Food and Drink Sector

An Expert's View about Food , Beverages and Tobacco in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 28 Jan 2012

In 2010 Hong Kong was the UK’s 18th biggest export market for food and non-alcoholic drink products. Those exports increased 36% from 2009. Notable areas of growth were meat and dairy products.

Food and Drink Sector in Hong Kong and Macao Hong Kong is a wealthy, cosmopolitan city, with many upmarket restaurants and food retailers. Hong Kongers are generally keen to try out new cuisines. Macao has a thriving hospitality industry with several 5 star resort hotels. Market overview Hong Kong has one of the highest GDPs in Asia and Hong Kong consumers are amongst the most discerning and wealthy in the world. Hong Kong is a very cosmopolitan centre, with many upmarket restaurants and food retailers. Hong Kongers tend to be well travelled and keen to experience new cuisines. There is also a large, diverse expatriate population in the territory. Eating out with friends is a popular and regular pastime and corporate hospitality is an important feature in the business world. The cosmopolitan environment also means that international food and beverage products are in demand for consumption in the home. Due to its geographical location at the heart of Asia Pacific, Hong Kong also serves as a re-export hub for China and other Asian markets, with the potential to reach far beyond Hong Kong’s 7 million consumers. In 2010 Hong Kong was the UK’s 18th biggest export market for food and non-alcoholic drink products. Those exports increased 36% from 2009. Notable areas of growth were meat and dairy products. In the first six months of 2011, Hong Kong remained the UK’s 18th largest export market for food & non-alcoholic drinks, with a year on year increase of 27%. Meat and cereals were two of the largest categories of exports during that period. Although a much smaller market than Hong Kong, Macao has been developing rapidly for a number of years, since the liberalisation of the gaming industry and the opening of several new resort hotels. Gaming revenue now exceeds that of Las Vegas, and Macao’s GDP per head now exceeds that of Hong Kong. The food and hospitality industry in Macao has grown rapidly alongside the gaming industry. Key opportunities ξ High quality confectionery and biscuits ξ British products unique to the local market aimed at British expatriates or Hong Kong residents who have lived in the UK ξ Sauces and flavourings, including herbs and spices ξ Beer, Whisky and Spirits ξ Tea, coffee and soft drinks ξ High quality meats (including beef) and seafood products ξ Dairy Products ξ Organic and Fair Trade Products Latest export opportunities – Food & Drink Latest export opportunities – Hong Kong Getting into the market For food and drink products for the food service sector, or for both food service and retail, the most popular route to market is to appoint a distributor based in Hong Kong. UKTI Hong Kong has successfully helped many UK food and drink exporters to find suitable distributors. Hong Kong is a duty free port, and import and export licence requirements are minimal. Import duties apply only to tobacco and spirits. There are general labelling requirements for pre- packaged food – the name of the product, list of ingredients, use by or best before date (day/month/year), statement of specific conditions of storage or instructions for use, name and address of manufacturer or packer, and the count, weight or volume, should all be listed, in either English or Chinese or both. Since 2010, additional regulations have been in place relating to the nutritional labelling of pre- packaged foods. Most pre-packaged foods must carry a nutritional label meeting specified requirements although some exemptions do apply. UKTI Hong Kong can provide further details. There is also a requirement for health certification for certain products including meat and dairy and regulations regarding products using additives (preservatives, colouring and artificial sweeteners). Some restrictions still remain in place for imports of British beef. More about doing business in Hong Kong Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists based overseas - or contact your local international trade team. ξ Caroline Sprod, Assistant Trade Commissioner, British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2901 3360 or email: caroline.sprod@fco.gov.uk. ξ Timmy Lau, Trade Adviser, British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2901 3178 or email: timmy.lau@fco.gov.uk Contact your local international trade team UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events – Food & Drink Major Events Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2012 Date: 11-13 September 2012 Website address: www.restaurantandbarhk.com Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2012 Date: 8-10 November 2012 Website address: www.hktdc.com/hkwinefair Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 28 January 2012

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