Enterprise Singapore Middle East and North Africa regional director Nael Islam told Caterer Middle East that the country is seeing “growing demand for Asian food” from the MENA region.
It comes off the back of a successful tenth year at Gulfood at Dubai World Trade Centre where 46 food and beverage companies from Singapore showcased their wares at the Tasty Singapore pavilion.
Islam said that the pavilion saw an increase in participation by 20%, and called it the “premiere platform” for companies wishing to enter the GCC.
In celebration of a decade of Singapore’s participation at Gulfood, the Singapore Pavilion featured the ‘innovation and technology zone’ where smart food products and concepts are exhibited, and the ‘supermarket aisle’ concept which displayed the full variety of Singapore food brands which exhibited at Gulfood 2019, including products that are new to the market.
Singapore food companies can offer non-traditional food concepts and convenient options such as ready meals and food vending machines.
Vending machines in particular could be of use to the GCC market said Islam, noting that products like biryani could be purchased and provide “ready to eat, hot and fresh meals” of a high standard.
He added: “In a place like Dubai for example you could have them in worker dormitories and have a whole host of cuisine available”, and said new innovations in pasteurisation would add to the items’ shelf life.
Png Cheong Boon, CEO, Enterprise Singapore, said, “Singapore’s food products are gaining international acceptance because of their innovativeness, quality and compliance with food safety standards. In particular, the Middle East region is a fast-growing food and beverage market and a key food export destination for Singapore companies. Gulfood, as a leading tradeshow in Dubai, is an excellent platform for companies to understand the latest market trends, connect with food traders and distributors not just from the Middle East but worldwide, and to forge meaningful business partnerships.
“This year, we are pleased that 46 Singapore food manufacturers are participating in Gulfood, introducing a diverse range of products including healthier, convenient and ready-to-eat options. We hope that these companies will be able to leverage Gulfood to expand into new markets in the Middle East and beyond.”
Islam also spoke of the success of Singapore companies at Gulfood, saying that “the fact these companies have been coming back year upon year is a testament to what Gulfood means to them. For a lot of them it revolves around increasing market penetration and expanding into new markets. Sitting in Singapore they aren’t going to meet someone from Nigeria for example.”
The success of Enterprise Singapore’s Tasty Singapore pavilion should mean we see it back yet again in 2020.