Companies looking to tap into the long list of high-quality ingredients and versatile cheeses that meet consumers’ needs for nutrition and taste should make it a priority to visit the U.S. Dairy Pavilion (F2-34, Hall 2). The 22 participating companies represent a broad swath of U.S. dairy resources including processors, export marketers, traders, and suppliers for the 24th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food, beverage and hospitality exhibition.
The Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates, is a key market for U.S. Dairy, with a rapidly growing population that is interested in high-end products and a conducive business environment that is open to trade. U.S. dairy products exported to the Middle East, Morocco and Egypt from January-November 2018 amounted to 62,882 MT worth around $224 million.
Beyond the large presence at Gulfood, the U.S. Dairy Export Council® (USDEC) has ongoing programming to further support U.S. cheese entry into key retailers across Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. The multifaceted retail program builds on product education and merchandising training for buyers and store staff as well as sampling support to encourage consumer trial. With more than 600 varieties of U.S. cheeses, the region can benefit from the infusion of many new cheeses and award-winning popular choices as well. USDEC also launched a cheese certification program to educate chefs about the craftsmanship, variety, innovation and versatility of U.S. cheese and grow demand within the foodservice sector.
Angélique Hollister, Vice President, Cheese Marketing said, “Milk from 1 in 7 trucks leaving American dairy farms ends up in products and ingredients sold overseas, making serving export markets an ever-important area of focus for our industry. We are meeting the evolving needs of the region’s dairy demand by establishing partnerships with retailers, high-end foodservice entities, culinary institutes and universities.
Economic growth in the MENA region is forecast to reach an average of 2.6 percent in 2019-2020 supporting imports of dairy products. MENAwill account for as much as 24% of world dairy imports in 2027. The U.S. dairy community is increasing engagement and visibility in the MENA region of both cheese and ingredients to benefit the region’s vibrant business success.
About U.S. Dairy Export Council
The U.S. Dairy Export Council® (USDEC) is a nonprofit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. USDEC aims to enhance U.S. global competitiveness through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. As the world’s largest producer of cow’s milk, the U.S. dairy industry offers a sustainably produced, world-class and ever-expanding portfolio of cheese varieties as well as nutritional and functional dairy ingredients (e.g., skim milk powder, lactose, whey proteins). USDEC, together with its network of overseas representatives in the Middle East and around the world, also works directly with global buyers and end-users to accelerate customer purchasing and innovation success with quality U.S. dairy products and ingredients.