness.

So far it has been hard to manage seeing all of the booths, considering about 2000-3000 companies are there, but you'll probably just be drawn to things that appeal to you. Based on my first two shows, I would plan for one day primarily in the Japan section and one day primarily in the international section, one day to meet/follow up with people (if you're there to conduct business), and one day at HoTeRes.

http://blog.jagaimo.com/search.aspx?q=FoodEx&p=1

I've made my reservations and will be attending the FoodEx Japan show next March in Tokyo.  Has anyone attended the show in the past?  Any tips, advice and "not to miss" aspects of the show? 

It should be fun to visit as it is the largest Restaurant/Hospitality show in Asia.  The show is at Tokyo Big Sight in March.

Edited by JasonTrue (log)

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I think OkinawaChris is in the restaurant trade, so he should be ok, and I'm an importer.

My first year my only credential was a recently printed business card. They don't really do a background check or anything, but the food industry is pretty broad, so if you do anything remotely related you can probably get in. With preregistation they are likely to be less analytical, but you do have to provide them a business card and fill out a short form in either case.

Considering how little it takes to print business cards I'm surprised they don't do anything else to verify your trade credentials.

Isn't FoodEx open to those in the food industry only? Have any non-food industry folks had any luck getting in?

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Isn't FoodEx open to those in the food industry only? Have any non-food industry folks had any luck getting in?

Last year I was going to go with an eGullet press pass and do a write up about it... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thank you Jason for the clarification! With my focus on restaurant franchise concepts, equipment and supplies it looks like I should be spending the bulk of my time at Hoteres in Big Sight.

How far are the two shows away from each other? I'll be in the Azabu area during my visit.

Edited by okinawaChris (log)
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Thank you Jason for the clarification!  With my focus on restaurant franchise concepts, equipment and supplies it looks like I should be spending the bulk of my time at Hoteres in Big Sight. 

How far are the two shows away from each other?  I'll be in the Azabu area during my visit.

They are only about 30 minutes apart by train.

Hyperdia.com is great for figuring out the trains.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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They also ran a shuttle bus between the two shows, but I think this takes longer than the train and you might not get on during busy times. It ran about 500 yen, as I recall, and slightly less frequently than I would have hoped.

Thank you Jason for the clarification!  With my focus on restaurant franchise concepts, equipment and supplies it looks like I should be spending the bulk of my time at Hoteres in Big Sight. 

How far are the two shows away from each other?  I'll be in the Azabu area during my visit.

They are only about 30 minutes apart by train.

Hyperdia.com is great for figuring out the trains.

Edited by JasonTrue (log)

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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  • 3 months later...
Oh, and if franchising is your thing, the Japan exhibition at FoodEx has two areas featuring lots of franchised restaurant and bakery concepts.

Thanks again for the further clarification. Looks like I'll be spending my time at the FoodEx show after all.

As for restaurants while I'm there....I plan to get to Tonki to sample some of their famous Tonkatsu. I would also like input from the group concerning if Inakaya is worth the expense...I'll be traveling solo so I'll have to find a dining companion. I'm also planning on hitting one of the Food Amusement Parks while in Tokyo for some research. Any advice as to Gyoza Stadium or the Curry one in Yokohama?

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Oh, and if franchising is your thing, the Japan exhibition at FoodEx has two areas featuring lots of franchised restaurant and bakery concepts.

Thanks again for the further clarification. Looks like I'll be spending my time at the FoodEx show after all.

As for restaurants while I'm there....I plan to get to Tonki to sample some of their famous Tonkatsu. I would also like input from the group concerning if Inakaya is worth the expense...I'll be traveling solo so I'll have to find a dining companion. I'm also planning on hitting one of the Food Amusement Parks while in Tokyo for some research. Any advice as to Gyoza Stadium or the Curry one in Yokohama?

Don't forget to post in the ISO tread before you come! I know of at least one person in the Kanto area who would love to go Inakaya. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 months later...

I'm in Tokyo for FoodEx 2006 (Makuhari Messe) and Hoteres (Tokyo Big Site) this week. As usual, I'll post some notes on my blog at the end of each day, but I thought it would be good to post some of those observations here too.

If anyone else is going, you're welcome to chime in with your own observations. I've got a slightly crowded schedule my first two days here but hopefully I'll have a chance to see some things outside of those meetings.

If you're in Tokyo this week you can also PM me for contact information; I'm wielding a rental cell phone and we might be able to meet in some sort of group for some sort of foodie amusements.

Tomorrow is day 1, so I look forward to posting tomorrow.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I was hoping to go on Tuesday but it isn't going to work out, so I am hoping to make it on Thursday. I am looking forward to your reports!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Day 1:

On opening day I didn't do a lot of trendspotting, since I had about 2 hours of conversations with vendors that I had planned ahead of time, but the Japanese section, where I was most of the time, had most of the usual suspects, large Japanese companies with huge booths, magic acts, and variations of familiar products.

As usual, a fair portion of the Japanese section is dedicated to smaller regional companies, and this is where most of the interesting, if not particularly innovative, products are. The artisanal products include typical Japanese foods made with locally popular ingredients, such as soba made with konnyaku from Yamagata, rather than the more typical yamaimo. Natural foods seem to be growing in presence, as numerous companies promoted their "yuuki saibai" (organic or NDPR foods). The first year I went to FoodEx in 2004 this was mostly confined to a natural foods section outside the main Japanese company exhibition area, but now it's everywhere.

I didn't yet notice any ingredients that showed a lot of increased presence, but it might just be a slight jadedness. In previous years, I saw a lot of kuromame and roasted azuki products, or foods with charcoal; these weren't being promoted as heavily as far as I've noticed in previous years.

More stuff on my blog... I'm running a bit late today, so I'll try to comment a bit more when I get back.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Yes, I think you're right about charcoal, that's definitely peaked as a trend, though still more in evidence than before the boom.

Azuki etc....this could be around for a while. I don't see quite the "mixed grains" fervor there was a year or so back, but on the other hand, every bookshop is currently knee-deep in "macrobiotics". So this wave may not have crested yet.

Thanks for your report - interesting reading.

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I spent all day Thursday wandering around Foodex and now know why it is a 4 day show, one day is not enough!

Jason was kind enough to meet up with me and we spent the afternoon walking around, sampling various things even though I was already full by the time we met up. I learened that although it is a lot more fun walking around with someone it can also be much more dangerous. You think we would have learned our lesson after drinking cherry juice concentrate straight, before the woman had time to dilute it for us, but no not us. Not even 30 minutes later we were in the Philippines section downing straight (and very powerful) vinegar before the woman could pull the bottle of water out from under the table. :shock:

Being my first visit to the show, I have nothing to compare it to but liek Jason mentioned above the Japanese section was very heavy on the macrobitoics slant. Many whole grains, mixed grains, bean products, soy products and various "healthy" juices. I was also surprised by the number of booths displaying salt, they were probably equal to the number of booths showing green tea. Here is a sampling of some of the salts I received.

gallery_6134_2590_33498.jpg

My favorites were probably the natto from the Kume Natto both, I sampled all three of the products they were showing and loved them all.

The sakura natto was incredible with little pieces of chopped up sakura leaves.

They also had a black bean natto that had black rice included as well a regular natto with a flavorful moromi-su dressing.

All the products can be viewed here.

Another favorite was the mentaiko konnyaku!

Don't ever let anyone tell you konnyaku has no flavor!

One product I found very interesting was the maguro nama hamu. This was a smoked tuna product that was similar to the Japanese "raw" ham products. I couldn't find a homepage for the product I sampled but this is a similar product.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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