7 New Filipino Chocolate Treats at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA

Raw cacao beans and chocolate branded bars are lined up in front of the Philippine Cacao Pavilion.

Delectable, decadent and delicious.

These are just some of the flavors that describe the country’s chocolates and cacao-based products, which are being showcased from May 24-26 at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion in IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

“Buyers and visitors from major target markets abroad were delighted with heavenly treats by makers of cacao—also known as the ‘Food of the Gods’—at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion,” said Pauline Suaco-Juan, the Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the organizer of the event.

Here are 7 of the newest Filipino chocolates spotted at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion:

68% Dark Chocolate – Mango by Auro Chocolatesimg2

Auro Chocolates presents a new experience to enjoy Philippine-sourced chocolate and mango with 100 percent of the fruit but without the added sugar. Each piece of this new product is carefully freeze dried to a crisp, giving everyone the crunch and none of the oil.



Tangy Granola with Green Mango and Cacao Nibs by Wit’s Sweets and Savouries


Wit’s Sweets and Savouries prepared its Tangy Granola by combining mood-boosting cacao nibs with the tangy flavor of green mangoes to give an energizing and palatable flavor in every bite. Aside from tangy, granolas are also available in classic tasty, spicy, zesty and in coffee flavors.




Arabica Chocolates by Dulche Chocolates

Bringing the first chocolate brand from Benguet, Dulche Chocolates offers in its Arabica Chocolates two of the best Philippine agri-commodities from the highlands: coffee and cacao. This bitter-sweet concoction is a perfect treat for coffee lovers.




Dark Chocolate Nibs with Cranberries by Chocoloco

Cacao nibs are basically the purest form of chocolate that give you more cacao bean health benefits since it undergoes less processing stages. With its Dark Chocolate Nibs, Chocoloco uses fermented cacao beans which are then perfectly roasted, cracked and coated with premium organic coconut sap sugar.



Cacao Tea by Cacao Culture


Different from the usual tablea, Cacao Culture offers Cacao Tea that is made of 100% cacao husk, or the outer shell of the cacao beans. The husks are from high-quality cacao beans grown, harvested and processed in Davao City—the  “Chocolate Capital of the Philippines.”





Pili Choc by MS3 Choco

Another energizing offering under the Philippine cacao pavilion is the Pili Choc by MS3 Choco made from premium cacao combined with pili nuts which are a significant source of essential minerals, proteins and vitamins.





100% Cacao Bar by Chocoliz/Saret Organic Farmville

This new offering by Chocoliz is a sugar-free, guilt-free, dark chocoloate-tasting candy bar made with organic cacao grown in Luzon by Saret Organic Farmville. This chocolate bar undergoes minimal processing to retain the natural health benefits of cacao.

Minimally processed cacao helps fight against cancer, cardiovascular & kidney diseases, stress and anxiety. It is good for the brain, heart, blood and skin.

Cacao is one of the Philippines’ “Premium 7” export products and has been produced in the country since the 17th century. The Premium 7 exports include coconut, coffee, banana, pineapple, mango and tuna.

All of the three varieties of cacao beans are present and grown in the country. The majority of cocoa beans produced are mid-value Trinitario beans. Criollo beans, which are mainly from older trees, have lower yield but are still being produced while higher value varieties of Forastero beans are beginning to be planted in some local farms.

To know more about Philippine cacao and chocolate products, visit IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA happening on May 24 to 26, 2019 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

The “next big thing” in Asian food to be served at IFEX Philippines 2019

  • Presenting ‘NXTFOOD ASIA,’ this year’s edition will showcase the next big thing in Asian food featuring the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the food industry.


Are you ready for the next big thing in Asian food?

Discover it in the upcoming 13th edition of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on May 24-26, 2019.

Presenting ‘NXTFOOD ASIA,’ this year’s edition will showcase Asian food featuring the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the food industry with the participation of Asian food manufacturers, experts, culinary masters, enthusiasts and other stakeholders in the food world.

IFEX Philippines is the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients organized by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).

“See, taste and experience the next big thing in the future of food in the Philippines and other countries as we serve you the flavorful selections that emanate from our deeply rooted Asian culinary tradition and heritage,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

“Be part of this gastronomic celebration to discover the finest food and ingredients, iconic culinary fusions, home-grown delicacies and latest food trends that Asia has to offer, as well as experience the world-renowned hospitality of the Filipino people,” she added.


Asian Food Bonanza

Culminating this year’s edition is the exhibit of ‘Asian Food Champions’ featuring international country pavilions such as China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and other Asian countries. It shall be complemented by the ‘Asian Flavors Avenue’ where a variety of Asian cuisine will be offered to event participants, buyers and visitors.

“With the show’s strong reputation and our aggressive marketing campaign, we hope to get the support of Asian embassies, tourism promotion organizations (TPOs), marketing agents and well-known Asian restaurants to sign up for the event,” said Suaco-Juan.

Welcoming buyers and visitors with an appetizing zing will be the corner for fermented Asian food with a palatable selection of iconic pickles, relishes, condiments and tangy selection. It will feature the sweet, sour, salty and fermented preserves from various Asian countries.

“The flexibility of Asian food will also be put to the test in an Asian noodle exhibit which will highlight the range of traditional to ready-to-eat noodle products in their various forms, shapes, colors and flavors,” added Suaco-Juan.

A new much-awaited exhibit is the ‘IFEX Degustacion: Islands on a Plate’ that will host a unique food tasting experience and retail section in a ‘fiesta’ setting featuring home-grown food brands and best-known delicacies originating from various regions in the Philippines with a unique culinary heritage. Along this setting is a beverage lane that will give buyers and visitors a preview of the latest in fruit- and vegetable-based alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, juices, wines and spirits where Filipino home-grown beverages and top local brands will be featured.

“We’re also very excited to debut ‘The Cold Room,’ an innovative exhibit designed to feature various Philippine seafood like tuna, prawns, octopus, seaweed and other high-value marine food products in an actual cold storage facility open to the guests,” Suaco-Juan said as she described how buyers and visitors will have the chance to taste and sample fresh sashimi, ceviche and shrimp cocktails.


Global PH food firms step up

Another exciting addition is the ‘Food Philippines’ hall which shall be the premier venue for top Philippine food brands with a strong presence in the global food market. It shall house the country’s exporters of Premium 7 products and the next rising stars in Philippine food, as well as consolidators representing Philippine food exporters.

“The country’s Premium 7 export products are banana, mango, pineapple, coconut, tuna, coffee and cacao. These commodities are tagged as the Premium 7 since these have been the Philippines’ leading food export for the longest time,” said Suaco-Juan.

Meanwhile, the next rising stars of Philippine food include calamansi (Philippine lime), pili nuts, ube (purple yam), and fruit and vegetable-based beverages.

According to Suaco-Juan, these exhibits are only teasers of what is to come in IFEX Philippines 2019. Buyers and exhibitors can expect this year to be more oriented towards oriental flavors as the show strengthens its position as a premier sourcing event for Asian food and ingredients.

In 2017, IFEX Philippines was one of the official business events during the country’s hosting of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit. The show paved the way for more opportunities and innovations around the world with the showcase of the Philippines’ best and overseas participation of Asian countries like China, South Korea, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

Last year, the three-day event was relaunched as an annual trade show. It showcased Asian food products from nearly 600 food exhibitors and welcomed more than 7,000 visitors including over 1,800 trade buyers from 40 countries around the world.

Visit www.ifexphilippines.com/ to sign up for the event or to check out more details. Follow IFEX Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates on the event.

From Shelf to Saucer: Tablescapes by Detlef Klatt at IFEX Philippines

The Manila Gusto Gallery: Food for the Soul

For the uninitiated, food exists solely as a means to satisfy the need for nourishment. But for German designer Detlef Klatt, food is a luxurious experience that deserves to be prepared and packaged as such.

“I’m all about using style and presentation to add to the overall experience of eating,” explains Detlef.

Detlef is referring to his fine practice of combining food with cutlery, china, and other dining implements to create dramatic table settings, otherwise known as tablescaping. A master florist and home design specialist by trade, Detlef was commissioned  by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) to create a new concept  in food presentation that will combine the best Philippine food and home style products. It is Manila FAME meets IFEX Philippines, two of CITEM’s signature events that promote design, lifestyle, and innovation in home, fashion, and food.

The food experience

 To support his point, the highly decorated designer cites the practice of presenting food as gifts. Before, the de facto informal food gift meant either wine or chocolates that were paired with flowers. Now, the practice has expanded to include just about any food product, for as long as it is packaged elegantly.

Styling, he adds, enhances the overall dining experience, and turns even the most mundane food items into valuable gifts. There is so much potential for nurturing this practice in the Philippines, especially with the local tradition of giving pasalubong  food as souvenirs.

According to Detlef, this tradition is likewise widely practiced in Europe, where people consider it a privilege to receive food gifts that have been personally  prepared, cooked, and beautifully packaged by the giver.

DETLEF KLATT, designer and master florist.
DETLEF KLATT, designer and master florist.

Local materials for local flavors

Having spent the past two decades going to and from the Philippines to source materials for his German home design firm, Detlef has developed an affinity for local fare. The Philippines, he says, has unique local resources with a hundred different stories, which can be used as inspiration for food preparation.

Detlef cites his experience with a local delicacy while spending a weekend in Sorsogon, where caramel-coated pili nuts were served to hotel guests and were wrapped in banana leaves, giving the guests a totally warm feeling of receiving a special treat!

“The whole thing just looks as wonderful as it tastes,” he adds. “In the province, this choice of packaging material is just based on what’s abundant. But for me, it feels like one of the most luxurious packaging materials for their product. Packaging is usually mass-produced and machine-made. But here, suddenly, you have packaging that is obviously done by hand, and it adds to the whole experience by telling a story about where the product comes from.  Instead of wrapping it in cheap and clear plastic, this simple product from the province has now been turned into a magnificent and meaningful treat.”

Room for improvement

The challenge, he says, lies in making local culture rise above overwhelming amount of fast food and throwaways.

“Globalization has made everybody in the world lose a little culture, but I find it unfortunately excessive in the Philippines. In some places I visited, there is still a lack of local culture in presenting food,” he laments.

Detlef is quick to say, though, that culture in food presentation has not died completely. There remains places all over the country where people still serve food in baskets lined with banana leaves. “Not only is it simple and beautiful, but very sustainable as well,” he says.

He stresses that local food businesses should capitalize on the country’s rich heritage to market local food. If there is a story behind a certain product — special fruit from a certain place, for example — one could easily add value by telling a story through packaging and presentation.

Taking Filipino food to the global stage 

Detlef’s food presentation and tablescapes will be unveiled as “The Manila Gusto Gallery” in the 10th International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on May 21-24.

“The theme is mostly contemporary, but inspired by elements from the 1920s and the 30s,” says Detlef.

The theme will focus on the grandeur of Manila’s pre-war era cafes and restaurants. Set in the premier show for Asia’s ethnic food and ingredients, Detlef hopes that “The Manila Gusto Gallery” will elevate the consumption of food into something that satisfies both body and artistic sensibilities.

Detlef Klatt
Detlef’s work included exhibition design and product development for various wholesale companies in Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and China. This year, he will highlight native Filipino food in ‘The Manila Gusto Gallery,’ a series of tablescapes that will be unveiled at IFEX Philippines 2015.

The International Food Exhibit (IFEX) Philippines 2015 is the premier show for the finest ethnic Asian food, ingredients, and raw materials. Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the exposition features over 750 exhibitors from all over the world, and is recognized as an official event of the 2015 APEC Summit. For more information, visit ifexphilippines.com

Visit Tablescapes by Detlef Klatt for more information.