Premium Seafood Drives New Attendance Record at the Asian Seafood Exposition

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The 2013 Asian Seafood Exposition, held 3-5 September 2013, has concluded its fourth edition with record-setting attendance.

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We have experienced a renewed sense of energy, excitement and optimism throughout the entire duration of the exposition.

The 2013 Asian Seafood Exposition has concluded its fourth edition with record-setting attendance. The event was held 3-5 September at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and was open exclusively to industry professionals including seafood buyers and suppliers. A focus on premium, luxury seafood products played an integral role in the success of the exposition.

The Asian Seafood Exposition attracted more than 7,500 total attendees from 75 countries. Ms. Mary Larkin, Vice President of Seafood Expositions for Diversified Business Communications, comments that high-volume seafood buyers at this year’s event including representatives of supermarkets, restaurants, importers, distributors and wholesalers, were most interested in premium products such as oysters, abalone, sea urchin, sea cucumber, salmon, crab and lobster.

“A number of factors have played a role in the rising demand for premium product, including China’s strengthened middle-class economy, safety concerns with seafood sourced domestically, and the inability of local supply to meet the rapidly growing consumption rates,” said Ms. Larkin.

Exhibitors included 171 companies from 27 countries, and feedback was very positive. As a result, 80% of the 2013 exhibit space was renewed and contracted on-site for 2014, when the show will be renamed Seafood Expo Asia.

“We were very happy to be a part of the exposition this year and we will definitely return,” said Amir Awan of Delicious by Nordic, a prime example of a successful, first-time exhibitor. Their Norwegian salmon was a hit with the buyers. “We are in discussion about having a bigger booth for next year’s event,” Mr. Awan said.

According to Ms. Larkin, economic reports show that rising incomes of middle-class China have contributed to the strong demand. “Rising seafood consumption rates generally mirror strong economies,” Ms. Larkin said. “Studies of middle-class Chinese consumers have indicated increase in the foodservice sector with a focus on consuming higher end products when dining out.”

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council conducted a survey of China’s middle-class consumers. 67% of respondents say they like going out and spending more money now, a reflection of rising incomes, change of pace and urbanization.

Zhang Yumei, a fisheries specialist at the Agriculture Information Institute at China’s Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has stated that China consumed 3 million metric tons (MT) of seafood in 2011 outside of the home, significantly higher than 1.15 million MT in 2000.

“We have experienced a renewed sense of energy, excitement and optimism throughout the entire duration of the exposition,” concludes Ms. Larkin. “We hope to carry this momentum forward to our 2014 event, which is scheduled to return to Hong Kong from 2-4 September 2014.”

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