UAE: Processed foods ‘claim 50pc of F&B market’


Demand for processed food is growing rapidly across all food and beverage categories in the Middle East, and accounts for 50 per cent of the food market in the region, said the organisers of an upcoming food expo in Dubai.

Gulfood 2012, a major annual food and beverage trade show, takes place from February 19 to 22 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

More than 350 exhibitors out of a total of 3,800 companies participating at this year’s event are focused on food processing and packaging, and include such global giants as Al Bayader, Al Thika, IPS, Ishida, Multivac, SIG Combibloc Obeikan, Rieckerman and Rondo.

“Packaging and processing solutions have never been more important, particularly for the Middle East region, and Gulfood presents the best platform for companies in this sector to gain access to this market,” said Trixee Loh, senior vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood 2012.

“With governments in the GCC promoting movement up the value chain by supporting domestic food processing, there are exceptional business opportunities for raw material suppliers, food processing equipment providers and packaging manufacturers, and this is clearly being recognised by the global players coming to Gulfood this year,” Loh added.

Given the significant growth potential, international companies are also setting up food processing plants in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with duty-free access to markets across the GCC region adding to the prospects.

Suppliers of food processing and manufacturing equipment at this year’s show are bullish about the regional market.

Yamato, a leading manufacturer of multihead weighers and check weighers will be showcasing its Alpha machine at Gulfood 2012, a series which offers food manufacturers flexibility, precision and high speed in packaging.

Managing director Neil Fowell said: “We’re looking forward to meeting potential new customers from all over the Middle East, Africa and South Asia at Gulfood 2012.  We’re especially keen to demonstrate how we can improve the food manufacturing process and believe that our Alpha machine will illustrate this perfectly.”

The structures and requirements applying in the food & beverage industry have witnessed change in the last several years, with many food and beverage companies looking for turnkey solutions and suppliers capable of offering ready formulated products.

With food safety heading the agenda of many governments and regulatory authorities throughout the Middle East and beyond, food packaging is coming under even closer scrutiny in terms of food protection.

SIG Combibloc Obeikan (SIG CBOB), a leading systems supplier of aseptic beverage cartons and filling machines for longlife food and beverages, offers innovative packaging solutions that are unrivalled.

Martin Schmedes, director of Business Development and Marketing, SIG CBOB said: “We believe our offering can improve production economics and provide better product differentiation for the food and beverage manufacturers.”

“This year we will showcase a revolutionary filling module that enables manufacturers to fill particulates (fruit, cereal and vegetables) on their standard filling machine.” – TradeArabia News Service