Regional players flock to beverage conference
Last month’s Second BeveragesMiddleEast (BevME) Congress in Dubai saw the top industry players come together under one roof to discuss dealing with the current issues facing the Middle East’s beverage market.
The event, held at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah resort, recorded attendance by industry leaders and senior management, as well as marketing and technical professionals, industry suppliers and analysts.
The two-day programme, organised by Zenith International and sponsored by supplier Chr. Hansen and Wild, included a conference focusing on the topic ‘Meeting the cost and innovation challenge’, market briefings and a visit to Del Monte’s Dubai production site, which opened in 2007 following a US $24.7m investment.
Introducing the congress, Zenith International chairman Richard Hall noted that tightening economic conditions and cost pressures were forcing beverage companies us to seek “practical responses”.
“Understanding consumer motivation and developing excellence in innovation accordingly become all the more important,” he continued, adding that the conference would aim to help regional producers meet these challenges.
Further talks over the course of the conference included AMEA regional manager for Zenith International Sam Shammas looking at the emerging growth market opportunities worldwide and in the Middle East; MasterCard Worldwide vice president — strategic business development, Middle East and Levant Thomas Edelmann on 'World economy and consumer confidence'; and Fadi Fadl Saadeddine, chief operating officer of Lebanon-based Coca-Cola bottler National Beverage Company, discussing how to maintain growth in a demanding climate.