Picture this: serpentine queues, thousands of delegates speaking multiple languages, business meetings in progress, ongoing seminars and product demos – all of these are common at an international trade show, but when you take these up several notches and turbocharge them, you get Gulfood, the world’s largest food and beverage (F&B) show.
Tolga Sezer, CEO of the multinational food company Solico Group and an exhibitor, says:
“Gulfood is the world’s biggest F&B showcase and the ultimate industry platform. You can feel the buzz everywhere around you, and I am extremely happy with how busy it was this year. Our con-tacts were all here, so it was an important week for us as a regional company to generate business.”
Held at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from February 13-17, the 27th edition of the mega show had all the ingredients to qualify as a significant platform for the F&B industry. Reflecting the post pandemic optimism and excitement seen globally, this year’s event attracted more than 4,000 companies from 120 countries. Some were part of national pavilions, while others were standalone food producers showcasing their products across 21 halls at DWTC.
“The sheer volume of entries this year underlined Gulfood’s status as the premier platform for bold industry players to unveil what they have been working on and use it as a springboard to demonstrate how they are rising to the challenge of driving the industry forward,”
says Mark Napier, show director, Gulfood.
Italy had one of the largest pavilions featuring 180 companies, a 50 per cent increase on last year’s participation, while the US introduced 28 new-to-market exhibitors, including its first-ever pavilion in the pulses and grains section of the show. In total, more than 100 companies show-cased the country’s products.
Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, says:
“Italy continues to be one of the leading food suppliers of the UAE, and Gulfood is the most important show for us in the region. This year, we launched our new campaign about Italian food and cultural awareness under ‘Italy is simply extraordinary #beIT.’”
Estonia increased its participation at Gulfood this year by 166 per cent, responding to growing trends for high nutritional value, health benefits and a balanced diet. Taste Estonia, the F&B arm of Enterprise Estonia, featured 16 companies presenting products ranging from natural mineral water and organic chocolate to fresh fi sh and plant-based protein products. Turkey was also well represented at the event, with 152 companies, ranging from meat, poultry and dairy producers, to pulses, grains, fats, oils and beverage specialists.
Nesibe Selten Hasdal, director at Selten, says,
“The UAE market is extremely essential for all Turkish companies because it allows them to re-export goods to the GCC, the Middle East and Africa.”
Hasdal adds Gulfood was an important platform to leverage the “diverse presence of visitors, exhibitors and industry associates”, which would result in substantial contracts. This year’s edition also had the largest participation so far by Turkish beverage producers offering ready-to-drink coffees and fruit juices.
New entrants to the show included the Dominican Republic, Norway, Panama, Uruguay and Uzbekistan. Homegrown brands also had the opportunity to show the industry their innovations, ranging from alternative meat options to a sustainable farm and Emirati-influenced flavours of hand cooked potato chips.
News Source: Gulf Business