The food industry in the exhibition sector has been undergoing significant growth in Asia, where the culinary scene is vibrant and diverse. This growth is driven by various factors, such as increasing consumer demand for diverse culinary experiences, rising interest in food sustainability and innovation, the globalisation of food cultures, and the popularity of food-related events and festivals. It cannot be denied that there is a gap in the market for food exhibitions for it to reach a new high or success seems to get smaller in terms of creating a unique selling point for their shows and expanding the diversity, which sooner or later may become a great challenge for PEOs to create a new show in the food exhibition section.

A new focus for PEOs to create a competitive advantage and a successful show in the food industry is to look beyond the original way and dive down to niche markets with the demand that is not only reflected in the target segment of exhibitors and visitors but also co-ordinate with the government policy or strength of the country’s economy.

In Asia, there has been a notable rise in the prominence of food hubs, which serve as centralised platforms for food-related activities, including production, processing, distribution, and consumption. For example, Thailand’s positioning itself as one of the leading global hubs for quality agricultural products and food, along with the Thai Government’s ‘soft power’ strategic plan, creates an opportunity for many food shows to grow. One of the most successful shows is THAIFEX-Anuga Asia, one of Thailand’s most extensive food and beverage industry exhibitions. The show verifies that Thailand’s niche food market is growing alongside the mainstream food market: sustainability in products and packaging, plant-based food, and clean-label products. Consequently, it creates more competitiveness in the market; existing and new companies are launching and extending their products, prompting many food producers to develop further Foods Innotech, which spotlights Thailand’s potential to be one of the world’s largest plant-based food producers shortly.

This is only one of many successful examples that make the most of the government policy and strength of the country’s economy along with adopting a strategic approach of niche marketing in the food industry. These kinds of exhibitions can act as catalysts for economic development, promoting entrepreneurship, fostering collaboration, and facilitating knowledge exchange within the food industry.