Healthy, innovative food from the Philippines ready for the spotlight at Food Taipei 2016

With the Philippines as a leading source of premium, natural, and ready-to-eat processed food and beverages, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is bringing 10 homegrown companies with an exciting range of new and nutritious food creations and exotic ingredients to the 26th Taipei International Food Show set at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center and Taipei World Trade Center on June 22-25, 2016.

Certified by international organizations and exported to many countries around the world, the variety of Philippine products to be showcased at Taiwan’s 5-in-1 expo responds to the demands of the Taiwanese and global market for foods that promote health and wellness, that are fresh and nourishing, and have unique and delightful flavors.

“Philippine SMEs at Food Taipei will present one-of-a-kind food and ingredients, organic and functional foods, and new tastes and textures to spice up meals and reinvigorate snacks. The local companies, up-to-date with global food innovation and trends, and inspired by our rich and diverse culinary tradition, have something special and exciting to offer trade buyers and visitors at the exhibition,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

The Philippine participation in FOOD TAIPEI 2016 is a project of CITEM, in partnership with the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) through the RIPPLES Plus Program, and Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Manila Economic and Cultural Office (PTIC-MECO).

Healthy food from real fruits and vegetables

Jams, jellies, and marmalade by The Castillejos Agri-Farms, Inc.

The Castillejos Agri-Farms, Inc.’s jams, jellies, and marmalades have already proven their quality and international appeal when they were featured in dishes prepared by famed chefs including Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016 Margarita Fores during the Grand Philippine Exhibition – Archipelago of Exchange in one of France’s top museums for indigenous arts and culture, the prestigious Musee du Quai Branly in 2013. The homemade preserves, along with other Filipino food, were served at a press luncheon which catered to around 100 guests including France’s top media practitioners and museum donors, and a cocktail reception that hosted around 500 guests, one of whom was then French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

NutriVron Malunggay and Ampalaya Polvoron by ChocoVron

Chocovron Global Corporation, known for its creative update of the traditional Philippine snack polvoron (toasted wheat cake), will excite buyers and health-conscious consumers with its two new sugar-free products that highlight the nutritional value and unique tastes of malunggay (moringa oleifera) and ampalaya or bitter melon (momordica charantia).

Malunggay is known for its anti-cancer properties and is highly recommended by doctors to nursing mothers and infants because it combats malnutrition with its high vitamin content (seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more calcium than milk, four times more vitamin A than carrots). Ampalaya, on the other hand, with its blood sugar lowering properties, is endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an alternative herbal medicine for diabetes.

Mighty Green Fruit Concentrate by JMB Food Products

Drawing from traditional Filipino cuisine, JBM Food Products creates all-natural, homemade beverages using handpicked, ripened fruits from the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre and Cordillera. These high quality, energy-boosting juices pack antioxidants, catechins, and the refreshing flavors of power fruits bignay (antidesma bunius), guyabano or soursop, and calamansi-malunggay.

Filchips brand banana chips by Prime Fruits International, Inc.

Rich in potassium and fiber, Prime Fruits International, Inc.’s healthy and versatile banana chips are sourced from the lush banana plantations of Davao, Philippines. The banana chips, offered in various cuts and sizes, can be eaten on its own, or as a topping on different breakfasts and snacks, complementing the smooth and creamy texture of oatmeal or yogurt with its delicious crunch. It is also good combined with other dried fruits and nuts in a trail mix, or chopped and used as ingredient in energy bars.

Superfood coconut

Coconut products by Pasciolco Agri Ventures

Two companies – Pasciolco Agri-Ventures and Team Asia Corporation – are bringing a selection of coconut products with different uses, highlighting the nutritional value and versatility of this tropical plant.

Pasciolco Agri-Ventures from Quezon province, which is known for its vast coconut plantations, has perfected the process of making organic virgin coconut oil, jams, sweetener, syrup, vinegar, aminos, lambanog (coconut arrack) and aromatherapy oil.

Coconut milk powder and coconut sugar are two of Team Asia Corporation’s products. Coconut milk is lactose-free and a recommended cow’s milk substitute for those suffering from lactose intolerance. Coconut sugar, which is made of boiled and dehydrated sap of coconut palm, is quickly becoming a hot commodity among health food consumers as it offers more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, as well as a lower glycemic impact compared to common white table sugar.

Sharing well-loved, nutritious Philippine baked goods to the world

Magic Melt Foods, Inc. prides itself in its creation of mango flour made from processed mango seeds. Naturally rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and digestive enzymes, mango flour is the primary ingredient in many of Magic Melt’s new healthy snacks.

The company also makes traditional Philippine biscuits, breads, pastries, and delicacies such as biscocho, mamon tostado, otap, and rosquillos that are enjoyed not only locally but also abroad in countries such as Australia, Canada, China, U.A.E., Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, and U.S.A.

Muscovado sugar: reinventing drinks and desserts

Family-owned company Raw Brown Sugar Milling from Negros Oriental makes muscovado, an organic sugar produced by boiling fresh sugarcane juice. The simple process retains the vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and zinc that is present in sugarcane juice.

A great alternative to brown sugar or conventional refined white sugar, muscovado sugar lets its users redefine the taste and texture of many sweet beverages, dishes, breads, and snacks with its rich molasses flavor.

Marshmallow treats with a twist

Riverdale Confectionery Industry, Inc. creates a whole array of marshmallows (over 30 kinds) in different shapes, colors, and sizes. A new addition to the company’s line of products are oval marshmallows with four kinds of filling – mango, strawberry, matcha, and chocolate.

There are many ways to use marshmallows other than just garnish for a mug of hot cocoa drink. Soft and chewy, marshmallows add a different texture to homemade ice cream, brownies and cakes, or placed between cookies to create s’mores. They can be melted and used as substitute to cupcake frosting or fondant icing, while roasted marshmallows are a good topping for milkshakes.

The leading Philippine food brands, accessible around the globe 

Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc.

Philippine Grocers Food Exports is one of the top consolidators of food products in the Philippines, exporting select brands of high quality items to North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

The company is carrying a number of well-known and trusted brands such as Lemon Square, Ligo Sardines, and Regent Snacks, that make nutritious, ready-to-eat food in convenient packaging.

In 2015, Food Taipei featured 1,088 exhibitors, with country pavilions showcasing products from China, Singapore, Japan, USA, Spain, the Netherlands, and Chile, among others, and occupying 35,000 sq. m. of exhibition space, making the four-day trade fair a dynamic and significant event for trade buyers, wholesalers, and retailers from top companies from around the world.

“Joining Food Taipei 2016 creates a great opportunity for Philippine SMEs to present their products and establish connections with thousands of buyers with decision-making authority not only from Taiwan but also from many countries visiting the exhibition,” added Gaetos.



The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally-competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an integrated approach to export marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.


Rosario Virginia C. Gaetos

Executive Director

Golden Shell Pavilion

Roxas Boulevard corner Sen. Gil Puyat  Ave.

Pasay City 1300

Metro Manila Philippines

Tel (+632) 831.2201  to 09

Fax: (+632) 832.3965 /834.0177 to 78




For more information, log on to

Food Philippines reached USD 70.96M sales at Gulfood 2014

Food Philippines, bringing the country's finest food exports to Gulfood 2014 at Dubai World Trade Center last February 23-27, gained up to USD70.96 million, not to mention the 2,509 trade inquiries received from international buyers. With its 25 exhibitors, Food Philippines targets to increase the number of participants from the country for the next Gulfood as it boosts its share in the MENASA market.

Meanwhile, equally noteworthy is the Philippines' edge in the trade show when it comes to fresh, frozen, and processed tropical fruit products.  With one buyer alone, one exhibitor made an impressive sale amounting to US$3M.

Philippines Pavilion

FoodPh at Gulfood


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Philippine food exports earned US$10.9 M sales in Thaifex–World of Food Asia

Synergy brings success.

This was proven true in the recent Philippine participation to Thaifex-World of Food Asia, which was made possible through the maiden joint venture of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (Philfoodex), the leading food industry association in the country, and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Philippines Pavilion
The Food Philippines Pavilion at Thaifex – World of Food Asia.

Thaifex-World of Food Asia, is dubbed as Asia's most influential food and beverage, food technology and retail franchise food trade event. The show celebrated its 10th edition on May 21-25, 2014 at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand, with a promised solid international growth and a 40% increase of exhibition space in the Fine Food segment.

The government, through DTI-CITEM, joined hands with the private sector in order to promote, sustain, and expand the Philippine food exports to Thailand and the rest of the world, resulting in a stronger and more successful Philippine participation in Thaifex.

"We are proud to co-organize this event together with Philfoodex, in bringing Food Philippines to Thaifex. It has been a very good avenue for our country's top selling export products to be promoted in Asia's influential meeting place for global players from the food, beverage, food technology, and retail & franchise industries," said Rosvi C. Gaetos, CITEM executive director.

Visitors and buyers
Visitors and buyers walked in stride the buoyant Philippines Pavilion at the Challenger Hall of the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thai, Bangkok, Thailand.

The Philippines Pavilion, occupying a space of 198-sqm, housed 20 local food exporters represented by 56 delegates with its fine selection of processed food, snack items, specialty products, sauces and mixes, and beverages. Right after the event, the 20 companies generated a total sales of US$10,948,000.00 and 260 total inquiries.

Four Philippine companies were featured in the Halal showcase setting in Thaifex, namely: Agrinurture, MFP Home of Quality Products, Global Food Solutions, and Chef Tony's – a testament of quality and dependability of Philippine food exports.

The Philippine delegates
The Philippine delegates at Thaifex on Day 2, before the Opening Day of Thaifex.

In addition, the Philippines' Arabica coffee from Davao, won in two categories in the Roaster's Choice coffee awards. The local coffee brand named "Kapatagan", planted and harvested in the Mt. Apo ranges, and processed naturally by the indigenous tribe of Bagobo, won 1st in the Syphon category and 2nd Runner Up in the Espresso category. These are brought to the trade fair by the Philippine Coffee Board, Inc., a member of the ASEAN Coffee Federation (ACF). Said coffee awards gathered over 25 microlots from coffee farms in the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and other ASEAN coffee producing countries.

Among the local VIPs who visited the Philippine Pavilion were La Trinidad, Benguet Governor Nestor B. Fongwan and wife, together with Sen. Cynthia Villar's Senior Directors namely, Ms. Roselyn Enrique, Ms. Elizabeth Platero, and Atty. Rhaegee Tamana, who were assisted by a Koelnmesse officer Noli Nicanor and CITEM officer Ms. Rowena Mendoza, during their tour of the exhibition. Gov. Fongwan, upon seeing the scale and potential of the show for his constituents in Benguet, for their potato, carrots and other homegrown root crop and vegetable growers and exporters, highly considers organizing a group participation in Thaifex in 2015.

The said trade fair was likewise an excellent venue for CITEM to promote IFEX Philippines, the biggest food trade fair in the country, scheduled on May 21-24, 2015. CITEM project coordinator Ms. Rowena Mendoza met with various trade groups in Thailand including the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Thai Retailers Association, Thai Chamber of Commerce, and campaigned through Pavilion to Pavilion visits, for the promotion of IFEX Philippines, which will is coincidentally included as an official event of the APEC Summit in 2015.

Design Philippines featured in the 53rd Salone Internazionale del Mobile

The country’s leading home design companies, which participated in the recently concluded Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) held at the Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan, Italy, captivated design enthusiasts from all over the world with their crowd-drawing showcase of certified, export-quality furniture pieces and home products.

Design Philippines
Design Philippines at iSaloni 2014.

The Philippine participation in the 53rd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world’s biggest and most important furniture fair, drew a positive response from international buyers and visitors from North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, strategically positioning the Philippines as an ideal sourcing hub for finely crafted export products. Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), this major branding initiative garnered a total sales of USD 4.4 million, with 883 inquiries received.

“It was very uplifting to see the convergence of the people from all over the world in the Design Philippines pavilion. Finally, the Design Philippines brand is gaining traction in the international market. There is the expectation from buyers to see Philippine brands all over the world in every major show,” said CITEM executive director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

Design Philippines pavilion
A buzzing Design Philippines pavilion at iSaloni 2014.

Design Philippines is a branding initiative that positions the Philippines as a sourcing destination for finely crafted products for the world market. As a design movement, it nurtures and celebrates the creativity and originality of a globally competitive and passionate community of Filipino designers and craftsmen.

In April 2013, Design Philippines had a maiden launch at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile’s co-located show Euroluce, the International Lighting Exhibition in Milan, Italy, under the creative direction of design leaders Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue.

Kenneth Cobonpue at Design Philippines
Kenneth Cobonpue’s designs at the Design Philippines pavilion in iSalone 2014.

Carefully handpicked by CITEM, the eight-member core group of participants included Design Philippines brands such as atelier a, Bon-Ace, Industria, Ito Kish, Lightworks, Padua, and Prizmic & Brill, with the special participation of Tadeco, Mayumi, and Schema. The multi-awarded furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, hailed as the “Designer of the Year” award in MAISON&OBJET Asia, led prestige to group while Budji Layug served as the creative director.

The participation of the Design Philippines team in the 53rd edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile was part of CITEM’s branding campaign cycle, following a successful run in the recently concluded maiden edition of MAISON&OBJET Asia, an internationally renowned lifestyle exhibition and design creativity event held in Singapore.

“It is important to sustain the presence of the Design Philippines brand in every international trade show considering that the global market is finally following the circuit of where Filipino design would appear,” said Gaetos.

A Closer Look at the Abaca through the Craft Spots

Manila FAME, in partnership with the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PhilFIDA), showcases the Art of the Craftsman, as they bring to life the crafting tradition of the Philippines through live demonstrations of traditional crafting techniques, taking local materials and transforming them into extraordinary shape and form. In its 58th edition, Manila FAME tells the story of the abaca through the Craft Spots.

Abaca Twining

Twined abaca rope of varying size and color
(Left) The abaca plant. (Above right) Abaca plant, stalk, and fiber
(Left) A craftswoman weaves abaca to create a bag. (Right) Different styles and designs of bags made from abaca
Abaca fiber hooked onto a contraption that twines it into a thin rope
Abaca twining in action
Raw abaca being stripped to get to the fiber within

Abaca Paper Making

Craft paper made of abaca
Tools of the trade: some of the things used in abaca paper making
Sifting abaca pulp from the water into the wooden forms
The abaca pulp ready to dry into paper
Sponging of the excess water from the abaca
One more step to dry the abaca with cloth and rolling pin


In its first two days, IFEX Philippines — which opened on May 16th — welcomed notable local personalities from the industry as well as international visitors and guests. Here are some of their quotes:

IMG_2960“The big difference this year is that we opened IFEX Philippines as a fully international event. We invited international exhibitors and we invited top retail giants to source at our event.” – Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry 

IMG_3055“In less than a decade, IFEX Philippines has become the most comprehensive and most distinguished food show in the Philippines. The constant innovations and features of IFEX Philippines with the participation of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes this event all the more attractive to buyers and visitors alike. I also commend the Culinary Craft Spots feature that champions traditional Filipino delicacies through live demonstrations.” – Proceso J. Alcala, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture 

IMG_2975“I think this IFEX Philippines is really a wonderful place to showcase our products. I’m so pleased to see that people are flocking in this early and to see active buying happening is a very good sign.”  – Ponciano C. Manalo Jr., Undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry 

IMG_2938“I would like to thank the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) for helping Negros Occidental be part of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines 2013 and for steering us into becoming a global player. ” – Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. of Negros Occidental, IFEX Philippines’ Partner Province

13258_467078296700041_616850567_n“I’m most interested in Filipino food and I’m very impressed and quite amazed in its quality. It’s really in touch with what’s modern now. I have also seen natural and organic products that will be very popular to international buyers.” – Chef Violet Oon, Singapore’s Food Ambassador

“This year’s IFEX Philippines is very interesting. I had a very quick look and it seems to be bigger compared to when I was here two years ago. I like IFEX because it’s very intimate and friendly. Trade fairs in Europe are very big and impersonal but here, it is very friendly and colorful.” – David Smith of SmithMed, Norway

“IFEX is absolutely fantastic. We came here looking for new products and we are probably going to leave with 15 new product lines.” – Michael Gillis of Castle Glenn Enterprises, Australia

“We are currently introducing new products from Barrio Fiesta and MoonDish to the international market and we believe that IFEX Philippines is the perfect venue.” – Anna Yuzon of Barrio Fiesta, Philippines

Explore delectable food finds at IFEX Philippines 2013! Asia’s Ethnic Food and Ingredients Show runs until 19 May 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Philippines.

Manila FAME features three global trends for October


In its upcoming show in October, Manila FAME will be unveiling Style Spots, a setting that will explore three macro trends: 
ECO-SUSTAINABILITY is about sustainable materials, natural or man-made, used for products that are made through environmentally sound manufacturing
HYPERLOCALISM is about heritage — both local and global or “glocal” — spotlighting the interpersonal connections within a community
BEING IN CONNECTION is about bringing different generations together through color, texture, shape and branding.
Eco-Sustainability, Hyperlocalism and Being In Connection are the Macro Trends featured in the Manila FAME Style Spots

The Style Spots will incorporate products from several designers, craftsmen, and exhibitors using cross-merchandised presentations of color, texture, material and form,” says Manila FAME project director James Booth.

The Style Spots will be curated by Ito Kish and feature the work of leading and emerging designers: Olivia d’ Aboville, Robert Alejandro, Amina Aranaz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Iñigo Elizalde, Daniel Latorre-Cruz, Milo Naval, Val Padilla, Stanley Ruiz, Wataru Sakuma, Vito Selma and Rey Soliven.
See Philippine products designed globally, produced locally. Don’t miss Manila FAME on 17 – 20 October 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila.