Sponsored: Shift in GCC consumer demand proves 'healthy' for DWTC's bespoke food trade shows

Health, wellness and provenance in spotlight as value of the GCC food imports is set to top USD53.1 billion

Reports, Gulfood / gulfhost

Innovation, product upscaling, health and provenance certification are leading regional trends expected to drive consumer purchases among the USD53.1 billion worth of food imports Gulf countries are expected to make by 2020.

That prediction is made by Euromonitor International, the official knowledge partner of the Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) bespoke trio of food shows - The Specialty Food Festival, SEAFEX and yummex Middle East - which run from October 30 – November 1, 2018.

With the Middle East and African snacks industry now growing about 5 per cent a year, according to Euromonitor International, yummex Middle East – the region’s leading trade fair for sweets and snacks – will be a test-bed of taste for a market where locally-produced brands go head-to-head with global majors.

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Leading the charge for those homegrown brands at the three-day show will be UAE-based exhibitor BMB (Baklawa Made Better), one of the most recognised confectionary and snacking companies in the MENA region.

Mohamad Khachab, partner and COO, BMB said: “We understand the changing trend towards healthier food options and are committed to meeting the demands by offering “healthier” sweets. The upcoming launch of our new brand Freakin’ Healthy underscores how we listen and adapt to what consumers want.”

“BMB believes in the opportunities presented at yummex, which is why we have been participating every year since 2007. This event is beneficial to us as it opens doors for networking, developing connections, and creating lasting business relations with endless opportunities,” added Khachab

The Specialty Food Festival is a showcase of innovation across six product streams from artisan and gourmet, organic and fresh, fair trade and ethnic, bakery and cereals, nuts, seeds and dried fruits as well as specialty beverages. The visitor experience promises to be as thought-provoking and engaging as the products on offer.

SEAFEX, the professional seafood event, will be heavily focused on sustainable resources and providence.

Norwegian exhibitor Seafood from Norway is a collective mark for Norwegian Seafood products. The association says Norwegian seafood is ‘unique because it not only originates from cold, clear waters, but also utilises several generations of experience and modern knowledge and technology and is harvested and farmed in a sustainable manner’. It is responsible for several million Norwegian seafood meals all over the world daily.

At SEAFEX 2018, Seafood from Norway will be presented by Norwegian seafood exporters, together with Norwegian Seafood Council, representing a wide range of species, such as salmon, shellfish, whitefish and pelagic.

Taiwan’s Ammon International is also meeting demand for a range of alternative species including Mahi, Wahoo, Black pomfret and Unagi Kabayakin. Sourced from top seafood producing countries, the fish are reared following the strictest well water testing control methods to ensure no artificial genes or hormones are present.

“Together these three shows cast a brilliant spotlight on how tastes and consumer expectations are changing throughout the region to fall increasingly in-line with global trends,” explained Trixie Lohmirmand, senior vice president, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC. “Consumers region-wide are becoming ever more discerning in their food preferences, with choices being influenced by health and environmental concerns as well as desire for quality, diversity and convenience.”

Meanwhile, the global trend for healthier ingredients has given added prominence to the benefits of dates and is now reflected in the year-on-year expansion of DWTC’s Global Date Market. More than 15,000 trade buyers from over 110 countries are due at the show trio and Global Date Market, which collectively span more than 20,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Running alongside the annual trio of bespoke food shows will be GulfHost, the complete hospitality equipment sourcing Expo for the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Accessible strictly to business and trade visitors, the shows run 10 am – 6 pm from October 30 - 31 and 10 am – 4 pm on November 1. For the full list of features, showcases and industry trends, visit www.speciality.ae; www.yummexme.com  and www.seafexme.com.

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