Next Big Trends: Collagen Beauty Drinks, Dried Lizards, and Frozen Sharks

Categories: Travel Hog
Photo by Riki Altman
If you missed the first part of our travel log from Thailand, click here to find out more about condom salad and cooking with poo.

The annual THAIFEX World of Food Asia show is an international trade fair held annually in Bangkok in late May and June. It's an offshoot of ANUGA, the world's largest food and beverage trade fair held annually in Cologne, Germany. The fair covers foods and beverages, catering, food technology and more, and hundreds of vendors and buyers come from around the world to explore the offerings. Over 1,000 exhibitors showed at this year's event and, blessedly, most of them offered samples.

Based on what I saw at THAIFEX 2011, here are my predictions for some food trends that may travel across to our time zone:

Photo by Riki Altman
Beauty drinks: These were everywhere. Asians seemed more keen to slurp collagen than that taurine we inhale in the form of energy drinks. Companies were injecting CoQ10, aloe, and lycopene, too. (Note: I realize that we've had a few of these introduced into American markets, like Borba, but my theory behind their failure is that they were priced out of reach.)

Photo by Riki Altman
Seaweed snacks: Seaweed is still mostly foreign to the tastebuds--outside of the occasional sushi restaurant visit--but with a little seasoning dried seaweed can easily take the place of potato chips.

Photo by Riki Altman
Wheat grass: One company sold grow-it-at-home kits and offered tastes of muffins, smoothies and baked goods made with the stuff. If you can ignore the forest green hue, the stuff doesn't taste too bad when mixed with other ingredients. And the health benefits are undeniable.

And then there were the items I sense aren't going to take off in the U.S., such as...

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My Voice Nation Help

Oooh and the obsession with bloody sharks fin in Thailand drives me NUTS. It's looked at as a 'hi-so' (high-society) thing so, here, they always serve sharks fin at company dinners etc, as it makes the company look 'successful'.

The Thais are lovely, but you could never accuse them of caring that much about animals, overall.


In my decade living in Thailand I've gone from thinking seaweed was the grossest stuff ever to going into withdrawl if I don't get a dried seaweed snack at least a couple of times a week :)

As long as you don't buy the stuff that's really loaded with salt, it's actually really good for you and only about 30 calories a pack!

Not sure if the collagen in drinks does anything though?  Like you said, it's in boatloads of stuff here (I drink it in my soy milk) but I honestly doubt it really does much, LOL.


Great insights, Reeves. Sounds like you are a more seasoned traveler than I. Totally macked on my leftover bag of seaweed chips tonight before dinner. Seriously addictive!

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