With the Middle Eastern food, beverage and hospitality sectors identified as key for generating growth for the global food industry, the importance of trend tracking, innovation and keeping abreast of new business developments has never been more important.
The Gulfood Conference, which runs alongside the world’s largest annual trade exhibition for food, drink and hospitality, will provide delegates with invaluable information and insights from international experts, analysts and business leaders. This year’s conference has been expanded with an increased focus on market education and includes, high level keynote addresses, leading regional and international speakers and an additional number of interactive sessions.
Gulfood, which takes place from 27 February – 2 March 2011 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is the region’s undisputed business transaction platform for the industry and generates hundreds of millions of dirhams in business deals every year.
“As the most influential trade exhibition for the food and beverage industry, Gulfood is equally accountable for business growth and industry leadership. The Gulfood Conference has been developed to share information that is both relevant and practical in keeping professionals up to date and enabling them to build more profitable businesses,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood.
“Tracking trends, pursuing opportunities and applying best practice are all key elements which will be highlighted at the Conference. There is no doubt that the industry expertise offered during this event adds an invaluable element to the show,” he added.
Under the umbrella theme “Global Trends – Regional Opportunities”, the three day conference begins on 28 February and will focus on industry strategy, marketing and business growth issues and opportunities relevant to all sectors of the industry. These include maximising opportunities in the global packaged food market, tracking consumer trends and innovation, in-depth Middle East market analysis, regional growth opportunities and policies, and the critical sustainability/green issues facing the food industry.
Keynote speakers Craig F. Binetti, President, DuPont Nutrition and Health will describe the impending challenges and opportunities for the global food industry and Charles Brand, Vice President Market and Product Management, Tetra Pak Group, will provide an overview on consumer trends driving innovation in the global and regional packaging industries.
Brand explains: “Innovation means transforming knowledge into new products and services or into new processes and new working methods. Striving for renewal, or innovation, is one of the most important driving forces in the global economy, stimulating competition and affecting our very existence. At Tetra Pak, innovation is the result of the total process of developing an idea into a product or a new way of working which adds value to the business. Innovation embraces everything from hatching an idea to reaching the marketplace with a new or improved product. Whichever way you define it, it is important. Innovation is one of the mainstays of our survival and growth.”
With the current global halal food industry estimated to be worth $1.2 trillion according to HalalFocus, the implementation of an internationally recognised certification system is becoming increasingly important. Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin, CEO of the Halal Industry Development Corporation in Malaysia will provide an insight into this topical issue and the opportunities presented within this fast-growing sector.
One of the world’s leading providers of business intelligence and strategic market analysis, Gulfood’s knowledge partner Euromonitor International, will be taking delegates through a comprehensive overview of the global packaged food market. This includes the specific food sector potential of health and wellness packaged food products, halal food, ethical food trends such as organic, fair-trade and eco-friendly, and performance in packaged food retailing. Presented by Lee Linthicum, Head of Global Food Research at Euromonitor International, the session will also include valuable case studies from the MEA region to give regional perspective and focus.
One of the key growth opportunities presenting itself across the region is franchising, with many international restaurant chains looking to the Middle East to increase their global footprint, and a growing number of regional food manufacturers and F&B outlets moving into international markets. Senior executives from World Franchise Associates, Franexcel, Midamar Corporation and Margaritaville Holdings will offer delegates unprecedented insights from all perspectives with a special focus on acquiring brands, building successful networks, franchise agreements and legal and financial success factors.
Other global and regional initiatives on the agenda for the Gulfood conference include the emergence of regional powerbrands, the power of white-label or private brands, working with key retailers as the primary distribution channel, food packaging industry trends, and developments in processing technologies.
A series of thought provoking panel discussions and focused workshops will add exceptional value to the conference this year, with particular focus on the Middle East beverage market, the food retail landscape in the region from a senior management perspective, invaluable sessions on franchising, branding, and hotel industry trends.
Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. Complimentary registration is available in advance online. Industry business professionals on the day of the show will be able to buy either a Day Pass for AED 75, or a Four Day Pass for AED 150. Conference Delegate rates AED 950 per day, Workshops: AED 650 (each). Prices include refreshments and a complimentary 4 day pass to Gulfood. Registration is available now online at www.gulfood.com. Gulfood is open from 11am – 7pm Sunday 27 February 2011 to Tuesday 1 March 2011 and from 11am to 5pm on Wednesday 2 March.
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
The trade-only show reported record visitor attendance in 2010 with a total of 55,379 trade professionals from 152 countries attending the exhibition.
For more information, please visit www.gulfood.com.