DUBAI, 17th February, 2019 (WAM) — Enterprise Singapore, the trade and enterprise development government agency, together with the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, SFMA, is leading 46 food and beverage companies to exhibit the country’s products at Gulfood 2019.
This marks the 10th consecutive year of Singapore’s participation in one of the largest food and beverage trade shows in the world. Nearly half of the companies are launching food products that are new to either the UAE or the Middle East region.
Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, 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.”
In 2018, the Middle East accounted for almost AED758 million (US$280 million) of Singapore’s manufactured food exports, of which 75 percent were for the Gulf Cooperation Council. The UAE ranked among the top three food export destinations in the region last year. Enterprise Singapore successfully facilitated 28 partnerships between local food companies with franchisees and distributors in the Middle East in 2018. Today, more than 30 Singapore food companies are doing business in the region.
The size of the UAE’s food and beverage market is projected to hit AED131 billion for food and AED14 billion for beverages in 2021, according to the 2018 Dubai Exports Report. The UAE is a major food importer in the Middle East region, propelled by high gross domestic product, per capita, increasing consumption and spending, and expanding local and expatriate populations. There is rising demand for differentiated food offerings to meet the sophisticated taste preferences of modern consumers, with models such as online grocery services, food delivery mobile applications and food trucks gaining popularity.
The Singapore Pavilion features the “innovation and technology zone” where smart food products and concepts are exhibited, and the “supermarket aisle” concept which displays the full variety of Singapore food brands exhibiting 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. In addition, plant-based proteins, sugar alternatives and texture-modified foods developed in Singapore are suitable for addressing the UAE’s national health priorities around diabetes and obesity, and the increasing preference for healthier alternatives.
Singapore food manufacturers are using technologies such as High-Pressure Processing and Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilisation to extend the shelf life of food products with no preservatives and preserve their nutritional and sensorial quality.
Enterprise Singapore supports Singapore companies in their efforts to expand their businesses by connecting them to networks and opportunities overseas. It has offices in Dubai and Riyadh.