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UAE a vital international hub for halal food trading
By William Faria February 28, 2017
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DUBAI: Halal World Food is a show-within-a-show concept at the ongoing Gulfood 2017 exhibition that entered its second day on Monday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This major global trading platform generates lucrative investment opportunities for international food and beverage (F&B) businesses looking to capitalise on the burgeoning halal sector that is witnessing significant growth in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries across the world.

Reflecting the UAE’s strategic position as an international centre for halal food trading, Halal World Food which returns for its 4th edition at Gulfood 2017 showcases the full spectrum of halal products – including vegan and vegetarian food, meat and poultry, canned goods, energy drinks, gourmet and much more.

A cross-section of global exhibitors, confirmed that they have been signing mega deals with local partners from day one of the event.

Brazil stand

A total of 87 Brazilian companies are participating in the Gulfood 2017, under the banner of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).

Brazil and the Arab World continue to maintain strong ties as shown by data on their trade level for 2016. For that period, Brazilian exports of foodstuff amounting to $8,604.61 billion, with Saudi Arabia ranking first at $2,079.92 billion or 24.17 per cent, followed by Egypt with $1,361 billion at 15.82 per cent and the UAE with $1,321.73 billion at 15.36 per cent.

Of the total exports, sugar ranked first with the highest amount and percentage with $3,640 billion at 42.30 per cent of the overall, followed by Meat at $3,518.58 million at 40.89 per cent. Cereals ranked third at $527.35 million at 6.13 per cent.

“We believe that sectors such as meats will greatly benefit from having dedicated spaces as many buyers are aware of the premium quality meats being offered by Brazil and can survey the wide options available within the hall. In line with this, the meats hall will be featuring a customary tasting place for buyers to sample the delectable selection of beef and poultry from Brazil. A specialty chef will also be there to present delicious and mouth-watering appetizers prepared with traditional Brazilian ingredients to be served at the World Food hall,” said Dr Michael Alaby, CEO, ABCC.

India Gate

Through its India Gate brand, Indian rice-producing powerhouse KRBL – the world’s largest rice miller and Basmati rice exporter that produced the Guinness World Record heaviest bag of rice at Gulfood 2016, is keen to make another big statement this year by showcasing its quinoa, the first such grain to be grown in India, further highlighting how it remains ahead of the competition and adapts to changing.

Priyanka Mittal, member of the Board of Directors at KRBL Limited said: “KRBL is committed to being the first to provide the newest, wholesome food products with unique health benefits. In 2006, we were the first to launch a unique rice product under India Gate Classic brand, which had long grain and low glycemic index. Now, our focus in enlarging that basket to provide additional healthier grains, which address lifestyle diseases and concerns of obesity, diabeties, mental health etc. India Gate Quinoa is first amongst the multiple product the company intends to launch during the year.

India Gate and KRBL already enjoy strong market share in the Middle East with the company the first rice manufacturer to launch Basmati rice under its own brand in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest Basmati rice market. India Gate is a dominant market leader in India& UAE with a massive 35 per cent market share as per AC Nielson.

Russia

Russia has mounted a pavilion at World Food – one of eight specific shows-within-the-show features of Gulfood 2017. World Food is the biggest of the new feature segments boasting 2,353 exhibitors from 60 countries.

Russia’s best-selling bottled natural mineral water – once the preferred choice of the country’s Imperial family – is to go on sale in the UAE after its producers signed a distribution deal at Gulfood 2017.

The Aqua-Vait water, which is taken from the natural springs of the historic spa resort of Essentuky in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, is now to be distributed by Dubai’s Vitaimax Trading LLC.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s Elite Mineral Trading, which operates out of the Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, struck a distribution deal with a second Russian water producer – this time the elite mineral group of Zheleznovodsk (meaning iron water place) in Russia’s mountainous Stavropol Krai region.

 Elite Mineral Trading, established specifically to market the Elima sparkling water and Luxor flavoured water brands which are produced from mineral water wells in organic land in the Caucasus, have been adapted to meet GCC regulations and regional tastes.

Dairy products

Anchor Food Professionals, a leading dairy foodservice supplier of the Middle East are also showcasing at the five-day event.

Anchor Food Professionals’ innovative range of dairy products and services will enhance the company’s leading position in the Middle East where its team of in-house advisory chefs work alongside customers to support their business growth – key to helping the Middle East foodservice industry meet growing demand for high quality dairy and capture growth in the business of food.

Alastair Bruce, General Manager, GCC for Anchor Food Professionals, said: “The Middle East is a dynamic region where many international players are expanding and experimenting with new concepts, especially cuisine inspired by Western cultures or distinctive local offerings. With rising incomes and growth of out-of-home dining expanding the regional foodservice industry, operators are increasingly seeking premium dairy solutions to meet demand for excellence, convenience, great taste but at the same time, economic viability.

Hype energy

Hype Energy, which manufacturers the popular Hype Energy Drinks, continues an objective of consolidating its footprint in the Middle East and pursuing expansion opportunities in Asia.

On its all-action, two-level stand, Hype Energy Drinks is showcasing a real F1 race car and conduct extensive product sampling at a high-energy ‘Charge Up’ station on the ground floor, while the company’s CEO, Bertrand Gachot, and regional sales and marketing teams host regional distributors and retailers in a tailored meeting space on the top floor.

“Gulfood presents a unique opportunity to display our full product range to a highly-focused trade audience seeking new flavours and innovative sugar-free and low calorie products that meet consumers’ changing preferences,” said Gachot, a former F1 racing driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.

With the global soft drinks market expected to grow at a rate of 2.4 per cent this year, and the Middle Eastern and Asian markets predicted to swell by 4.3 per cent over the next five years, Hype Energy’s sales forecast for 2017 is a minimum of 200 million cans - a 25 per cent increase on 2016.

“Following very successful previous outings at Gulfood, our target this year is to identify new distributors which boast broad international networks of major retailers. We are sourcing distributors that can expand the Hype Energy brand into high potential growth markets and further increase our global sales,” he added.

Hype Energy drinks are available in more than 45 countries spanning from the Middle East to Africa and North and South America. The company headquarters is in Dubai with satellite offices in Europe and the US.
 

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