Desserts! Snacks! Global 'mood food' at the 5th CIIE

Li Fei
This year's China International Import Expo offers a selection of international food products, with naturally sourced baking ingredients and cross-cultural cuisine the focus.
Li Fei

Considered as "mood food," worldwide snacks and desserts are becoming increasingly popular in China.

Among some of the popular products on display at the 5th China International Import Expo, Cambodian purple cashews have attracted a beeline of visitors to the booth presenting agricultural products from members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

According to Zhang Long, deputy general manager of the Integrated Business Division at Shanghai KJ Import & Export Co Ltd, China is Cambodia's largest trading partner, and more than 50 percent of its processed cashew nuts are now exported to China.

"Last year, we learned that Cambodia has high-quality purple cashew nuts, so we exhibited the product at the 4th CIIE. The cashew nuts received a lot of attention from consumers. This year, we started importing them," Zhang said.

Desserts! Snacks! Global 'mood food' at the 5th CIIE

The Cambodian purple cashew nuts

The purple cashew nuts are now available at Hongqiao 365, a shopping center for imported goods exhibited at the CIIE.

At the Trinidad and Tobago booth, their typical aromatic bitters have drawn a lot of attention. The bitters are flavored extracts made from infusing herbs, bark, roots, fruits and flowers in flavorless alcohol to create a concentrated formula.

"It can be used to mix drinks or bakery, even a bath oil," Huang Sheng, manager of Caribbean Business Management, told Shanghai Daily.

Danish chocolatier Anthon Berg puts baijiu (Chinese liquor) and Denmark chocolate together.

"Baijiu is the 'drink of the emperor'," said Jacob Thomsen, area director of Toms Group Asia, "so what Anthon Berg has done is to put the drink of the Chinese emperor and the royal chocolate of Denmark together for an incredible product."

Desserts! Snacks! Global 'mood food' at the 5th CIIE

Baijiu chocolate of Anthon Berg is displayed on the 5th CIIE.

At this year's CIIE, global food group Savencia made its fifth appearance, showcasing a wide range of renowned brands.

A big highlight this year is the launch of New Zealand dairy brand JOYHANA and its first UHT whipping cream product. JOYHANA has a strong and natural dairy flavor with a light texture, making it an ideal ingredient for pastries and desserts.

"With the rise of local pastry brands like Hutouju or Grand Liz, the market for Chinese local pastry is booming. We're also exploring collaborations with these brands. I could give you some examples. Grand Liz uses ELLE&VIRE products in their star dessert paste and sweet fermented rice from Chongming pasture," said Denis Vergneau, general manager of Sinodis, a subsidiary of Savencia.

Desserts! Snacks! Global 'mood food' at the 5th CIIE

Denis Vergneau, general manager of Sinodis

"As a French food company, we're also exploring how we can combine Chinese and French food culture through innovative ways. Letting more Chinese consumers enjoy the charm of French cuisine is something we hope for," he added.

In addition to the whipping cream, Valrhona Selection's brand Adamance was also exhibited at the CIIE for the first time, featuring its Frozen Fruit Puree product. The puree contains 100 percent fruit without added sugar and additives, and is available in a range of flavors.

Adamance ensures traceability and the impeccable quality of fruit, by working with professional fruit growers. The brand is committed to maintaining sustainable agriculture and bringing healthy, high-quality, delicious fruit purees to consumers.

According to Denis, Chinese consumers are shifting their focus to protein. Products such as cheese contain significant calcium, vitamin B and protein intake, making it an ideal alternative to meat.

Popular products on exhibit at the 5th CIIE include cream, butter and cheese, CORMAN, known as the "butter expert," and LESCURE, a century-old AOP butter.

"Dessert is widely recognized as an excellent way to help people relieve stress and boost happiness. Consumers are pursuing a healthier diet, which pushes us to introduce pure and naturally sourced raw materials, so as to convey a new lifestyle with a focus on indulgence and health," Denis shared.

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