Biggest F&B processing exhibition in MEASA region highlights regional growth factors for industry

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:   Recognised as having some of the fastest emerging markets in the world, the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia (MEASA) region is also proving to be a hotspot for exponential growth in the F&B industry.  As the largest and most influential platform for the food manufacturing, processing and packaging sectors, Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 will take place from 2729 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The show facilitates exceptional trade opportunities between suppliers and manufacturers from around the world, looking to capitalise on the key growth factors presented in this dynamic and diverse region.

The high reliance on food imports, in particular throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa, is driving development of the food processing industry.  In countries such as Saudi Arabia – the largest food producer in the GCC – the number of food processing units has increased from 460 in 2002 to more than 735 in 2012, according to the 2015 Alpen Capital report, with overall investment in the segment growing at a CAGR rate of 11.9 percent to US$12.3 billion in 2012.  Growth in the remaining GCC markets is equally robust for their respective sized markets.

In South East Asia, the food processing industry is developing into a significant economic growth driver. While the industry in India is powered less by food imports and more by food exports, according to the country’s Ministry of External Affairs, the food processing industry accounts now for 32 percent of the country’s total food market,14 percent of its manufacturing GDP, 13 percent of India’s exports and six percent of total industrial investment.

In South Africa, the food processing industry contributes a significant 14 percent to the country’s annual GDP and is its third largest manufacturing sector, while Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt are home to the largest food manufacturing and agri-businesses on the African continent.

Across the region, governments are implementing programmes to facilitate growth of the food manufacturing and processing industry. These range from provision of subsidies on certain food production equipment, to interest-free loans, and exemption of duty on the import of raw materials.  Governments in Oman, the UAE, Qatar, India, Nigeria and South Africa are developing specialist industrial parks to support and promote investment and growth in the industry.

Sourcing business improvement and growth solutions for food processing companies across the region has become simpler since the launch of Gulfood Manufacturing, which has reported exceptional demand for exhibition space from every sector of the industry.

Companies such as Ecolean AB, manufacturers of innovative packaging solutions for the dairy and liquid food industry, are focused on expanding their customer base into the MEASA region specifically, and will be using Gulfood Manufacturing as the springboard.  “Ecolean is active in more than 30 countries globally, and we are now in a phase of big geographical expansion into the MEASA region where the growth opportunities are promising.  We have a broad portfolio of flexible packaging solutions for both chilled and ambient distribution, and will be showcasing our latest award winning innovations, Ecolean Air Aseptic Clear and our recloser SnapQuick,” said Anna Anneras, Marketing Director, Ecolean.

Teknika Plast, a leading plastics injection company providing packaging for the food industry and an exhibitor at Gulfood Manufacturing, sees massive potential across the region for its rigid packaging.  Ali Kuay Yarali, Sales & Marketing Executive for the company reported: “Our confidence in the opportunity presented by the region, in particular packaging for yogurt, cheese and labneh, is strong enough that we will be opening a manufacturing plant in Dubai soon.”

The growth potential in the processing segment is also drawing international investors, driving partnerships, joint ventures and licensing agreements with local manufacturers, and acquisitions of entities already operating in the region.  Global players with considerable presence and food processing facilities in the MEASA region include Mars, Danone, Del Monte Foods, Fonterra, Frito-Lay and Tetra Pak, among many others.

Major private sector investments in the UAE’s food processing sector include the halal food producer Al Islami Foods’ US$27.2 million facility in Dubai and Brazil’s BRF SA’s US$150 million plant in Abu Dhabi.

Significant business opportunities are presented throughout the region as increasing food consumption drives the need to develop supply chain infrastructure at all levels, from procurement to packaging, manufacturing equipment to cold chain storage, transport logistics to retailing. Markets such as the UAE are well established global hubs – not only is there a fast growing food manufacturing and processing industry, it is also one of the world’s top re-export hubs in the world.

Implementing technology along the length of the supply chain is helping to improve operational efficiencies, enhance agricultural output, increase production capabilities and maintain higher quality levels.

Jimco A/S, a supplier of industrial environmental technology, will be launching a mobile disinfection solution at Gulfood Manufacturing that is particularly relevant for the geographic climate in the region.  .  “Contamination of grain, seeds or spices is a well-known problem in food processing environments with high temperatures or high humidity, and it normally requires a manual treatment to disinfect surfaces.  Based on UV-C Technology, our FLO-D® Mini, totally automates the process.  You achieve more effective disinfection while saving manpower, water, chemicals and energy. Return on investment is unrivalled,” said Jimmy K. Larsen, CEO of Jimco A/S.

“Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 is an essential ingredient for F&B companies in almost every vertical of the value chain because it delivers – sales, connections, expansion opportunities and market insights. In terms of the regional market growth drivers, the show brings together industry players at both ends of the spectrum to offer direct and unrivalled access to business in this region. Quite frankly, it would be a business risk not to attend,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Events & Exhibitions Department, DWTC.

Gulfood Manufacturing is open between 10am-6pm from 27 – 28 October  and 10am-5pm on 29 October 2015 at DWTC. Visitor attendance is free of charge. For more information, please

About Gulfood Manufacturing

Launched in 2014, Gulfood Manufacturing is a sector-specific trade exhibition for ingredients, processing, packaging and food logistics providers who service the rapidly growing food and beverage production industries established in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Sub-Continent. The event provides food manufacturers with the ingredients, equipment and business improvement tools that enable more efficient production and distribution. Gulfood Manufacturing has three focused sectors namely Food Logistics Middle East, ProPack Middle East and Ingredients Middle East. Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 takes place from 2729 October 2015.

About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

As the organiser of Gulfood and Gulfood Manufacturing, DWTC brings more than 35 years’ experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East, and provides local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.

Our commitment to on-going innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.