Singapore doubles presence at Gulfood 2011 following strong year for F&B exports to GCC Countries
Singapore companies target growth in health and wellness, convenience and Halal food sectors
Dubai UAE, Sunday, 27 February 2011
The surge in Singapore’s food and beverage exports to the GCC countries in 2010 has attracted the biggest contingent of food companies from the island nation to this year’s Gulfood exhibition, the world’s largest and most influential annual trade event for the industry. Breaking its own participation record set last year, Singapore has a show presence of some 40 food and beverage companies represented at the Tasty Singapore pavilion. This turnout is almost double that of the 25 companies that presented last year.
The Tasty Singapore pavilion in Halls 7 and 9 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre will showcase the country’s latest flavours, trends and food innovations from 27 February to 2 March. The pavilion is organised by by the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) with the support of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa) and IE Singapore, the lead government agency promoting international trade and Singapore companies’ growth overseas.
Leveraging the Tasty Singapore brand name, an initiative launched by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in 2004, the 40 Singapore food companies will be exhibiting under a collective brand identity that is defined distinctively through the key attributes of diversity, innovativeness, quality and safety. These companies not only adhere to the most stringent international food safety standards such as Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Points (HACCP) and ISO 22000, but also offer a diverse range of products that include authentic culinary cuisine that truly define Singapore’s rich multi-cultural heritage and openness to foreign culture.
“Among Singapore’s top food exports to the region are milk and dairy products, cooking sauces, seasonings, beverages, chocolate, as well as edible oil - namely sesame and palm oil products. But beyond these traditionally strong exports, Singapore companies are also eyeing growth opportunities in the health and wellness, convenience and Halal food sectors,” said Dean Tan, Centre Director of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore’s overseas centre in Dubai, UAE.
A total of 16 companies will be unveiling new products at the Tasty Singapore Pavilion during Gulfood 2011 including three global launches that highlight the worldwide trend for a return to healthy eating. These include Chia Kim Lee’s Lychee and Longan fruit drinks – flavours that are native to Southeast Asia and which are rich in antioxidants; Breakfast Bites by Country Foods, a nutritious and convenient snack specially created to bring the most important meal of the day to time-poor individuals; and CHIEF Red Palm Oil by Sime Darby, a multipurpose cooking oil that is naturally cholesterol-free and rich in carotenes and other phytonutrients important for good health.
Also making its global debut is ICE COOL’s Cappuccino and Milk Coffee drinks from Litat Import & Export. The company, which has added coffee flavouring to its popular ready-to-drink range, joins Boncafe and Owl International, two other Singapore drinks manufacturers, in reaffirming caffeine’s position as a mainstay of the speciality beverage segment.
With 50 percent of the population demographic in the Middle East under the age of 25, snack and convenience foods is also a key growth area for Singapore companies. Asia Farm F&B, the only manufacturer in the world to offer ready-to-freeze and preservative-free ice cream, returns this year with a new range of premium fruit dessert puddings. PomeFresh Organic introduces its Otrimix Oats Beverage, a convenient and light meal packed with powerful nutrients from whole-grain ingredients. Combining authentic flavors of Asian cuisine with convenience, Gan Hup Lee will be introducing its YAMIE range of ready-to-cook premix rice, which offers consumers the taste of traditional Singapore food such as chicken rice, yam rice and claypot rice.
With a majority of the world’s Muslim population (about 60%) living in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore companies are also among the top manufacturers of Halal-certified products. This is another factor contributing to Singapore’s F&B export growth in the Middle East, which continues to have the highest percentage of Muslim majority countries. Total food domestic exports from Singapore to the GCC hit US$107.5 million in 2010, a rise of 16.3 percent on 2009. This makes the GCC region the 10th largest export market Singapore food manufacturers, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar among the top performing countries. Given the strong food export growth, many Singapore food companies are now broadening their offerings to introduce Halal variations of traditional cuisines, such as dim sum from Sin Mui Heng and fish and chicken luncheon meat from Thong Siek.
Driven by the increased popularity of Southeast Asian cuisine in this region and Singapore’s reputation as a reliable source of high quality food products, the growth outlook for Singapore F&B exports to the Middle East is encouraging.
“Restaurant chains like Jumeirah Group’s the noodle house have really awakened residents across the Middle East to the unique fusion style of Singapore cuisine. This has in turn stimulated demand for Singapore ingredients and food products in local supermarkets. But most importantly, Singapore’s stringent food safety standards make us a reliable and trusted trade partner. We are looking forward to another successful year at Gulfood and to further strengthening bilateral trade relationships on behalf of our exhibitors and partners,” added Tan.
Gulfood is a trade-only event and is open to business and industry visitors – for more information visit www.gulfood.com
About the Singapore food manufacturing industry
Over 700 Singapore food manufacturing players are engaged in various aspects of food production, with over half catering mainly to overseas markets. Some S$2 billion, or 49%, of Singapore’s food domestic exports was made up of exports to key markets like Japan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. In 2010, Singapore’s total food domestic exports amounted to S$4.04 billion, up 15.07% from S$3.51 billion on year.
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