Strong attendance at specialist food shows: The Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX and Sweets & Snacks Middle East
Global food services industry vying for a slice of the lucrative GCC market
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Thousands of trade visitors thronged the halls on the first day of the niche food shows, The Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX and Sweets & Snacks Middle East at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) today as the three highly-anticipated trade shows were officially opened by H.H Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
“We thank H.H Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his support of The Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX and Sweets & Snacks Middle East, three of the most specialist trade shows for the food and beverage industry,” said Trixie LohMirmand Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre. “The overwhelmingly positive response we have received from both exhibitors and visitors confirms the success of the shows at consistently delivering contracts and customers across the spectrum of the industry.”
Running until 19 November, this year’s shows have attracted the top players in the food services industry both from the region and further afield, with national pavilions from Korea to Germany hosting companies from their respective countries, all of whom consider the event an essential platform from which to enter a highly-lucrative market.
Exhibitors at The Speciality Food Festival, the Middle East’s only dedicated gourmet and fine food trade exhibition, enjoyed brisk trading from the moment the show opened – highlighting unprecedented interest in the fourth edition of the gourmet food sector event. . Fine dining restaurants are only one driver of demand in this increasingly mature market, which is underpinned by strong regional economic growth, a diverse range of expatriate residents drawn from all corners of the globe, and a growing regional tourism industry.
A platform to showcase the finest ingredients and premium food products from quality organic produce to specialist beverages and artisan cheeses, over 31 countries are participating this year including Argentina, China, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Leading brands exhibiting at this year’s event include Chef Middle East, Coffeeland, Reem al Bawadi, Swiss Bakery and Unifrutti.
Returning with a stand double the size of its 2012 outing, 4 Corners General Trading LLC will be using the show as a platform to launch its range of crisps ‘Megachips’ and gourmet line of frozen gateaux, cakes and desserts. Commenting on their participation, Mike Walden, Commercial Director at 4 Corners General Trading LLC said: “We look forward to enjoying the same level of interaction with suppliers and prospective customer as we did last year. The show encourages the actual end-user of the products to interact with suppliers and discuss their requirements; we really welcome this as we always try to bring completely new products to the market. The fact that we have doubled the size of our stand is not only a reflection of how we are growing as a business, but also how we feel the show is growing in importance too.”
The Chef’s Corner, presented by the Baking and Pastry Guild, remains one of the show’s highlights with Dubai’s top restaurants sharing fresh ideas and concepts using specially-selected products and ingredients from participating exhibitors.
Following the highly-successful inaugural event, SEAFEX - the region’s most influential seafood indystry trade show - opened today with a 38% increase in year-on-year exhibitor space. With many of the GCC’s markets in the world’s top 10 in terms of per capita consumption, the show offers unrivalled networking and business development opportunities.
This year sees additional opportunities for trade with an extensive hosted buyer programme that connects over 100 key decision makers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Tunisian, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya with exhibitors at both SEAFEX and Speciality Food Festival.
UAE based company Gulf Seafood will use the show as a platform to launch its new snack food line including popcorn shrimp, fish and shrimp dim sum, shrimp samosa and spring rolls, and seafood sausages. Commenting on their participation, Tarun Rao, Commercial Manager said: “As the must attend event for the seafood industry in the region we have decided to launch our new line of seafood snack products at SEAFEX 2013. We will also be marketing our new online seafood home delivery service. This has been well received in the market and we look forward to the opportunity that the show represents to receive feedback from our target audience on the product, as well as network with key players in the industry and develop new business.”
Now in its seventh year, Sweets and Snacks Middle East, the region’s largest and most influential snack and confectionery industry trade show, has increased its exhibitor space by 40% to showcase a diverse range of new products from more than 182 specialised exhibitors from 34 countries.
With the niche food sector enjoying robust regional growth, this year’s show sees a record number of chocolate manufacturers hoping to capitalise on a regional market forecast to be worth US$5.8 billion by 2016 (AC Neilsen). Other exhibitors at the show will also be following global food trends for healthier eating, offering ranges such as low-calorie, fat-free, vitamin fortified, fibre-rich and organic foods.
Bringing over 10 varieties of its world-renowned toffee to this year’s show, British company, Walkers Nonsuch Toffee, will be tapping into the lucrative opportunity that the show represents to reach different market segments. Commenting on their participation, Emma Walker, Export Sales and Marketing Director said: “This the first time that we will be exhibiting at Sweets and Snacks Middle East and we look forward to showcasing our range of assorted toffees and éclairs in different packaging formats, some for pick and mix, some “eat now” products and some gifting lines for celebrations and duty free gifts. The region offers huge potential for us in terms of building upon the strong relationships we have developed with distributors in the UAE and Oman. We look forward to cultivating these relationships and expanding our reach to the wider MENA region at Sweets and Snacks 2013”.
In addition to the valuable networking and business development opportunities presented at the three shows, the return of the region’s only Food Logistics Forum co-located at the shows and held on 17 and 18 November will enable industry professionals to stay abreast of the latest developments influencing regional food services. The forum will address critical issues facing the GCC’s logistic market, bringing together global and regional logistics business leaders to address industry concerns, participate in interactive workshops and discuss market growth opportunities.
The exhibitions are for Trade and Business Professionals only and will be open from 10:00am-6:00pm on November 17-18, 10:00am-5:00pm on November 19. General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry. Registration is available at the show upon proof of trade status.
- ENDS -
Note to editor:
About The Speciality Food Festival
The Speciality Food Festival includes the following unique profiles: Gourmet, Halal, Organic. Held on 17-19 November 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, The Speciality Food Festival is the ideal platform for producers, suppliers, importers & exporters to present their products to a carefully screened audience of select buyers, gourmet chefs, distributors, retail and delicatessen outlets wishing to sample, source and order wholesale gourmet, halal, organic and gourmet from regional and global suppliers.
Powered by Gulfood, SEAFEX is the Middle East region’s biggest showcase and international trade fair for the seafood industry. With 25 years’ experience, our team combines its in-depth knowledge of the food industry with the region’s most powerful database of quality buyers to deliver the best seafood trade and sourcing platform for your business success.
SEAFEX is the right place to meet with a high targeted audience of hotels, restaurants, catering buyers, wholesalers and distributors together with the import, export and processing industries from the fast-growing Middle East region. Held alongside the Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX offers a bonus exposure to the emerging and developing fine and gourmet markets.
Sweets & Snacks Middle East
Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Koelnmesse GmbH present Sweet & Snacks Middle East 2013, the international exhibition for the sweets, confectionery and snack industry.
Held November 17-19, 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre alongside Sweets & Snacks Middle East, it is the ideal platform for producers, suppliers, importers & exporters of the sweets, confectionery, bakery and snack machinery industry from across the MENA region and GCC countries.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
As the organiser of SEAFEX Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 32 years' experience of 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.