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November 2022.

We are honored to be invited as trade guests to visit COEX Food Weed 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Credits to partners from Axquisite and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) for organizing and making this trip possible.

After 2 years of lockdown and travel restrictions, our team are excited to finally have the opportunity to visit another country! Furthermore, the weather is perfect between 10 degrees and freezing point - amazing for the deprived Singaporean who experienced too many summers.

COEX Food Week in Seoul is an industry trade show for food & beverages, one of the largest and most established of its kind in Korea. From raw materials, to fresh produce, machineries and packaging to confectionary and spirits, the show is a melting pot where scores of industry players (more than 800 companies to be exact) come together to showcase their offerings.

The purpose of our visit is to look out for new trends and technologies in the food industry that can be implemented back home. We also took the opportunity to connect with industry experts in hope of future business collaboration.

Trying out Traditional Food & Innovative Products

Kimchi is a crucial part of the Korean's diet

Ginseng is a key ingredient in many traditional Korean food! Not only that, it also provides a multitude of health benefits.

It is also the first time I have tried whiskey made from local korean barley. The taste profile is fruity and smooth, a little bit similar to Japanese whiskey but lighter in body.

Robotics x Coffee

Manpower has always been the primary concern for F&B operators in Singapore (and many parts of the world). Therefore, the draw to automate processes and produce consistent products has been the center of attention over the last decade. This led to the race of many companies to develop be most agile and efficient robotic arms.

Robotic arms have been traditionally used by the automobile industry for precision engineering. Its popularity is on the rise as companies start to realize the boundless possibilities and potential it has to solving highly technical processes as well as manpower inconsistencies.

Although some will argue that the art of coffee making is highly dependent on the baristas and a cup of coffee made from a machine tends to be lacking of luster, I will like to think that machines are here, not to take away jobs but to help us do things better - just like the invention of the espresso machine 1901. Automation reduces the need for physical, repetitive motions and that ease up the laborious process in the food industry, allowing the people to focus on providing greater customer service where the human element is irreplaceable.

During our visit and discussion with the exhibitors, we found that the technology still in its nascent stage. But I am happy to witness a team of highly dedicated individuals putting together their collaborative knowledge and technical skills to be inventive in solving problems in the industry.

Being in the industry helped us realized the many flaws and potential in this project. Our team had a fruitful discussion with the parties involved in the innovation of the arms and will be looking for potential future collaboration in the development of our own automated systems.

The journey to COEX Food Week 2022 is rewarding and pegged with high levels of sharing and business networking, high is invaluable to the future of our business. Our team at Kings Cart Coffee look forward to future learning opportunities with e2i.

We highly recommend industry partners to take the opportunity to visit COEX Food Week 2023 next year.


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