(WAM) — The foodservice industry continues to be a key economic driver for the GCC, with market value predicted to reach US$25 billion by 2018, according to PwC. Growth in this sector has been fuelled by a more health conscious consumer, driving a desire both globally and regionally for specialist foods, such as organic and halal, and putting pressure on the foodservice industry to meet this new demand.
The organic industry has seen a surge in consumer interest, with the global retail value expected to reach $52 billion by 2021, according to Euromonitor International. Regionally, the organic industry has been supported by government-led initiatives, with the UAE recently announcing its strategic goal to increase organic produce. There has also been significant growth in the global halal industry, driven by halal tourism and an increased demand across the globe. Halal food and lifestyle products are predicted to value at $3.7 trillion by 2019, according to the Global Islamic Economy Report.
The expansion of this year’s Speciality Food Festival is indicative of the strong market potential in the region. Taking place from 18th-20th September 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the show is the original speciality food event for the MENA region, and the ultimate platform for suppliers, importers and exporters of gourmet, artisan, halal and organic products. The three-day event which, together with five other sector specific shows, takes place during the inaugural Dubai International Hospitality Week, DIHW.
Showcasing a diverse selection of fine foods, from artisanal olive oils, pickles and chutneys, speciality coffee and teas, to gourmet staples such as charcuterie, bakery and dairy, as well as some of the rarest spices and ingredients sought after by professional chefs in the region. The internationally recognised trade show continues to attract exhibitors from across the world, including for the first time, Cameroon, Netherlands, Taiwan and Thailand. It has also witnessed a growing participation from France, with a 30 percent increase in French exhibitors this year.
“The regional F&B sector is amongst the world’s most discerning, driving demand for speciality ingredients, new innovations and trend-spotting. This is the role that The Speciality Food Festival plays for chefs and speciality food retailers across the region, bringing the latest and best products to Dubai, in one convenient place,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.