WOFEX 2018 was held last August 1-4 at World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center . This is the biggest World Food Expo in the Philippines by far and we haven’t been to any of it since we were abroad (to be honest I’ve been eyeing to go there for the past 2 years). So this year we really wanted to be there to check out potential suppliers, new products and even new business opportunities that we can start with a low investment. We’ve been waiting for it since February so imagine the wait and anticipation.
Entrance fee for WOFEX 2018 was PHP 200 per person. And interestingly enough, we were thinking if its worth it. We booked 3 cakes on those days and we were really thinking if we can still squish in a day to attend the ever so popular WOFEX 2018. And even if we do, do we have the energy to roam around? because we were spent from the 2 cakes and have another cake the next day (yeah, we haven’t gotten to the point yet that we can make a cake on a whim). The weather wasn’t so ideal either, it was quite far and its a bit pricey to get a Grab car from home to the venue and definitely we would be hungry (especially me). Lastly, there’s the stuff that we might potentially buy.
Yes, we are kuripot like that! The thing is we are on a strict budget, since its baking-related all expense was from the “business” fund and nothing from our personal money should be used. Also, I pride myself on being thrifty to be honest, but everything goes down the drain when it comes to food haha. ( Sabi nga ng nanay ko when I was a kid “okay lang gumastos, basta sa pagkain. Basta di ka gutom” And I take this to heart hehe, maybe that’s why takot akong magutom :p ) So there, we were thinking of not going but I was itching to go just thinking about the taste-testing that I could miss. We already decided the night before, to just go and check it out. Just for fun, F posted on her Facebook stories – Sana may magbigay ng Freepass sa WOFEX 2018.. because you know she was hoping for the Universe to just give it to her. Low and behold, before the day ended the miracle came!- my cousin- Ate Amen saw that post and messaged me that she has a friend whose an exhibitor and can give us a free invite. Look at that! Who doesn’t love having free stuff eh?
August 4 came, that was the last day of WOFEX 2018 in Manila and also the only day we are available to go since we still have another cake to deliver the next day. With not enough sleep and only our enthusiasm with us, we went on our journey for the great food-tasting, kidding! (maybe not?). The strategy was to go to World Trade Center first (because that’s where most of the suppliers are) and then SMX last (for free lunch, choz!).
We met Ms. Cherry at World Trade and she gave us our free passes, woohoo! So, upon entering we needed to fill out the invite to register and then they will give you a sticker badge like the one below.
We entered the gates of WOFEX 2018! Woohoo! As expected, most exhibitors at World Trade are generally suppliers though some also retailed their items. Immediately, we saw booths for baking supplies one after the other. Almost every booth were giving away free tastes of their products (which made me so happy haha). From potato fries to wagyu beef and wine to juices, they have it all. There’s also a lot of suppliers for food production equipment from medium to large scale production. By the way Ms. Cherry (the one who gave us a free pass) works at Potaoes USA and she gave us a tote bag with freebies and a BAKE recipe book where you can replace some ingredients with potato. A part of their company also sells different kinds of nuts. You might want to check them out if you are looking for suppliers.
It took us about an hour and a half to roam around the entire grounds of World Trade. We reached the venue almost around 12 noon so by the time we were done, we were really hungry. Even with all the free tastes in wasn’t enough for our hungry tummies (especially mine). Another great thing about WOFEX 2018 is that, they have a shuttle from World Trade to SMX and vice versa. You don’t have to wait that long as well, hired private vans with WOFEX 2018 banners arrived every 5 minutes. It wasn’t crowded and there were marshals assigned to regulate the crowd. We were at SMX after roughly 15 minutes.
So SMX exhibitors were generally for consumer-ready products, food franchises, ingredients. So there were more free tastes in this part of the event and that meant more people. We tried to taste test almost everything they can offer, it was easy to taste the food but the beverages… well imagine tasting a cold juice, then wine after, then a frappe, then another juice and then hot coffee.. F was almost afraid that her tummy will act up after all the tastings, so we ditched the beverages.
Was it worth it? Even if we paid the entrance fee ourselves, I can 100% say that going to WOFEX 2018 was worth every peso. Whether its for business or just for fun, it’s definitely something that one must experience especially if you’re a food enthusiast. Free food-tastings aside, you would learn more about where your food comes from, how it was made and processes behind it. You will discover new products and brands both local and international, I specifically loved the ones that promote local products. Especially local chocolates like Auro Chocolates and Malagos Chocolate ( I believe its really time for the Philippines to promote cacao farming, its profitable, we got the resources and our country is ideal to grow it).
If you are looking for suppliers for packaging, food products, food service or anything FOOD you must visit WOFEX. They exhibit every year so you will always get your chance. Check out the exhibitor list so you know which brands/exhibitors to target especially if you are there for trade.
Now if you happen to be in Mindanao, you can still catch WOFEX 2018 at SMX Davao from August 23-25. Here is an obligatory photo of me awkwardly standing with my possum-ous smile to close this post.