UAE: Halal-certified food suppliers to airlines witness massive growth in demand

Halal-certified food suppliers to airlines witness massive growth in demand Zawya
WTCEME witnesses launch of innovative, new food products

Dubai – Growing demand for halal-certified food by airlines is encouraging suppliers worldwide to develop new products and enhance their production capacities.

Worldwide, the spending on global halal food and lifestyle products is estimated to rise by 10.8 per cent every year until 2019, creating an international industry worth US $3.7 trillion, according to a Global Islamic Economy Report.

The halal food sector alone is estimated to grow to US$2.537 trillion by 2019, up from US$795 billion in 2014, which is 21.2 per cent of global food expenditure.

Airlines worldwide have been eager to tap into this growing segment.

Matthieu ROUSSEL, Commercial Director, Catering, North America, for Delta Daily Food Canada, which manufactures and supplies frozen halal-certified food to over 30 airlines worldwide, said: “There has been a strong growth in demand for frozen halal food in airlines. We have witnessed a double-digit growth in this requirement within the last one year and in 2016, we are expecting to supply over 40 million meals.”

ROUSSEL said he expects this growth to continue “due to the massive increase in the number of air passengers, and, at the same time, with the airlines focusing on catering to the customer segment that prefers halal-certified food”.

Delta Dailyfood, which participated in the recently concluded World Travel Catering and Onboard Services expo Middle East (WTCEME), said: “WTCEME is a platform for us to strengthen and develop contacts in this region, which has a growing demand for our products. We have had a very successful participation.”

WTCEME witnessed more than 70 exhibitors from 20 countries, utisiling the platform to introduce their new products and innovations to the aviation industry in the Middle East.

Amid rising number of international passengers worldwide, estimated to cross 7 billion by 2030 according to IATA, airlines in the region are keen to ensure a comfortable and positive passenger experience. Catering to the food preferences of the passengers and providing them innovative and high quality food options is a critical factor determining happiness of passengers.

Farnaz Farzanrad, Business Development Manager, Distinguish Union General Trading, which introduced ‘Acao’, an organic, vegan and all natural “smart soft drink” at the show, said: “Air travellers, especially those who travel frequently, are growing increasingly health conscious and would want to stay healthy even as they are on the move. Our product gives them the right option to quench their thirst- they can have all the taste without loading on excess calories or sugars. We are very keen to tap into the inflight catering and airport lounges and WTCEME has been an excellent platform. There have been a lot of serious enquiries and we are hoping for some deals to materialize.”

Ahmed El Deeb, channel Manager, Unilever, said: “We are participating as the catering channel and airlines are our main focus. We are introducing a couple of innovations in the savoury and tea segments and WTCEME has been an ideal platform for that.”

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed, organisers of the Airport Show 2016, and its co-located events Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF) and WTCEME, said: “Airlines and airports in the region are not only pursuing an aggressive growth agenda, they have also set benchmarks in hospitality and offering the best quality of services.

WTCEME plays an important role in delivering this high service quality, by bringing the suppliers and buyers on a common platform and helping them cater to continuously changing passenger requirements.”

WTCEME, a co-located event with the Airport Show, will be held next year from May 15-17, 2017.