The Speciality Food Festival, Yummex (formerly Sweets & Snacks Middle East) and SEAFEX, three food industry events powered by Gulfood, are expected to be more than 10% larger than last year’s shows.
The growth of the shows, taking place on 7-9 November at Dubai World Trade Centre, has been attributed to regional demand for specialty, Halal, gourmet, organic and other high-end, premium quality food products.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, DWTC said: “The popularity of clean, natural, sustainable, artisan and other high quality produce including seafood and confectionery across the region continues to grow year-on-year.
“The trend is evident in consumer buying patterns, as well as bulk buyers and hospitality outlets seeking to capitalise on demand by providing more innovative culinary offerings to diners.”
More than 30 C-level buying delegations from the region’s major retail outlets, hotels and mass catering companies will attend the specialty events, with the aim of sourcing new products from around the world.
The major buyers include procurement delegations from brands including Jumeirah Group, Spinneys, Waitrose, Emirates Flight Catering, Rotana Group, Manuel Market, Carrefour Hyatt Group and Dubai Duty Free.
Mohammed Kapital, vice president supply chain and logistics at Jumeirah Group, said: “We are proud to partner with the Dubai World Trade Centre and support the Middle East and North Africa’s largest food and beverage trade event.
“The specialty food festival, SEAFEX and Yummex is the principal procurement platform for sourcing specialist food products for use across Jumeriah Group’s extensive UAE network of hotels and restaurants. Our team has received industry awards for its cutting edge procurement and business strategies and we are honored to support the event.”
Andrew Pert, DWTC’s portfolio exhibitions director of the three specialist food events, added: “Identifying and sourcing superior quality products from trusted food suppliers is now a commercial necessity for F&B entities across the region.
“With MENA regions burgeoning tourism and strong hotel occupancy – led by Dubai , our three specialist food platforms give retail and hospitality players access to thousands of premium food products, many of which are completely new to the market.”
Features taking place at the events include the Global Date Market, which is already sold out, and The Speciality Coffee Event MENA.
This year, Italy has become the first country partner for the Speciality Food Festival, and the the Italian Trade Agency will bring summits, competitions and food experiences to the event.
Another first for the events is the co-located platform Future Food Live, a Dubai Municipality initiative hosted under the Gulfood umbrella to run alongside The Speciality Food Festival, Yummex in partnership with Koelnmesse GmbH and SEAFEX.
Trade visitors focusing on the wellbeing segment will discover organic, halal and other healthy food products, with an additional focus on agritech equipment for farm production.
Attendees will include everyone from global food specialists and distributors to large-scale government-backed farms.
DWTC’s trio of niche food events are open from 10am-5pm from 7-9 November 2016 and are for trade and business professionals only.