Taiwan food fair aims to cement local food culture

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jul 12, 2017 - Page 12

The annual Taiwan Culinary Exhibition is to start next week, and is aiming to cement the health of the nation’s local food culture, which has proved itself to be better able to weather a downturn in cross-strait ties than the hospitality industry.

The food fair, which runs from Friday next week through July 24, is hoping to attract 200,000 visitors, up from last year’s 150,000, as participants and organizers introduce creativity and innovation to the event, Taiwan Visitors’ Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said.

“Apart from popular eateries, popular food vendors from various night markets across Taiwan are to take part in the four-day event to allow visitors to taste local flavors,” Yeh told a news conference.

More than 200 restaurants and other organizations have signed up to run more than 800 booths during the show at the Taipei World Trade Center, Exhibition Hall 1, the association said.

Food and beverage sales grew 3 percent year-on-year to NT$188.7 billion (US$6.17 billion) in the first five months of the year, on a par with the whole of last year’s 3.6 percent annual increase and sales of NT$439.4 billion, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed.

Demand tends to be stronger in the second half of the year on the back of wedding banquets and corporate gatherings.

“Taiwanese food plays an important part in entertaining foreign tourists and boosting domestic consumer spending,” Yeh said.

Major hotels such as the Regent Taipei, Westin Taipei, Landis Taipei Hotel Co and hotelier LDC Hotels & Resorts Group (雲朗觀光集團) are offering food vouchers for their dining facilities at discounted rates to shore up sales.

For the first time, the Ministry of National Defense is to join the show and demonstrate how it prepares meals for military service personnel.

The Hakka Affairs Council, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and other government agencies are also to promote food and tableware with a local flavor.

Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) said he expects the promotion of traditional Hakka food to attract more people to Hakka culture.