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Gulfood 2021 Draws Global Power Brands and F&B Leaders Eyeing Abundant Growth Opportunities to Get Year Off to a Fast Start

Gulfood 2021 Draws Global Power Brands and F&B Leaders Eyeing Abundant Growth Opportunities to Get Year Off to a Fast Start

Saturday, February 20, 2021/ Editor -  

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First live industry gathering for 12 months opens 21 February with 2,500 companies from 85 countries eager to kickstart world food trade at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

Exceptional participation from entire industry ecosystem: Ministers and national trade delegations; more than 110 of the biggest names in F&B and business delivering valuable insights and ‘new normal’ perspectives

Dubai, UAE – 20 FEBRUARY 2021: Gulfood 2021, the unmissable, first in-person global F&B event in almost a year, will deliver a complete range of business opportunities when it opens tomorrow, (21 February) at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), to 2,500 international food power brands demonstrating new-to-market innovations to capitalise on accelerated shifts in consumer patterns. 

The safest and most competitive global food sourcing hub of the year will reconnect thousands of major players across the entire F&B ecosystem, from government delegations and trade ministers to forward-thinking manufacturers and major industry disruptors, for five fast-paced days of mega purchasing details, game-changing dialogue and knowledge-exchange, and live culinary demonstrations. 

Demonstrating its importance to the complete sector spectrum, 110 of the biggest names in F&B and business will come together under one roof. C-suite executives from supply chain behemoths DHL and Emirates SkyCargo; CMOs of global heavyweights Microsoft, Pizza Hut and PepsiCo; CEOs of regional star brands Majid Al Futtaim and Lulu International Group; world-renowned Michelin Star chefs and the UAE’s top culinary masters will deliver valuable insights and ‘new normal’ perspectives.

The show will serve as a way finder for the future of food across 20 exhibition halls engaging with thousands of global buyers looking to get their year off to a fast start and boost ‘new normal’ sales forecasts by accessing new product solutions to meet changing buying habits.  

Running alongside the exhibition, the heralded Gulfood Innovation Summit and The Marketing Society Speaker Series will host the brightest F&B minds and success-makers to address burning issues such as food security; supply chain; sustainable eating; and dialing into evolving consumer preferences. 

“After the challenges of the past 12 months, manufacturers, buyers and suppliers are relishing the chance to reconnect. From producers ready to unveil the latest sector solutions, to industry leaders providing new perspectives, and world-renowned chefs dishing up invaluable insights, Gulfood is the only trade enabling platform to rejuvenate industry fortunes in 2021 and beyond,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, DWTC.

“Along with the Gulfood Innovation Summit and energetic live demos and talks, Gulfood illuminates the entire F&B spectrum and provides both exploration and solutions for an industry gripped by transformation. Buoyed by our proven stringent safety measures, everyone connected with the industry recognises the importance of, and the opportunities available at this year’s show.”

With Gulfood 2021 being held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols, DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols, as evidenced by last December’s GITEX Technology Week - the only live in-person tech event in 2020 - held in December, where 96% of tens of thousands of local and international attendees recorded a ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ experience.

The Bold and The New

Amongst those acknowledging the magnitude of Gulfood 2021 and the rejuvenating sector potential it yields is one of the world’s largest food producers, Italy. With provenance increasingly finding its way into the conscience of F&B stakeholders, Italian food producers are descending on DWTC to spotlight the quality of their homegrown products.
 
“More than 120 Italian companies will participate at Gulfood 2021 to highlight the flavours, recipes, ingredients and variety that makes Italy one of the world’s biggest food producers. Among the participants from European Union, Italy is the most represented country at Gulfood. Italy has more than 80,000 bio based companies producing food products, and more than 16% of the total area of production in Italy is dedicated to such production. Indeed, of the 27 EU countries, Italy has the largest number of certifications of foods by place of origin,” said Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE and Director of Italian Trade Agency (ITA) Dubai Office.

Georgia is another nation leveraging the potential business of Gulfood for its manufacturers, with a high-powered trade delegation heading to the show for the first time. Georgia’s trade delegation features 14 companies specialising in organic fruits and vegetable juices, nuts, organic tea, bakery and confectionary goods, honey and canned and pickled vegetables.

“We are excited to showcase Georgia’s wide range of organic produce at Gulfood this year with a keen focus on our organic fruit and nuts, which accounted for 5.1% of Georgia’s total exports worth USD3,342.14 million in 2020. Compared to 2019, our fruit exports alone last year increased by 41%. With fourteen companies signed under our Georgian Trade Delegation umbrella, all are keen to introduce our proud food-producing nation to the industry and leverage the wide range of potential business opportunities the show has to offer,” said His Excellency Paata Kalandadze, Georgia’s Ambassador to the UAE.

Gulfood 2021 will also see new-to-region food industry players capitalise on market gaps following a turbulent year. Ukrainian fruit producers, USPA Fruit, is eager to seize opportunities aligned to changing consumer behaviours.

“Finally, we have an occasion to see each other in-person at Gulfood. It has been a very long and difficult year, so we are happy to be introducing Ukrainian blueberries and cherries as well as other crops at Gulfood 2021. There is huge business potential with visitors from many of our target markets in Dubai for the show,” said Volodymyr Gurzhiy, CEO of USPA Fruit.

Gulfood Innovation Summit: Influence and Insights

Running alongside the exhibition, the Gulfood Innovation Summit will deliver three days of powerful, thought-provoking conversations between the brightest minds in the business at the World Trade Centre Arena from 22 – 24 February.

With food security an ever-increasing issue, the Summit will open with a keynote address by Her Excellency Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, who will outline the UAE Food Security Strategy, which aims to establish the UAE’s top 10 ranking on the Global Food Security Index.

Her Excellency’s keynote will be followed by a session titled ‘Reaching 3 billion consumers’, examining how the UAE has navigated the challenges of the past 12 months to cement its strategic position in the global F&B supply chain. The high-profile panel includes Amadou Diallo, CEO, Middle East & Africa – DHL Global Forwarding; Dennis Lister, Vice President – Cargo Commercial Development – Emirates SkyCargo; Ahmad Al Haddad, Chief Operations Officer, DP World, UAE Region and Carlos Garcia, Partner, Middle East Customs and International Trade Leader – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Other key sessions throughout the three days of 30 hours of high-profile curated content include how food businesses can level up by tapping into platforms such as TikTok; food waste; retail disruption, with Andrey Dvoychenkov, Managing Director, Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan, Nielsen; destination dining, with José Silva, CEO – Jumeirah; and many more.

Talking Business

Elsewhere, the Marketing Society Speaker Series will deliver more thought-provoking insights from some of the biggest names in the industry on Monday, 22 February. Peter DeBenedictis, CMO Microsoft – MEA, will discuss ‘Purpose Driven Marketing’; Beverly D’Cruz, Chief Brand Officer – Pizza Hut, META, will analyse ‘Food and/or digital product launches which address consumer needs during/post Covid-19’. Mustafa Shamseldin, Chief Marketing Officer – Africa, Middle East and South Asia – PepsiCo, will join a fireside chat with Maria Gedeon, Director of Sales & Marketing, Majid Al Futtaim, to discuss the ‘Future of marketing and advertising food products.’ 

Business and Safety

With product sampling and handling such a vital aspect of a global F&B event, existing and proven protocols have been further intensified for Gulfood 2021 under strict guidance and coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Municipality to ensure the safest possible business conditions.

Wearing of masks is mandatory, with social distancing in place to ensure the wellbeing of all delegates. 


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