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Get a taste of Asia’s best food products, flavors, and ideas at IFEX 2019

Though he maintains a simple diet of skinless chicken and salad, Pope Francis does have his culinary weaknesses too. He loves pizza and once said he wished he could sneak out of the Vatican to enjoy a slice or two. And how about the time he visited the Philippines in 2015 and chowed on carb-rich risotto, ciabatta, and carbonara, then gave in to his sweet tooth by feasting on a dulce de leche sponge cake? En route to Rome, he even packed a generous supply of Filipino-made ice cream!

While he certainly relishes a good meal, he also doesn’t waste it. “Our grandparents used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food,” he said before a weekly audience at St. Peter’s Square in 2013. “Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value. Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and hungry.”

That’s something to think about daily and when you drop by the 13th International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines.

Running from May 24 to 26 at the World Trade Center in Manila, this year’s IFEX Philippines is called NXTFOOD ASIA, a venue that brings together the best food products, flavors, and ideas from Asia under one roof. It’s also the place to find out about upcoming food trends as well as a great meeting ground for leading local and international buyers and grocers to source ingredients and establish contacts.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) is the organizer of IFEX Philippines. It is co-presented by the Macro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport).

Here are highlights of the three-day event:

Friday, May 24, 2019

  • 9 am: Registration
  • 10 am – 7 pm: Three-day exhibition of over 500 participating food companies representing a wide array of categories (from beverages and dairy and eggs to grains and cereals, meat and poultry, marine products, and natural and organic products).
  • 10 am – 7 pm: Three-day IFEX Connect Business Matching for trade buyers and exhibitors
  • 10 am – 4 pm: Seafood Samplers (open to trade buyers only) Premium Local Tea Tasting
  • 10 am – 6 pm: Premium Local Tea Tasting
  • 12 nn – 6 pm: Cooking Demo
  • 1 pm – 3 pm: Food Tasting in Style @ Islands on a Plate

Saturday, May 25, 2019

  • 11 am – 1 pm: For Very Important Buyers: By-invitation-only Food Tasting in Style @ Islands on a Plate
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Artisan Cheese Appreciation Session

Sunday, May 26, 2019

  • 9 am – 12 nn: Food Caterers Association of the Philippines General Assembly

Want to know more about IFEX? Visit their website at or email them at [email protected].



Text by Joy Rojas.

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