The event is one of three specialized food events for Thaifex’s World of Food Asia umbrella. It will feature exhibits from more than 100 equipment and service providers from throughout the world. Leading sponsors currently include Italasia (representing Italian coffee giant Illy), Espressoman displaying Sanremo espresso machines, and Thailand-based manufacturers K2 and Boncafe.
Organizers of the event say it is in response to growing specialty coffee retail markets throughout Asia, particularly an industry-wide increase in cold drink consumption.
“The profile of coffee shop owners in Asia today are more educated and will customize drink choices in response to customers’ demand,” Pavinee Khetphanasant of Boncafe said in a press announcement. “In turn, they see the value in investing in better machines and products in their pursuit for a superior coffee.”
Khetphanasant suggests that 40 percent of coffee shop drink revenue globally comes from cold drink sales, and that that number may be as high as 60 percent in Southeast Asia, where huge chains like Starbucks and McDonald’s (McCafe brand) have made huge investments in brick-and-mortar stores over the past three years.
“The consumer wants the products and smaller operators are able today to offer high quality beverages that are as good as the multi-nationals, at lower prices,” Khetphanasant says.
The World of Coffee & Tea event will also bring back a “Roaster’s Choice Award,” which debuted at the Thaifex main event last year. Organizers say the awards program, led by the Barista Association of Thailand, is designed in part to help raise the international profile of coffees produced in Southeast Asia. The awards program area will be served by a tasting bar featuring some 40 of the region’s best coffees.