Spring food and drink trade fair turns into consumption carnival

Updated: Mar 4, 2024 By Huang Zhiling and Peng Chao in Chengdu China Daily Print
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This month's 110th China Food and Drinks Fair, known as the barometer of the country's food industry, will be transformed from an industrial event to a "city festival" to spark consumer enthusiasm and stimulate economic vitality.

The 69-year-old fair is held twice a year, in spring and autumn. Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, has been the permanent host city of the spring edition since 2011.

Li Minghua, executive deputy director of the fair's organizing committee and chairman of COFCO Sugar, told a news conference in Chengdu on Friday that the 33 spring sessions held in Chengdu had won high praise from exhibitors and been beloved by city residents, and it was the right time to upgrade it into a festival.

With the slogan "Celebrate Spring CFDF after Spring Festival", Li said this year's event will consist of two parts: the exhibition from March 20 to 22, and activities integrating the exhibition and the city from March 8 to 24.

"The event will no longer be limited to indoor exhibitions and trade activities," he said. "Instead, it will turn the whole city into a super hall for food and beverage brands to interact and communicate directly with consumers."

Li said the organizing committee will cooperate with the city government to hold 43 activities in Chengdu's themed blocks, scenic spots, liquor production areas and railway ports, creating diverse experiences for consumers.

A music festival called "Rock Candy", first of its kind in the fair's history, will be held from March 23 to 24. The organizing committee will invite well-known musicians from home and abroad to perform at the festival, bringing together various genres including pop, rock, hip-hop, jazz and electronic music to create a "good-looking, good-sounding and good-tasting" music feast, Li said.

Shi Dongyan, secretary-general of the fair's organizing committee and chairman of COFCO Exhibition (Beijing) Co, said this year's event will feature 11 exhibition areas and 14 special zones, with the total exhibition area hitting a record high of 325,000 square meters.

It is expected to draw more than 6,600 exhibitors, attracting over 300,000 exhibits from 45 countries and regions, as well as over 400,000 professional visitors, Shi said.

"About 30 domestic exhibition groups and 24 international exhibition groups from France, Japan, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Thailand, the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands and New Zealand will participate in the event, reflecting a continuous accumulation of favorable factors for economic growth," she said.

Lei Ting, director of the management committee of the Chengdu International Railway Port Economic Development Zone, said some of the exhibits at this year's fair will be transported to Chengdu on freight trains from Europe and Southeast Asia.

Special trains loaded with overseas products have departed from Tilburg in the Netherlands and Vientiane in Laos and are scheduled to arrive at Chengdu International Railway Port on March 14, he said.

Zhang Chunqi contributed to this story.

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