Singaporean F&B companies look to Gulfood as a key platform to expand to GCC
Singapore exhibitors generated US$14 million in sales from Gulfood 2011; expect to net more in coming year
Dubai UAE, Monday, 13 February 2012
Singapore food and beverage (F&B) companies participating in Gulfood 2012 are expecting to net even stronger sales in the coming year through the tradeshow. Exhibitors generated close to US$14 million in food and beverage sales to the GCC as a result of participating in Gulfood last year. This has driven the growth of Singapore food exports to the GCC to US$286 million in 2011, an annual compounded growth rate of 16 per cent since 2006.
Some 40 food and beverage companies will be representing Singapore at Gulfood 2012 as part of the Tasty Singapore country pavilion. With half of those companies unveiling new products, organisers are expecting sales to pick up from the previous 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 19 to 22 February. The pavilion is organised by the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) with the support of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. IE Singapore is the lead government agency driving Singapore’s external economy by helping foreign companies and governments partner with Singapore-based enterprises for growth.
A key driver of Singapore’s F&B export growth in the region has been demand for South East Asian cuisine in the UAE, Singapore’s largest export market in the GCC. Growing at an annual compounded rate of 11 per cent, Singapore food exports to the UAE reached US$123 million last year.
Mr Lester Lu, IE Singapore’s Regional Director for the United Arab Emirates based in Dubai said: “The GCC region has become Singapore’s ninth largest market for F&B exports, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait among the top performing countries. Most Singapore F&B companies in the Middle East enter the market via the UAE as it is a distribution hub for the region. Having gained market knowledge and a track record, these companies then look to expand their presence across the GCC. This expansion is being driven, in part, by a growing demand for quality Southeast Asian food products and concepts as the local community becomes more familiar with our distinctive and spicy flavours.”
“Gulfood has proven to be a key enabler of Singapore’s growth in F&B exports to the GCC region. In fact, it is recognised as the primary selling platform for any Singapore food company wanting to tap this market. In addition to the transactions made onsite, our exhibitors are able to cultivate relationships with distributors and negotiate annual or even longer term sales contracts,” Mr. Lu added.
An example of a Singapore company that has been successful through Gulfood is returning exhibitor, Sin Mui Heng, a food manufacturer specialising in frozen dim sum. The company recently listed its range of Halal dim sum in 10 ZOOM convenience stores across Dubai. Its preservative-free dim sum and low-sugar buns are some of the healthier, authentic-tasting and high-quality Asian products that Singapore manufacturers have brought to the market.
Among Singapore’s top food exports to the region are milk and dairy products, cooking sauces, chocolate, as well as vegetable oil. Beyond these traditionally strong exports, Singapore companies are also eyeing growth opportunities in the health and wellness, convenience and Halal food sectors.
Singapore’s exceptional food safety record is also a factor in the country’s food export success story. Singapore’s food industry commits significant resources to ensure its products adhere to the most stringent international safety standards. These standards include certification by Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and British Retail Consortium (BRC) as well as compliance with ISO 22000, a food safety management system standard, and ISO 9001, a more general measurement of quality management.
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International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is the government agency driving Singapore’s external economy. We spearhead the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies and promote international trade.
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