Trade ministers and top-level decision makers feature prominently among global food industry delegations descending on Gulfood 2019 – the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, which returns to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 17-21 February – as international food producers aim to cater for soaring food demands across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
Amongst the 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors displaying innovative, new-to-market products and solutions to service the region’s rapidly evolving food industry landscape, national zones from West to Far-East will shine a light on how established and emerging food producing markets are adapting to meet the MENA region’s food and beverage needs, where food and beverage sales are estimated to reach USD130 billion in value by 2021, according to Gulfood Global Industry Outlook Report 2018.
From Wales to the world – via Gulfood
A Welsh Government delegation will lead the country’s Gulfood presence as part of its mission to grow the Welsh food and drink industry by 30 per cent by 2020. The Welsh will display hundreds of products from companies renowned for high-quality beverages, dairy and meat.
“The GCC continues to be a key priority market for Welsh food and drink exports, which recorded 41.6 per cent growth between 2014 and 2018, with 19.3 per cent growth in the UAE alone,” said Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs for the Welsh Government. “With the UAE building up to Expo 2020 Dubai, our confidence in this sector underpins the importance of the UAE market to Wales.”
Traditional food industry powerhouse France will highlight the country’s multifaceted export potential with a beefed-up Gulfood presence at this year’s show. Led by Business France, the national agency which supports the international development of the country’s economy, French companies will span four of eight Gulfood segments: Dairy; Meat and Poultry; Beverages and World Food.
France exported more than USD1.4 billion worth of products to the GCC in 2017, with Saudi Arabia now ranked as the European nation’s 17th biggest export market and the UAE sitting 24th. French food exports to the UAE have grown by more than 213 per cent since 2010 and reached USD446 million in 2017.
“The F&B export industry is vital for our sustainability and it is something we work on and produce with passion,” said Marc Cagnard, Managing Director at Business France Middle East. “We have been strong supporters of Gulfood since 1987 and France is bringing this passion to the show again in 2019. France is now the second largest European supplier to the UAE’s F&B industry and we are committed to fostering continued F&B business between France and the wider region.”
Made in Germany
Fellow industry heavyweight Germany is participating for a 10th straight year and its presence at Gulfood 2019 will be the country’s largest to date. Some 70 German companies will be represented across four halls, displaying an array of culinary specialities and new and innovative products featuring the renowned “Made in Germany” trademark.
“We are delighted to be at Gulfood for the 10th time. Come and meet the German exhibitors at Gulfood 2019, find out about German foods and taste some light refreshments from Germany offered by our show-kitchen or on-site at the company booths,” said Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Vice-Minister for Food and Agriculture.
Treats from the East
Enterprise Singapore, the government agency championing trade and enterprise development, heads to Gulfood amid a burgeoning food trade relationship with the UAE. The Emirates are one of the city state’s top destinations for food exports, with trade standing at USD70.2 million in 2018. At Gulfood, the Tasty Singapore area – a ‘supermarket meets technology’ concept – will see 46 Singapore food companies, including 14 first-time participants, display new ingredients, products and technological developments in food manufacturing, packaging and retailing.
Singapore companies are set to launch a range of new-to-region products, including traditional bite-sized satay (meat skewers) snacks, as well as exotic Southeast Asian-flavoured delicacies such as soursop, dragon fruit jams, and yuzu and mango cheesecakes.
Europe can answer region’s food needs
Making its Gulfood debut this year, the European Union (EU) will highlight the diversity and quality of food products from across the 28-country bloc led by Agriculture and Rural Development commissioner Phil Hogan. The UAE ranks as the EU’s 13th biggest export market for agri-food products, the value of which reached USD3.3 billion in 2017.
The EU’s presence will complement its member states’ individual stands at Gulfood by focusing on live cooking shows and masterclasses in Gulfood’s Tastes of the World area. Chef Charles Soussin, from France and Celebrity Chef Mona Mosly from KSA (jury of Top Chef Arabia) will demonstrate the quality and adaptability of EU products through exclusive recipes mixing European and Arabic flavors.
The high level of interest from national trade agencies and organisations reinforces Gulfood’s position as a ‘global food trade power brand’, say show organiser.
“The Middle East and Africa are poised for robust F&B growth between now and 2021, which puts Gulfood top of the agenda for existing exporters and market newcomers,” explained Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “Dubai’s strategic position as a re-export hub and gateway to growth markets underpins why Gulfood remains such a vitally important event for trade delegations worldwide.”
Gulfood 2019 is a trade event open strictly to business and trade visitors. The show is open 11am-7pm from February 17 – 20 and 11am-5pm on February 21. For more information, visit www.gulfood.com