Gulfood is celebrating its silver anniversary this month by inspiring the food industry to rethink end-to-end production and supply to meet huge consumer demand and opportunities heading into an important new decade.
The exhibition will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from February 16 to 20 under the tagline ‘Rethinking Food.’ The theme, and call to tackle the industry challenge, come amid increased environmental concerns and massively changing consumer habits, triggered by more widespread recognition of dwindling resources, according to DWTC, organisers of Gulfood.
"These are changing times with greater demand than ever before for safe and secure food to meet the needs of a growing population. Additionally, consumers are seeking more environmentally conscious products, with greater efficiency and affordability. This has resulted in new opportunities for the entire food supply chain, from industry stalwarts to innovative start-ups,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC.
“The industry has made a start, but more needs to be done. As the leading F&B event, Gulfood is at the forefront of change, which is why we’ve tasked food and beverage makers to demonstrate and discuss how they are rethinking food. As a multibillion-dollar trading hub and agenda-setting knowledge platform, this edition of Gulfood will address major issues and chart the future of F&B.”
As an F&B innovator, Gulfood has added a host of new interactive features to complement its trusted line-up of favourites at Gulfood 2020.
“We strive to rethink Gulfood with every edition to elevate visitor and exhibitor experience alike. This year’s ‘Rethinking Food’ theme truly comes to life through our features – with captivating new experiences complementing the hugely popular regular programmes. The potential for business, and interactive approach of the show this year, once again reaffirm Gulfood’s position as the industry benchmark’,” added LohMirmand.
Headlining the exciting new Gulfood additions is The Retreat, a space dedicated to mind and body. The Retreat promises a unique experience where visitors can engage in several physical and intellectual skills challenges or relax the mind while exploring the calming surroundings and sample some of the country’s most fresh and organic produce grown using the latest agriculture technology in the Zen Café.
The rethink theme is further infused through STREAT, another all-new addition that meets changing consumer habits.
STREAT will mark the UAE debut of street food pioneers, Chef Chan Hon Meng, the first Michelin Star hawker (street food) chef, from famed Singapore-based eatery Liao Fan Hawker Chan, and Tsuta by Chef Yuki Onishi, founder and executive chef of the Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles, the world’s first Michelin Star Ramen eatery, who will bring authentic street food dishes on the show floor. The duo will demonstrate their world-renowned craft while showcasing famed dishes including soya sauce chicken rice – the first Michelin Star hawker dish.
In addition, the brand-new Future Zone will bring together the region’s most innovative products and foods of the future, allowing visitors to learn more about, and explore business opportunities with, true trend setters from exhibiting enterprises, SMEs and startups alike.
Maintaining the spotlight on culinary excellence, Tastes of the World returns to Gulfood 2020. The multi-sensory culinary experience will bring together Michelin Star chefs and renowned celebrity food change-makers, such as Chef Elena Arzak, a three Michelin Star chef and Chef Paco Pre, holder of two Michelin Stars, showcasing stand-out cuisines.
The duo will lead a high-calibre taste sensation from more than 20 countries spanning four continents. Additionally, some of the region’s top chefs, including Nick & Scott, of acclaimed Dubai restaurant Folly; Gregoire Berger, of Ossiano, and Akmal Anuar of 3 Fils Restaurant, will join the league of world-class chefs.
Running alongside the main exhibition, the Gulfood Innovation Summit will take a deep dive into the future of food and beverage. The ‘Rethink’ theme will shape debate on the challenges and prospects impacting the industry across three days of high-profile discussions, from February 17 to 19.
Amongst more than 60 high-calibre industry decision makers taking the summit stage is Prince Waleed Naser Al-Saud, President, Saudi Arabia Restaurant & Cafes Association, who will highlight the opportunities in the kingdom and during his keynote ‘Saudi Arabia: A new vision’ on day one of the conference.
Meanwhile, the popular Gulfood Startup Programme is back as a platform to continue fostering and promoting innovation and supporting the latest industry entrants ahead of an exciting decade for the F&B operators. With a tried and trusted format, the programme will provide entrepreneurs with a tailored platform to demonstrate their contribution towards the future of food industry.
On the show floor, F&B producers will demonstrate how they are rethinking food for a sustainable future. Long-term Gulfood supporter Al Ain Farms – the UAE’s first dairy producer and the official dairy provider for Expo 2020 – will unveil its new water brand H20 at the show, demonstrating the high levels of innovation at play in the UAE.
“We strive to provide products for all people living in the UAE,” explained Milana Boskovic, head of marketing at Al Ain Farms. The launch of this water is a major milestone for the company as it represents our expansion into completely new product categories under the vision to be the food basket to the nation in 2020.”
“The market has seen an intense shift in consumption patterns, with more single packs being consumed, and a huge boom in healthy trends, as consumers are becoming more aware of ingredients and recipes, looking for the best quality for themselves and for their families. We have been adopting these trends and today provide consumers with the best sourced local ingredients made with love locally and delivered fresh to the whole UAE.”
UAE innovation pioneer Al Ghurair, which has 40 years’ experience in the industry, has pinpointed health and convenience as emerging regional trends and plans to use the Gulfood silver anniversary edition to launch ready-to-eat flavoured oats fortified with vitamin D, which the company says has been invented to meet F&B’s “two main trends”. -- Tradearabia News Service