HONG KONG – Food Expo 2012, one of the biggest food shows in Asia, kicked off Thursday in Hong Kong to showcase delicacies from 26 countries and areas.
The food fair, which runs through Monday, is sponsored by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Agriculture minister Akira Gunji is visiting Hong Kong to pitch Japanese food.
Japan became the first official partner country at this year’s 23rd show. The number of exhibitors from Japan is the largest ever, with some 225 Japanese companies and organizations from 33 prefectures participating.
During the five days, visitors will be treated to various cooking demonstrations by chefs of traditional Japanese dishes.
The Japanese exhibitors hope the show will help their exports to Hong Kong recover from the slump caused by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. Hong Kong is the largest export market for Japanese agricultural and fishery products.
Since the nuclear crisis started, the exporters have been fighting to convince foreign consumers that Japanese products are safe.
During his stay, farm minister Gunji is expected to urge the Hong Kong health authorities to ease import restrictions on Japanese foods that were put in place because of the fear of radioactive contamination from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Major brewer Sapporo Holdings Ltd. will solicit opinions from consumers via Facebook as it tries to develop a new beer product that will hit the market next March, company officials said.
Interactions with consumers on Facebook will cover key topics such as which consumer segment the new beer targets and how to advertise it, Sapporo officials said.