It included non-cocoa chocolate, cheeses, non-dairy butter and vegetarian meats

Companies offering "alternative healthy foods" through "Gulfood 2021"

  • The company «Carworld» has launched through its platform in the «Gulfood» products for chocolate made from the fruits of organic carob.

    Photography: Ahmed Arditi


The activities of the Gulf Food Exhibition (Gulfood 2021), which ended yesterday, witnessed remarkable competitive manifestations of the expansion of international food companies in offering alternative healthy food products, commensurate with dietary diets or consumers who have allergies to plant or animal food sources.

Officials of food-producing companies told Emirates Today, on the sidelines of participation in the exhibition, that alternative healthy foods have become a global trend witnessing an accelerated growth in consumer demand, which was reflected in the activities of the exhibition in its last session, with the expansion of companies offering these products compared to In the previous session of the exhibition, pointing out that the most prominent products include caffeine-free chocolate made entirely from carob products, dairy-free cheeses and butter and its derivatives, and vegetarian meats made from agricultural grains only.

Gulfood Exhibition

In detail, Anna Paula Appel, Marketing Director at the Portuguese food producer, Carobworld, said, “The company launched for the first time, through its platform at the Gulfood exhibition, products for different flavors of chocolate, but without relying on cocoa, caffeine-free and completely manufactured based on The fruits of organic carob, which is in line with global health trends, which depend on agricultural products that do not cause any kind of sensitivity to consumers, and contain high health properties.

She added that "chocolate manufactured with an alternative healthy food system is difficult to distinguish in terms of shape or taste from traditional chocolate products, as it does not contain any local materials or added sugar, but rather depends on the natural sugar in the carob product."

Vegetarian sources

In turn, Ziad Latni, an export official at the International Export Food Company, said, "The company has launched products for a burger made from vegetarian meat, based on manufacturing from 100% vegetarian sources, which makes it suitable for consumers who follow vegetarian diets only."

For her part, the export manager of the Ukrainian "Terra Food" company for food production, Olga Pnikovich, said, "The company has kept pace with the global growth in demand for alternative health food products, which focus on relying on manufacturing from plant materials, and at the same time they do not include any materials. Causing allergies or health problems for individuals, ”noting that“ her company has launched, through the Gulfood exhibition, products for burgers and hot dogs with beef and chicken flavors, but they are made entirely from agricultural grains, and depend on spices and flavors of various herbs. ”

She added that “these products keep pace with the growth of the number of vegetarian consumers remarkably during the recent period, which has made international food companies tend to offer different products to compete for market shares in that sector, which provides products made from plants, but does not deprive consumers of dieters. “A vegetarian person tastes similar products to products made from animal sources, as it is very difficult to differentiate the taste for ordinary consumers.”

"The company has offered different types of butter, but it does not include dairy or animal derivatives, and it depends on coconuts, types of flowers and avocado fruits," she noted.

"It also manufactures cheese products that are completely dairy-free and rely on alternative plant sources, but provide flavors and shapes to traditional cheeses."

Vegetarian meat

In turn, the director of international sales at Nabil Foods Group, Nicholas Daher, said, “The company has offered through its platform eight types of vegetarian meat products that depend entirely on grains and agricultural materials, but provide the taste of beef or poultry according to the product, but at the same time they meet "There is a great need in the market by consumers, who follow vegetarian diets, or meat causes them to have various health problems."

He pointed out that "these trends in the food products industry have witnessed gradual growth rates in the sector at the global level, and it is expected that they will spread widely and widely in the UAE and regional markets during the next few periods."

In the same context, Mark Nepper, Director of the Gulf Food Exhibition (Gulfood) at the Dubai World Trade Center, said, “Alternative healthy foods have become a global trend and are witnessing an increasing growth, which was clearly demonstrated by the participation of international companies in the last session of the exhibition, which witnessed competition Among companies, whether for alternative vegetarian meat, or other products, ”he said, pointing out that“ vegetarian meat or other alternative products are expected to witness a proliferation in the local and regional markets in the coming periods. ”

"Gulfood" strengthens confidence in revitalizing the global food and beverage sector

The Gulfood 2021 exhibition, the first direct event held in the food and beverage sector for nearly 12 months, was widely praised by the most prominent leaders of the sector and food and beverage producers around the world, for its role in facilitating a return to the atmosphere of direct events at this stage.

The exhibition contributes to enhancing levels of confidence by revitalizing the food and beverage sector around the world, thanks to the participation of 2,500 companies from 85 countries.

The ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to the UAE, Jaime Amin, said: “We view the exhibition as an exceptional opportunity for Colombia.

We are keen to participate in it to highlight our best, while we hope that our presence will increase our commercial activity over the next few years.

We are also pleased to witness this level of bilateral relations with the UAE.

We commend the measures taken by the UAE to ensure that everyone is protected and feels that they are in their second country.

In turn, the President of the Belarusian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Vladimir Olakhovich, stressed the importance of the exhibition, and said: “The Gulfood exhibition carries great importance for companies operating in the food and beverage sector, because it reflects our readiness to return to the usual business environment despite the difficulties we face.

I extend my sincere appreciation to the organizers of this unique event, especially in terms of adherence to safety measures, as they have contributed to motivating us to resume huge commercial events. ”

On the other hand, the Southern United States Trade Association mentioned the major shift in the level of visitors to this year's edition of the exhibition.

The association revealed that this shift helped it establish more in-depth conversations with potential partners, noting that there are a number of promising upcoming meetings.

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Consumer demand for food preparation is a challenge for the sector

"The tendency of people to stay home and enjoy preparing food on their own is one of the biggest challenges facing the food services sector in the region, while the competition is no longer in the region," said Stavek Jaitley, a consultant at Frost & Sullivan, before attending the Gulfood Innovation Summit 2021. Restaurants crowded with visitors is that important anymore ».

During a session titled "Hospitality and Food Services in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: Preparing for Prosperity After the Recession", Jaitley referred to the changes that affected the mechanism of the sector's work due to the repercussions of "Covid-19", such as closing borders, disrupted supply chains, reduced purchasing power and limiting integration efforts. Technological.

However, Jaitley believes that the forced closures imposed by the health crisis have put the sector in front of a greater challenge.

“The increase in supply should be viewed seriously,” said Jaitley. “The options for food delivery services have become so many, but the biggest competition facing restaurants no longer comes from another restaurant.”

During the lockdown, consumers discovered a great pleasure in trying to prepare food for themselves. ”

“The traditional distribution model for hotels, restaurants and catering companies in exchange for retail will witness a major change,” he added.

The concept of eating out will certainly maintain its popularity, but restaurants have to innovate new concepts to keep their visitors, especially when they compare their getting ready-to-eat meals with the idea of ​​getting ingredients and ingredients and preparing meals themselves.

Jaitley also noted the need for the food service sector to address the issue of food waste, as cloud kitchens are the best option to help enhance efficiency and reduce overhead costs.

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