Innovative Food Manufacturers to Offer Healthier, Convenient Options for the Middle East

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 | 1695 Views

Enterprise Singapore, together with the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA), is leading a 46-company delegation to exhibit at Gulfood 2019 which takes place between 17 to 21 February. The number of food and beverage companies exhibiting is up from last year’s 38 (21 percent increase). 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 Middle East region or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In 2018, the Middle East accounted for almost S$280 million of Singapore’s manufactured food exports, of which 75 percent were destined for the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE ranked the top food export destinations in the region last year. In 2018, 90 percent of 28 partnerships between local food companies with franchisees and distributors in the Middle East were undertaken by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Today, more than 30 Singapore food companies are doing business in the region.


Growing Appetite For Healthier & More Convenient Food Options

The size of the UAE’s F&B market is projected to hit US$35 billion for food and US$3.8 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 per capita (GDP), increasing consumption and spending, and expanding local and expatriate populations. With today’s time-pressed lifestyles and rising demand for differentiated food offerings to meet the sophisticated taste preferences of consumers, models such as online grocery services, food delivery mobile applications and food trucks are gaining popularity.

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. With innovation as the bedrock of Singapore’s food industry, Singapore food manufacturers are using technologies such as High-Pressure Processing (HPP) and Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilisation (MATS) to extend the shelf-life of food products and preserve their nutritional and sensorial quality.


A Taste Of Singapore At Gulfood 2019

In celebration of a decade of Singapore’s participation at Gulfood, three new highlights showcase the range of food offerings and innovation capabilities of Singapore food manufacturers: networking dinner for international buyers & Singapore companies, supermarket aisle and an innovation & technology zone.