Gulfood a boost for F&B market morale

Although doom-mongerers predicted that this year’s show
would attract fewer visitors than for previous years, Gulfood 2009
proved them wrong. Ben Watts assesses the success of the exhibition for
visitors, exhibitors and organisers alike

The region’s leading food show sailed back into town last month for
its biggest ever edition, this time adding an additional venue and
plenty of new exhibitors to boot.

And to the delight of both exhibitors and visitors, the daddy of
Middle East food shows proved once again why Dubai remains the food and
beverage industry’s regional hub.

Satisfied customers

Rastelli owner Anthony Rastelli, who was exhibiting in Dubai
International Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (DICEC) Sheikh Maktoum
Hall this year, says Gulfood 2009 was “one of the more successful
shows” for the Halal food company, adding that there had been no
particular impact from the economic climate.

“We have not seen the global downturn have too much effect on the
market we are in and we have had a focus here for the last six years,”
adds Rastelli.

“Our booth in the USA Pavilion was a lot bigger then those around us — everybody else has downsized, but we expanded our stand.”

The New Jersey-based firm broke with convention by avoiding the
style used across the USA Pavilion in an attempt to garner more
attention from potential clients.

“We had the US flag in various places around the stand, but we
wanted the roof of the stand left off in order to give it a different
appearance, rather than being boxed in,” comments Rastelli.