Gulfood 2018 Submission: GAMA NEWS
Spokesperson: Mark Napier, Show Director, Gulfood
150-200 words per answer
- What are your expectations for this edition of Gulfood?
As the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade event and the first major international food industry trade show of the year, Gulfood 2018 will further strengthen the UAE’s lead role in setting the global food agenda.
In attracting the Middle East’s largest trade industry audience, generating huge transactional volumes every year on the show floor, and setting global foodstuff commodity prices, Gulfood is the region’s premier food and beverage industry platform – it underlines Dubai’s leading role in the global food sector.
For over three-and-a-half decades, Gulfood has been a key driver in fostering innovation across the local, regional and global food and beverage supply chain, and we expect the on-site sales generated by 95,000-plus buyers and visitors at Gulfood 2018 to contribute to the UAE food and beverage market reaching a valuation of AED82 Billion by 2020 (source: Euromonitor International).
With regional investment in food production on the rise, international manufacturers see the Middle East as a lucrative market for their products. In this dynamic climate, Gulfood continues to empower the global food and beverage community as an unmatched trading and knowledge platform that offers unrivalled market overviews and insights to industry professionals.
- What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
In a word, innovate. The global food and beverage industry is one of the most competitive sectors in the global economy, so staying still is the equivalent of going backwards.
Whether you are a fledgling start-up in the Middle East, or a major international manufacturer in Europe or the USA, companies looking to stay successful and ensure prolonged growth need to stay ahead of the curve by investing in automation, new channels to market, increasingly sophisticated ingredients and packaging solutions.
The ultimate proof is in the eating or drinking, so end products must be attractive to consumers in everything from price and packaging, to taste and provenance.
- What key trends do you expect to shape food & drinks innovation in 2018?
I’ve touched on a few above - taste, packaging, provenance. Today’s customers want to know where their products are made, what ingredients have been used in the manufacturing process, and, vitally, are the ingredients used healthy and do they originate from sustainable sources.
When the end customer has finished consuming the product, they want to know their environment impact is as low as possible - meaning sustainable, environmentally-friendly and biodegradable packaging will continue to be in vogue.
The modern consumer is spoilt for choice, so only products that tick a diverse spread of demographic demand boxes in geographies where consumer preferences often vary from market to market will be able to compete in the increasingly competitive global food sector.