News From : DagangHalal.com (18 Oct 2009)
COLOGNE, Oct 19 (Bernama) — Malaysian companies that participated in the just-concluded ANUGA fair of Cologne, the world’s largest food fair and a barometer that indicates trends in the world’s food trade, bagged good business deals despite the economic uncertainties and downturn in demand.
The 22-member Malaysian companies, 13 of which first-time exhibitors at the fair, displayed a wide range of food items including biscuits, cookies, ready-mix coffee, mooncakes, palm oil and palm oil-derived products, tomato ketchup, pudding, desserts, cereals and frozen food.
Mohamad Sabri Ab Rahman, Malaysia’s trade commissioner based in Frankfurt, said Malaysian companies were able to clinch businesses despite the economic slowdown that continued to plague consumer confidence and drive down demand.
Data furnished to Sabri’s office by individual Malaysian exhibitors showed orders worth RM8.7 million were received during the show while there was a strong possibility of further orders worth RM19 million would follow.
The exhibitors said most of the businesses were received from countries outside Europe. Besides businesses from new buyers, there were also a good number of repeat orders for new products from existing clients.
A leading UK-based supermarket and other supermarket chains in Europe placed orders with Malaysian companies at the fair.
While palm oil and palm oil-based products generated good demand, other products such as frozen seafood and crackers better known as “Mr Potato” were also popular.
Sabri said Melaka-headquartered Mr Potato exports to more than 80 countries.
“Mr Potato seems to have been doing its home work well as far as marketing in foreign markets is concerned,” he said.
Another popular item that interest buyers at the fair was the “corn-in-cup” sold by Nelson Franchise.
Sabri said Nelson Franchise is intensifying its exports to penetrate into new markets and strengthen its position in existing markets.
Though Malaysian companies are gradually being bitten by the export marketing bug, they need to take a strategic approach by participating in trade fairs and using them as a marketing tool.
This is being done by countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia and not to mention the two giants — China and India — whose presence in numbers at trade shows was dominating.
Malaysia could utilise its strength and expertise in areas such as halal food products for which Germany and other western countries with a growing Muslim population offer a niche market.
Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that buy halal food products from other countries, including Malaysia, are themselves becoming halal food suppliers.
Penang, keen to profile itself as a halal hub, was represented by Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Othman, who made a pitch for his state as a halal hub and highlighted the halal facilities.
The Frankfurt-based MATRADE office also promoted the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May next year.
“The idea is to provide visibility to Malaysia’s prowess in the halal industry. This is also a good way to promote Malaysia’s halal exports.
“As foreign buyers come to participate in MIHAS, they will realise that Malaysia is not just an exporter of halal products, but has highly specialised know-how in this field,” Sabri added.