GULFOOD 2011 GENERATES PHENOMENAL GLOBAL GROWTH FOR REGION’S FOOD & BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
World’s Biggest Annual Industry Show Delivers Record Breaking Results for Organisers, Exhibitors and Trade Visitors
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Gulfood 2011, the world’s largest annual trade show for the food and beverage industry ended on a record high this year with an unprecedented number of visitors, exhibitors and business transactions recorded during the four day event.
Visits to Gulfood this year by both the Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero and Deputy President of Republic of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay highlighted the global reach and stature of Gulfood.
The show which ran from 27 February – 2 March 2011 is the biggest exhibition to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and attracted 62,024 trade visitors – an increase of 12% over last year – from more than 150 countries. In excess of 1 million square feet of exhibition space was allocated to 3,800 exhibitors bringing products, services and innovations the Middle East from 100 countries around the world.
“Gulfood not only generates growth for the food and business industry on a truly global scale, the event also contributes measurably to the economy of Dubai by attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the city,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the exhibition. “The continued support from countries within our region as well as those around the world has enabled Gulfood to grow into the most influential industry show and to play the role it does for the region.”
Brisk business trade was reported from exhibitors across all sectors of the show, from retailers through to food producers, distributors, equipment manufacturers and service providers. While final figures for confirmed orders are not yet available, information received so far indicates record sales levels across the board.
German professional equipment manufacturer, Baking Technology began trading at Gulfood a day early this year after signing a deal for a AED 1 million baking oven while their stand was still being constructed, and setting the tone for one of the company’s busiest business weeks.
Adel Al Nowais, Managing Director of Federal Foods, one of the top FMCG marketing and distribution companies in the UAE, believes Gulfood offers the best opportunities for the company to expand into untapped food and beverage categories and brands: “We closed five new deals in different categories this week – two confectionery and chocolate, one in snacks, one in dairy and one in eggs. Gulfood is the place to meet suppliers and manufacturers, particularly of the most prestigious brands in the world that are eyeing the market as a potential opportunity. We have applied to double our space for next year as we believe this show holds the greatest promise.”
Leading Middle East retailer, Choithrams, also reported strong business during the show. From a continually crowded stand, Choithram’s Director Manoj Thanwani confirmed that Gulfood made it possible to meet the company’s many suppliers and partners from around the region, in one place, and made excellent business sense.
Confirmed orders at the US Pavilion this year reached a record high of US$34 million with many more expected to be facilitated as a direct result of Gulfood. Jude Akhidenor, Regional Director of the Agricultural Trade Office of the U.S. Consulate, said: “The GCC is now one of the top 10 markets for US agricultural exports, and the business transactions conducted here this week affirm the key role the region is playing in generating global growth for the industry.”
The show was also highly successful for South East Asian countries. Chief Executive of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said: “Fifty-four Malaysian food and beverage companies took part in Gulfood this year, achieving sales during the four-day event of US$16.2 million through their participation. The GCC market offers a tremendous export opportunity for Malaysian companies wishing to enter this market.” According to MATRADE an additional US$28.5 million in potential sales is currently being negotiated.
Sweden took part in Gulfood 2011 with its first pavilion, grouping all exhibitors under one banner. Mona Hedenskog, Project Manager at the Swedish Trade Council said: “This is the first pavilion at Gulfood although a few Swedish companies have participated before. Our exhibitors are interested in establishing contacts in the MENA region and Gulfood allowed us to test this market. The feedback from companies has been great and the show has definitely met our expectations.”
UAE based giant Masafi, who returned to Gulfood for the fifth time this year reported excellent new business prospects from beyond the GCC, including Morocco, Lebanon, Japan and a number of countries in Africa and Asia. Makram Haidar, Brand Manager for Masafi said: “This year has also brought a new segment of visitor to our stand in the form of wholesalers and retailers, and a valuable addition to our traditional visitor profile of exporters and buyers.”
While many of the thousands of exhibitors at Gulfood have been longstanding participants in the show, more than 1,400 companies were able to showcase their products and services for the first time this year, including a number of international market leaders. PepsiCo’s debut at Gulfood generated strong export market introductions and business deals for the company, not only from the Middle East region but also a substantial number from Africa and Europe.
Ahmed El Dafrawy, North East Africa Franchise Manager for PepsiCo said: “Gulfood has provided a great opportunity to penetrate markets within the region and to meet with African markets that currently have no PepsiCo manufacturing. We were delighted also with the number of traders that attended the exhibition from the European markets – we did not expect this.”
Global giant, DuPont was equally surprised by the global diversity of the show’s trade visitors. Heike van de Kerkhof, Director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers commented: “This is the first year that we have exhibited at Gulfood and while we anticipated receiving leads for the Middle East region given the geographic location of the show, we were delighted to receive multiple business enquiries from well beyond, including Australia and Canada. There has also been a lot of interest from visitors in our sustainable products and we have been pleasantly surprised by the traction that sustainability is gaining in the Middle East.”
Gulfood was chosen as the ideal platform for new product launches by both local and international companies seeking maximum impact and exposure. Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, conducted a high profile global unveiling of one of its latest innovations, the DreamCap™, on the opening day of the show. Riccardo Castagnetti, Marketing Director, Tetra Pak Arabia explained: “We considered Gulfood the perfect environment to unveil our latest innovative packaging solutions, and we did so together with one of our major customers, Al Rabie Saudi Foods Co.- the first company in the world to apply the DreamCap™ to its popular 330ml range of juices and chocolate flavoured drinks. The response has been excellent.”
UAE-based Al Ghurair Foods announced the opening of the first oat milling factory in the region during Gulfood, as well as the introduction of Jenan Oats, the newest addition to Al Ghurair Foods’ flagship product range. Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of Al Ghurair Foods said: “Gulfood has provided us with an ideal platform to strengthen our position as a leader in the food manufacturing industry and the opportunity to explore wider markets and new horizons. We are pleased to stand out once again in one of the best international trade events in the F&B industry.”
In line with industry growth in the region, Gulfood’s dedicated co-located show Ingredients Middle East posted excellent business results for both visitors and exhibitors. Döhler, a global supplier of natural food and beverage ingredients considers Gulfood the key default marketing activity in its annual business plan. “Gulfood provides us with the platform to meet visitors from across the region from all aspects of the food & beverage industry. This year we have 50 different innovations being showcased on our stand – Gulfood is an essential facilitator for our business success here,” said Bala Nair, Deputy General Manager, Döhler Middle East Ltd.
Lesaffre, the world leader in the baking yeast market and a participant at Gulfood for 15 years, continues to grow its presence at the show. Laurent Groux, Marketing and Innovation Manager, Overseas Region for Lesaffre said: “We exhibit at three key food exhibitions around the world including SIAL, but we consider Gulfood the best in terms of being the most useful and the most efficient for growing our business. The highlight for us this year has been in the number of African contacts we have made at the show. Africans are the third largest bread consumers in the world, so this is a key target market for Lesaffre.”
Industry Excellence and Insight
In addition to the billions of dollars in business deals transacted during Gulfood, the show also highlighted excellence in the industry through the annual Gulfood Awards, of which there were 19 category winners this year, and through the much anticipated Emirates International Salon Culinaire competition which attracted entries from 1,500 professional chefs around the region.
Delegates at the Gulfood Conference enjoyed privileged access to global experts and leaders during the two day conference, to gain valuable knowledge on innovations, trends and growth opportunities in the industry. Gulfood returns next year for another spectacular trade show from 19 – 22 February 2012.
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
As the organiser of Gulfood 2011, Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 31 years experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.
Our commitment to ongoing innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.