Korea, Austria shine at Mumbai's World of Food India


By Papri Das

The 10th year of Annapoorna aptly called ?World Of Food India? saw participation from 18 different countries with Korea and Austria leading the pack when it came to innovation.

Organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and international trade fair giant Koelnmesse, this international exhibition for food and beverage trade, catering and retail market aims to present a plethora of international options for the Indian consumers -- from Korean rice beer (Makkoli) to Singaporean fish cakes - all processed and ready to be indulged in!

?With increasing demand for variety and orders opening up for trade, India is cultivating a global palate, not just in cuisine but in edible consumer products as well,? says Koelnmesse representative Sandeep Kumar. ?I feel that people are being more accepting of canned and processed foods than a few years back. This gives the international producers a great opportunity to bring their products to India. On the other hand, it always poses a great opportunity for Indian traders to cash in on the opportunity and at the same time take the valuable role of catering to India's changing palate. The expo aims to bring in international finished food products from different parts of the world and find a market for them in India,? he adds.

The three day event, which first started in 2003, is a subsidiary of a grander food festival that Koelnmesse organises in Germany, and has been brought to the Indian landscape by FICCI.

This year?s expo started on 14 September and hosted over 16 booths from 18 different countries that attracted hoteliers, restaurateurs, food traders as well as food connoisseurs for a global experience. It also featured a number of live events like cheese making workshop, wine tasting for Italian and Austrian brands and seminars on the changing paradigm of food consumption across the globe

When it comes to what the guest countries had to offer, Kumar informs, ?This year?s highlight are the Korean booths, Singaporean Pavilion, and Austria.? His special recommendation was to try the different types of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages that Korea has to offer.

Korea?s rice fermented beer was the popular choice, followed by the Austrian wines. In terms of processed snacks, Singapore won the race with their booth on favoured buns and fish cakes, while Korea came close with their fried duck jerkies and seaweed crunchies. While the crowd remained moderate, Japan saw its tasting samples disappear in no time showing how well Indian palate has accepted Sushis, especially since they had a vegetarian variant.

The expo also gave way for international food makers and embassies to interact with each other and chalk out collaborated business plans. ?Through the expo we have created a culture of food in its last ten years,? says FICCI research associate Ravi Verma. ?We have successfully managed to bring in the key players in the country?s food and beverage industry and give them a taste of global varieties. Next year is going to be even bigger and better as we collaborate with numerous other organisations from the Horeca sector, and plan to organise a chef competition as well,? he adds.

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