Korea’s coffee industry on show

The Seoul Cafe Show is the largest exhibition of its type in Asia and represents one of the region’s best performing coffee markets. While much of the international coffee industry’s attention has been focused on opportunities in China in recent years, one of its neighbours – South Korea – has been quietly developing one of the most dynamic and sophisticated coffee cultures in Asia. One of the focal points for South Korea’s booming coffee industry is the Seoul International Cafe Show. Now in its 16th year, the Seoul Cafe Show has grown to become the largest coffee exhibition in Asia. In 2016, it covered 36,007 square metres and drew in  142,067 people from 76 countries. In total, 580 exhibitors participated in the Seoul Café Show, 20 percent of these coming from outside Korea. This year, the attention of the coffee world will be focused on Seoul from 9 to 12 November as it plays host to the 2017 World Barista Championship (WBC). The  WBC, which is produced annually by World Coffee Events (WCE), is the world’s premier coffee competition, focusing on skills in espresso beverage preparation. In 2017 champions from more than 60 national qualifying events will showcase their chosen coffees in an exciting 15-minute presentation, preparing espressos, milk-based drinks, and signature beverages for a panel of WCE Certified Judges. The show will also feature exhibiting areas for tea, bakery, dessert, ice cream, chocolate, beverage, raw material, machinery and equipment, interior, franchise and start-ups, kitchen appliances and the food service industry. Also running alongside the show will be the World Coffee Leaders Forum (WCLF). The WCLF will be attended by representatives from coffee-related companies around the world, experts, associations, groups, research and education organisations, franchise, distributors, export and import companies, coffee producers, embassies, baristas and consumers to share information on the market, trade, economics, culture, environment, social, technology for coffee industry and discuss future directions. As the sister show of Cafe Show Beijing, this event provides an important link into the growing coffee markets right across Asia. Held in July this year, the Cafe Show Beijing plays important role as a mediator linking coffee-related industries and cultures of Korea and China. With the accessibility earned from Cafe Show’s business platform, exhibitors can access the Chinese market with quality manufacturing technologies. Cafe Show Beijing provided Korean and worldwide exhibitors with not only the venue to promote their products, but also opportunities to seek local distribution and expansion partners. This year, the show has expanded to 615 booths, with 308 exhibitors from 22 countries. The participating countries included Korea, Malaysia, and Indonesia pavilions and Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, and Vietnam. Cafe Show Beijing 2017 attracted around 70,000 visitors, as it has gained attention from global buyers as the largest coffee business show initiating coffee industry trends in China.
The Seoul Cafe Show is the entry point to this circuit and the opportunities that these industries present for any company that has ambitions in Asia. This year’s show will boast 600 exhibitors from 40 countries, occupying 2000 booths, and is expected to attract more than 160,000 visitors from 80 countries. GCR

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