Hong Kong Food Expo sellers bait early birds with big discounts

Some 1,500 exhibitors will head to the city for the event, but sellers’ expectations are mixed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 10:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 10:51pm

Fans of the annual Food Expo, who have been known to turn up early and joyously lap up abalone for only HK$1, will have other discounts to scramble for this year, like a HK$3,000 travel token or 100 pieces of fish siu mai.

The expo, from August 17 to 21 at the convention centre in Wan Chai, will have nearly 1,500 exhibitors from 25 countries.

One of them will be On Kee Dry Seafood. On Kee will reward the first 10 opening-day visitors with a chance to win discounted abalone and dry seafood in a contest with a HK$1 entry fee. Winners will get their hands on a bag stuffed with abalone and other dried food products.

Another vendor, Cougar Hong Kong, will invite their first 10 visitors to join a contest to win a travel token worth HK$3,000. They will also sell 20 packs of instant vermicelli worth HK$500 at HK$1.

Early visitors can also buy 100 pieces of fish siu mai, a box of mooncakes, some kitchen utensils and more for just a dollar.

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Back for its 28th edition this year, the annual food gala attracted a record 490,000 visitors in 2016.

Vendors’ expectations for this year’s edition were mixed.

Richard Poon Kuen-fai, managing director of On Kee, did not predict any increase in sales this year and said he only hoped sales could match last year’s, amid a lacklustre economy. To boost sales, his company planned to hand out HK$5 coupons with every HK$100 purchase. “The only way to boost consumption is to cut prices until the customers are willing to buy,” Poon said.

But Cougar’s brand manager Bianca Wan Cheuk-gee said she was optimistic, eyeing a 10 to 20 per cent boost in sales this year.

This year’s 1,500 exhibitors include newcomers from Canada, Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Thailand. More than 330 will be from Japan.

An Italian truffle supplier, Boscovivo, will exhibit their products in Hong Kong for the first time in their 35-year history.

The company’s export general manager Silvia Landucci said they hoped to spread the culture and tradition of their hometown.

“We think that there is a good market for our products [in Hong Kong],” she said.