Industry, Logistics & Shipping

Top exhibitors 'rethink food' at Gulfood

Leading food and beverage (F&B) companies from across the globe, innovative finished food brands, supply chain disruptors and next-generation producers ‘rethinking food’ are participating in Gulfood 2020, being held in Dubai, UAE.

The five-day exhibition will conclude today (February 20), at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

From technology-first greenhouses for fruit and vegetables, new-to-market energy drink and water in a box concepts being championed by pioneering UAE producers, to international plant-based meat alternative heavyweights and protein-rich chicken-free nuggets from New Zealand, the future focus at Gulfood 2020 has cemented the show’s global standing as a must-attend food and beverage sector trend-tracker.

Some of the leading industry game-changers rethinking food at Gulfood 2020 include:

• American Indian Foods, US: With ethically sourced and all-natural produce high on global consumers’ shopping lists, the American Indian Foods (AIF) programme, supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is displaying dozens of export-ready food products at Gulfood 2020. Originating from 583 federally recognised Native American Tribes and Alaskan Native communities, AIF products include Red Lake Nations Foods’ wild rice, which is harvested from fresh-water lakes by Native Americans in traditional canoes.

• Andrea Milano, Italy: The winner of the Gulfood Innovation Award for Best Health & Wellness Product, Andrea Milano’s Detox Line of vinegars use 100 per cent organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised ingredients. Perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike because of their health properties, the no-sugar vinegars come in eight flavours: Apple Cider, Pomegranate, Balsamic, Red Wine, White Wine, Apple Cider with Turmeric and Ginger, Apple Cider with Turmeric and Cinnamon and Apple Cider with Matcha and Lemon. The products can be consumed as a daily health shot, mixed with ice for a refreshing juice, or used as dressings. As Andrea Milano promise, vinegar really is an art.

• B’ More by Nordic Foods, Latvia: Produced by Latvia’s Nordic Foods, a pioneer in molecular nutrition research, B’ More is a high-quality water brand enriched with plant stem cells and patented vitamin and mineral complexes devised by specialists in Germany. B’ More is available in seven varieties - Refresh, Meditation, Brain Power, Slim, Anti-Aging, Prego and Vegan - with each delivering unique physical benefits from their individual vitamin and natural chemical ingredient bases. Making its Gulfood debut in 2020, B’ More is a true smart food brand that is planet-friendly and high in nutritional value.

• Beyond Meat, USA, and Zandbergen, The Netherlands: After debuting at Gulfood in 2019 with only three UAE customers, Beyond Meat, the revolutionary plant-based meats pioneer, arrived at this year’s show with more than 300 customers in the Emirates alone. At Gulfood 2020, Ihab Leheta, Beyond Meat’s Director of International Sales, said the company’s ongoing partnership with Zandbergen, the Dutch protein supply chain leader, will soon see Europe and the Middle East receive their Beyond Meat produce straight from a new factory in the Netherlands, which can produce four tonnes of products per hour – and up to 98 per cent less water and land use than traditional livestock farming.

• Bord Bia: With ethical products and provenance higher on consumers’ radars than ever, Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, descended on Gulfood 2020 with 11 Irish meat and dairy companies that are all verified members of its Origin Green sustainability programme. Origin Green is the only programme in the world functioning at the national level, a move which highlights Ireland’s continuing efforts to open new corridors globally for Irish products with a focus on sustainability.

• Dubai Energy Drink, UAE: A homegrown energy drink bearing the name of the fast-paced city it calls home, Dubai Energy Drink launched to the world at Gulfood 2020. Responding to the recent implementation of excise tax on carbonated and energy drinks, Dubai Energy Drink comes in a “world’s first” sugar-free version made with Stevia, the all-natural, plant-based sweetener that contains zero calories and has a number of benefits including lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

• For Aisha, UK: The award-winning, ethical British baby food producer, which is free from gluten, soya and allergens, and made without dairy, is the UK’s only halal-certified baby food brand in the Middle East. The multicultural, dietician-approved For Aisha flavour range boasts three times as many ingredients (20+) as conventional baby food, and features an array of exotic recipes, including Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Shepherd’s Pie, Moroccan Chicken Tagine, and Salmon & Sweet Potato Mash. The microwaveable pouches are time-savers in the convenience-first food era.

• FS Goods, Estonia: The winner of the Gulfood Innovation Award for Best Organic Product, Estonia’s FS Goods, a specialist bone broth producer, has created a new vegetable broth using all-natural and, where possible, locally-sourced ingredients, including carrot, onion, leek, cabbage, parsnip, celery root, turnip, parsley root, white mushroom, herbs, chive and thyme. The unique formula and recipes involve a traditional production method - perfected by FS Goods’ Founder & CEO Helgor Markov and Indrek Kivisalu, the former Chef de Cuisine of the Estonian President - where ingredients are roasted, boiled in huge kettles for 12 hours, filtered and then cooled before packaging. The clean label, non-GMO and 100 per cent organic vegetable broth has no artificial additives and is ready to eat after being heated. It’s perfect as a standalone snack and can be used in smoothies, soups, risotto and porridge.

• Hatuma by Blossom Hill Farm, New Zealand: Dubbed the ‘future of food security and vegan proteins’, the Hatuma range of Chicken-free Vegan Nuggets combine only two core ingredients: yellow peas and jack fruits. With the climate-friendly yellow peas providing high levels of protein for a vegan food product, the jack fruit ingredient provides a meaty texture. Approved by the Vegetarian Society and available in three flavours, original, terayaki and spicy mala, the Hatuma range counts 50 per cent less fat and 30 per cent less sodium than traditional alternatives.

• McCain Foods, Canada: In an era of fast food delivery, soggy fries may be about become a thing of the past. McCain Foods, the world's largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, is disrupting the French fries market with SureCrisp, which the Canadian manufacturer says stay crispy for 25-30 minutes longer than other fries – a huge plus for foodservice delivery businesses the world over.

• National Food Products Company, UAE, and Tetra Pak, Sweden: The UAE’s National Food Products Company (NFPC) underlined its innovative sustainability agenda by announcing the country’s first boxed drinking water product will hit supermarket shelves in March. With the Oasis water brand’s Tetra Pak carton packages boasting a wealth of biodegradable and recyclable properties, Iqbal Hamzah, Group CEO of NFPC, believes the products will “resonate very strongly with people who are making concerted efforts to reduce their carbon foot-print and play their role in sustaining the planet.”

• Paladin, Portugal: An award-winning Portuguese producer of sauces and vinegars, Paladin has created a novel cheese sauce condiment using off-cuts sourced from traditional dairy farms on the Azores archipelago. By limiting dairy producers’ natural wastage by repurposing off-cuts, Paladin is a true circular economy innovator re-thinking food production. With its products currently sold in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Paladin, which also makes sun-dried fig vinegar using visually imperfect figs grown by Portuguese farmers that would be rejected by supermarkets, is searching for UAE and Egypt distributors at Gulfood.

• Pure Harvest, UAE: Founded in 2016 and operational since August 2018, Pure Harvest is a high-tech “proof of concept” greenhouse in Abu Dhabi’s Nahel area focused on year-round production of healthy and tasty fruits and vegetables sold at a lower cost to imports. Combining world-leading growing technologies, including photosynthesis sensors, hydroponics and heat cameras, the 6,500-sq m Pure Harvest greenhouse uses top European growing practises to produce a kilogram of tomatoes for only 40 litres of water – six times less than the 260 litres required in conventional farming. Pure Harvest is planning 10.5 hectares of greenhouses in the GCC, with 4.5 hectares in the UAE and 6 hectares in KSA.

• Rhodius, Germany: While not new to Gulfood, 2020 marks the first year that Rhodius, the Germany-based can filling experts, have brought its mineral water in a can concept to the Middle East. Sourced from natural springs 500 m underground in the low mountain range of Eifel in western Germany, Rhodius’ mineral water in  full aluminium cans are white label-friendly, produced in a CO2-free plant and an alternative for markets where water cannot be sourced locally, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service