GN Focus | Gulf Food

All that’s new

The growing food imports to the Gulf and popularity of the trade fair have encouraged companies from around the world to launch at Gulfood

  • By M. Sen Special to GN Focus
  • Published: 00:00 February 25, 2013
  • GN Focus

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives/Asghar Khan

The annual Dubai food services exhibition, Gulfood, will once again function as the launch venue for enterprises aiming to reach consumers in the Middle East. Food imports to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries alone are expected to reach $53 billion (about Dh194 billion) in 2020, more than double the 2010 figures, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The world’s biggest annual food and hospitality show will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre this week. More than 50,000 brands across every sector of the industry will be on display, with exhibitors coming from as far as Brazil, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, France, the US and Vietnam.

First timers

Brunei will be participating in the show for the first time, promoting its Brunei Halal brand. The government-backed brand will launch its latest range of pre-cooked, ready-made meals, which will consist of popular Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisines. The company will also showcase dry food products.

Products at the show encompass all aspects of the industry. Claranor, the world leader in food packaging with pulsed light sterilisation, will debut at the show to promote its technology. “Taking part in Gulfood provides a chance to promote technology and devices among players in the highly dynamic Middle Eastern beverages and dairy products market,” Managing Director Christophe Riedel said in a statement. Claranor already has nine devices installed in Saudi Arabia.

InSinkErator, the world’s largest manufacturer of waste disposers and hot water taps, is set to launch its latest products including a new line of steaming hot water taps, the Aqua Saver AS101, a fully programmable water saving control panel, and the Waste Xpress (WX300), a high-performance waste reduction system at the show.

European chocolate brand Valrhona officially launches its new generation of gourmet chocolate, Dulcey, at the show. “All I can tell you is that it is not dark chocolate, it is not milk chocolate and it is not white chocolate – smelling of toasted Breton short bread and caramelised milk with intense biscuity flavours and a creamy texture, Dulcey is a completely new creation by Valrhona and offers an irresistible chocolate taste sensation,” says Zeyneb Larabi, Sales Manager, Middle East, Valrhona.

South African brand McNab’s Feel Good will be launching a range of energy-boosting and nutritious products at Gulfood. These include Wild Baobab Fruit Chews, made with real African fruit and free of artificial flavourings and sweetners, and FeelGood SuperChill, a new calming supplement that addresses micronutrient deficiencies caused by poor diet in a unique sedative-free formulation.

Innovations in technology

New Zealand firm SIG Combibloc, one of the world’s leading aseptic packaging solutions providers, will exhibit its range of flexible packaging solutions. It launched its activities in the Middle East in 2001 in partnership with Obeikan Investment Group (OIG). In addition to showcasing its comprehensive aseptic carton packaging range for food and beverage, SIG Combibloc Obeikan (SIG CBOB) will unveil two new innovations — the combiXSlim and the combidome. The new formats are part of this year’s exhibit theme — Great packs come in all shapes and sizes.

The former answers the current market trend in the Middle East, Africa and Asia for more kid-friendly carton packs. As for the latter, Martin Schmedes, SIG CBOB’s Cluster Head for the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt, says all will be revealed at the show. “After last year’s success at the Gulfood and winning an award for Best New Packaging Innovation — Drink, the team at SIG CBOB is pleased to be part of this prestigious trade fair again. We wouldn’t like to reveal the scoop on the combidome, but let’s just say the convenience of a bottle meets the flexibility of the aseptic carton pack and will definitely get your consumers thirsty for more,” he says.

From Denmark comes Snowflake, a brand that manufactures 600-litre refrigerators and freezers and distributed by Hoshizaki-Gram Middle East. The brand makes its first stop in the Middle East at Gulfood with a mission to fulfil the need for price-friendly products while offering quality designs. Les Simmons, Branch Manager at Hoshizaki-Gram Middle East, says the brand stood above the competition. “We can see that the trend towards low-price alternatives to the major brands within refrigerator and freezer technologies has attracted a number of cheap products. Unfortunately, many are not reliable and some do not even fulfil legal requirements. With Snowflake, we wish to offer a fantastic price point, good quality, high energy efficiency, and the backing of our major European company — all in the same package.”

Opportunity for UAE companies

In addition to international companies looking for partners in the UAE, enterprises headquartered here are aiming to leverage Gulfood’s networking aspects to grow their business.

Nadiya, the luxury dates company, has created an exciting new range of delicious chocolate dates, which will be launched at the show.

Also at the show, Hype Energy is set to launch its latest product: Hype Energy Up. A new concept in energy drinks, the cranberry-flavoured drink leaves a zingy, cool, minty aftertaste in the mouth and is packed with 10 vitamins, ginseng and guarana.

French Bakery, a successful restaurant business in Dubai for more than 15 years, will be presenting its new concept store at Gulfood, with French guest star chef Jean-Michel Perruchon in attendance.

— M.S.

GN Focus