Business / Industries

China Catering Expo opens in Shanghai

By XU JUNQIAN in Shanghai ( Updated: 2015-05-15 17:07

The Ninth China Catering Expo opened in Shanghai on Friday, the first time the expo has been held outside Beijing.

More than 700 global brands are taking part in the expo vat Shanghai Exhibition Center, and organized by the China Cuisine Association.

China's catering industry experienced three consecutive years of decline in terms of its growth rate from 2011 to 2013, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In 2014, it grew 9.7 percent, up 0.7 percent year-on-year.

This year is considered a critical one, and will decide whether the industry can return to real growth, industry insiders noted.

Foreign enterprises account for the majority of exhibitors at the expo, which covers 20,000 square meters at the exhibition center.

"China's catering industry has entered a new stage, calling for not only quality products and services, but also a well-tailored business mode and platform," said Park Keun-tae, CEO of CJ Group China.

The South Korean food manufacturer and former parent company of Samsung owns and operates a bakery franchise, Tous Les Jours, and cafe chain Twosome Coffee in China.

It also manufactures and supplies condiments and processed food to restaurants and cafes in China.

Although biotechnology remains the fastest growing segment of the conglomerate in China, Park saw "huge potential" in the food and food service industry in the country. China is the largest overseas market of the company, one of South Korea's top private conglomerates, followed by United States.

Through investment and mergers and acquisitions, the company hopes that by 2020, China could surpass its domestic market to become its biggest consumer market, Park said.

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