The global packaged food market is expected to reach $2.2 trillion by 2020 mainly driven by the demand from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market and Asia-Pacific region, said a report released ahead of a key industry event in Dubai UAE.
The Gulfood 2017 is the world’s largest food and hospitality show, which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from February 26 to March 2.
The 22nd edition of the event will see the most significant representation of leading food and beverages (F&B) brands in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, said the event organisers.
More than 140 major international food and beverage producers will come together at the new Power Brands segment at Gulfood 2017.
Power Brands is one of eight dedicated segments now housed within Gulfood to ensure buyers can navigate the expansive show more effectively. The other sectors are: Beverages; Dairy; Fats & Oils; Health, Wellness & Free-From; Pulses, Grains & Cereals; Meat & Poultry; and World Food.
Represented by a contingent of major food industry heavyweights including Unilever, Nestle, Del Monte and Iffco, the throng of leading F&B brands will go on display at the top industry event.
Commenting on the influx of world-class food producers and distributors at the show, James George, analyst, Euromonitor International, said: “Manufacturers and distributors alike are looking at the Mena as one of the key growth regions. This is mainly fuelled by a handful of markets particularly the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”
“Through new entrants or brand expansion, many brands will look to capitalise on the growth potential that these regions offer with significant investments across the region. The need for quality products and services will continue to rise as a growing population drive increased demand in the food and beverages sector,” remarked George.
Capitalising on this growth curve, the new Power Brands segment at Gulfood will connect regional buyers with international producers and distributors of both high-end and household name food and beverage brands in one place, it added.
Heloise Buzet, the head of marketing (Mena) at Del Monte (UAE), said: “2017 is a special year for Del Monte as we are celebrating our 125-year anniversary. We have come a long way, focusing always on quality, product innovation and freshness.”
“During these years, Del Monte kept its promise by serving a meaningful cause – the health of its consumers – and providing nutritious, convenient and affordable fresh products,” remarked Buzet.
“For us, Gulfood and the new Power Brands segment in particular is an amazing opportunity to do business. As a truly global event, we are able to examine trends while increasing our trade networks to export on an even more significant scale,” she added.
Furthermore, Fonterra – the world’s largest exporter of dairy products – is set to debut at Gulfood with its eyes firmly set on Mena region growth.
“Built on the expertise and heritage of New Zealand dairy farming, Fonterra is behind brands known and loved by millions of people in more than 140 countries,” said Santiago Aon, the general manager for Fonterra Middle East.
“We have supported the growth in dairy consumption across the Middle East and Africa for more than 40 years and we are focused on future investment and growth in this important region,” noted Aon.
“Gulfood is a great opportunity for us to showcase our high-quality NZMP ingredients and Anchor Food Professionals products. We are keen to engage with customers to better understand and meet their evolving needs,” he added.
Products being featured in the Power Brands segment at Gulfood 2017 include elite brands distributed regionally by La Marquise International, a specialist department of regional sector heavyweight Buhaleeba Group’s Foodservice Division, and Spanish food and beverage leader MVF Select.
La Marquise, who recorded a 25 per cent increase in sales in 2016, will use Gulfood 2017 to promote a range of speciality products including Saffron Syrup by 1883 Maison Routin.
“Our Gulfood stand will be interactive and engaging because we want our visitors to feel like they’re not at an exhibition, but in a bar with 1883 Maison Routin, or in a coffee shop with Pellini or a gourmet store with IRCA, Palais du Chef and MEC3.”
MVF Select, which markets its products as perfect for “the most discerning palates”, is looking to its fifth Gulfood showing to introduce ‘Spherification Products’, a natural health product of fruit and honey, as well as its star performers – original Organic Caviar and Halal Meats and Pâté (deer and ostrich).
Yamila Tawfik, MVF Select’s International Business Manager, said the region was a very important market for the group.
“It’s the connection between Europe and Asia and offers great potential as a fast-growing market in high gastronomic products,” he added.
The F&B purveyors are among 140 headline names lining up for Gulfood’s first Power Brands feature.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior VP (Exhibitions & Events Management) at DWTC, said: “With more than 5,000 exhibitors, Gulfood is the perfect springboard for major distribution players who are looking to demonstrate their innovative products and solutions to international retailers.”
“The show will provide a unique experience for buyers sourcing a full spectrum of boutique and household name brands,” noted LohMirmand.
“Following unprecedented demand for space, the new Power Brands platform will read like a Who’s Who of the F&B world, reflecting the growing need for quality products and services in this region,” she added.