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EVENTS

Discover Zone to debut at 23rd Gulfood and be located at Za’abeel Link
Thursday, 01 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Anurag More, Mumbai
The Gulfood Discover Zone is set to make its debut at the 23rd essay of Gulfood, which will be organised by and take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) between February 18 and 22, 2018. Located at the Za’abeel Link, the zone is an interactive gallery where exhibitors will be able to showcase products that have recently been launched in an exclusive lounge.

Gulfood Discover Zone
The Gulfood Discover Zone will integrate physical products with digital displays for an optimal visitor experience. Visitors can kick off their visits to Gulfood 2018 by learning what is new in the market, and from there, plan their journeys by locating the right exhibitors with the help of the interactive maps at the kiosk. Exhibitors looking to showcase their products at the zone can do so by registering via E-Zone.

“The 2018 edition of Gulfood, a trade event open strictly to business and trade visitors, will further strengthen the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) lead role in setting the global food agenda,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, exhibitions and events, DWTC.

The features of the show are:

Gulfood Innovation Awards
The Gulfood Innovation Awards will recognise the best-in-class excellence and innovation across the region’s food and beverage industry.

They will celebrate and reward excellence across brands and products, with an industry-wide campaign encouraging over 300 entries and a judging panel comprising industry leaders. It will culminate in the awards gala dinner, which will take place held during the show.

With intense interest from the media and visitors alike, the event will offers unprecedented opportunities for industry networking and brand profile-raising through public relations and sponsorship.

The categories for this year’s awards are best soft beverage; best hot beverage; best dairy innovation; best meat or poultry innovation; best baked or confectionery; best condiment or sauce; best frozen or chilled food;  best halal food; best organic product; best health and wellness product; best consumer promotion product; best trade stand (up to 40sq m); best trade stand (between 41 and 100sq m) and best trade stand (over 101sq m).

Citing the event’s long-established reputation as a key driver in fostering innovation across the local, regional and global food and beverage supply chain, DWTC officials revealed that on-site sales generated by the 95,000-plus buyers and visitors at Gulfood 2018 will contribute heavily to a global food market expected to generate revenues of $3.03 trillion by 2020, according to Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market research company.

Newcomers’ Lounge
The Newcomers’ Lounge has been designed to help visitors to Gulfood to optimise their journey and amplify their business potential. It is a dedicated area for companies that have never conducted business in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region before and wish to use Gulfood as an opportunity to enter the market and a must-visit exhibition area for those seeking new suppliers.

The finalists for the Gulfood Innovation Awards, which are slated to make a comeback in 2018, will also be showcased in the Gulfood Discover Zone.

Gulfood 2018 will also witness two perennial features – the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire (the world’s largest single-entry chef competition) and Halal World Food (the world’s largest annual Halal food sourcing trade show).

Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire
Structured as a series of practical and display-based culinary challenges or classes, the International Salon Culinaire, organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild, is a renowned annual contest which gauges the diversity of entrants’ cooking skills and pushes the boundaries of modern day food preparation and presentation.

Evaluated by a panel of 30 international experts and mandated by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS), it provides credible industry recognition to over a thousand master chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers.

The Salon Culinaire serves to inspire and encourage young chefs to continue striving for ever upward improvement in their daily work practice.

Gold, silver and bronze medals and certificates are awarded to those competitors whose exhibits, in the opinion of the judges, have reached the commensurate international standard.

In addition to the medal awards, there are special trophies awarded to individuals who have attained excellence at the competition in their particular field – gastronomy, bakery/pastry and artistic. A new award has been designed to encourage the development of Arabic cuisine.

Application
Professional chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers are welcome to participate in the Salon Culinaire. While some of the competitions are designed for individuals, others are designed as team events.

Following a successful debut in 2017, Gulfood 2018 will continue its sectorised approach to further increase accessibility and trading potential. Tens of thousands of finished food and beverages will be featured in halls dedicated to eight of the biggest commodity trading sectors – beverages, dairy, fats and oils, health, wellness and free-from, pulses, grains and cereals, meat and poultry, power brands and world food.

With the pulses, grains and cereals and fats and oils sectors already close to being sold out amid unprecedented demand, the meat and poultry sector is also tracking strong sales two months before the show.

“For red meat exporters from the United States, Gulfood has a well-established reputation as the premier marketing event in the Gulf region,” said Philip Seng, president and chief executive officer, US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

“Over the years, Gulfood’s footprint has expanded considerably and it is now a key venue for exporters looking to grow their business in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Europe,” he added.

Halal World Food
Halal World Food is a show-within-a-show concept. It will return to Gulfood the fifth time in 2018. This major global trading platform generates lucrative investment opportunities for international food and beverage (F&B) businesses looking to capitalise on the burgeoning halal sector that is witnessing significant growth in both Islamic and non-Islamic countries across the globe.

Reflecting the UAE’s strategic position as an international centre for halal food trading, Halal World Food showcases the full spectrum of halal products, including vegan and vegetarian food, meat and poultry, canned goods, energy drinks, gourmet and much more.

The visitors can easily locate and appraise halal products that are most relevant to their needs. They can acquire granular insights into investment opportunities entering the Halal sector throughout the world.

They can meet with halal food policy-shapers to discuss certification and quality assurance in this highly-profitable and fast-growing sub-sector.

FoodGen Workshops
The FoodGen Workshops is a series of workshops designed to tackle major concerns and curiosities of the F&B world. Attendees can network with key industry leaders and expand their knowledge.

Exhibitors and visitors
Over 5,000 exhibitors are expected to showcase their offerings at the 23rd edition of Gulfood, which will feature over 120 national pavilions, including first-time participants from as far afield as Estonia, Serbia and Slovakia. The show will also see scores of international heads of state, ministers, government officials and national trade associations among the thousands of anticipated visitors. They will be eager to ink lucrative bi-lateral trade agreements.

Key trends to shape food & drink innovations in 2018

Mark Napier, show director, Gulfood, said, “Today’s customers want to know where their products are made, what ingredients have been used in the manufacturing process, and, vitally, are the ingredients used healthy and do they originate from sustainable sources. When the end customer has finished consuming the product, they want to know their environment impact is as low as possible - meaning sustainable, environmentally-friendly and biodegradable packaging will continue to be in vogue.”

“The modern consumer is spoilt for choice, so only products that tick a diverse spread of demographic demand boxes in geographies where consumer preferences often vary from market to market will be able to compete in the increasingly competitive global food sector,” he added.

“With the global food market poised to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5 per cent until 2020, the UAE F&B market alone is anticipated to reach a valuation of AED 82 billion ($22 billion) by the end of the decade,” according to Euromonitor International.

“In attracting the Middle-East’s largest trade industry audience, generating huge transactional volumes every year on the show floor, and setting global foodstuff commodity prices, Gulfood is the region’s premier food and beverage industry platform. It underlines Dubai’s leading role in the global food sector,” LohMirmand said.

“With regional investment in food production on the rise, international manufacturers see the Middle-East as a lucrative market for their products. In this dynamic climate, Gulfood continues to empower the global food and beverage community as an unmatched trading and knowledge platform that offers unrivalled market overviews and insights to industry professionals,” she added.

The bright forecast for Gulfood 2018 follows hundreds of major deals struck and initiatives launched at this year’s event, including US Beef regaining eligibility to ship beef products to Saudi Arabia, a $31-million market. “The US exhibitors at the show reported on-site sales of $85.5 million with forecasts of a further $722 million in direct sales as a result of their participation,” according to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The FAS also recruited 47 potential food and beverage suppliers, with a network spanning Asia, Africa, South Asia and the Middle-East, to service US exporters at Gulfood 2017.

In the UAE, Dubai-based gourmet snacks specialist Hunter Foods signed a lucrative deal with Chinese importers, while the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Meteorology (ESMA) hosted the pioneering Global Halal Industry Platform.
 
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