05/10/2017 – News / Foodex Saudi / Kingdom of Saudi Arabia / Exhibition / Middle East
Foodex Saudi 2017 kicks off in November as the Kingdom’s food & bev sector booms
Returning for its fifth edition from 12th to 15th November, the international food and beverage exhibition ‘Foodex Saudi 2017’ will showcase 214 exhibitors displaying 520 brands from 35 countries.
The prestigious four-day event will take place at Jeddah Center for Forums and Events, presenting the latest products in the food sector from across the globe.
Haya Al-Sunaidi, chairwoman of the organising committee, said that the increased number of exhibitors, countries and participants is significantly raising expectations for the opportunities that the fifth edition of Foodex Saudi will present when it opens in just over five weeks’ time.
Indeed, preparations have been on-going for months, with 9,800 square metres of floor space providing a great setting for trading companies and manufacturers from the food and beverage retail sectors to showcase new food products.
First-time exhibitors, including a number of Spanish beef companies, are counting on Foodex Saudi to provide an effective exhibition springboard from which to launch their produce in the Saudi market for the first time.
Boosting the national F&B sector
In line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the Foodex Saudi exhibition is intended to boost the national food and beverage industry and to raise the competition to the highest international standards.
Ms Al-Sunaidi confirmed that the exhibition this year will welcome international expert manufacturers in organic and natural food, seeds and grains, in addition to other food products sectors.
Rony Al-Haddad director of the exhibition highlighted that Foodex Saudi is the largest Saudi International exhibition that is “100 per cent specialised in the food and beverage industry”, and noted that such activity was helping to energise one of the pillars of the national vision in supporting the government’s aim to generate one million jobs in the retail sector by 2020. He emphasised that the event “provides opportunities and exchange of expertise and business with 214 exhibitors from 35 countries”.
Mr Al-Haddad went on to point out that the ‘Salon Culinaire’ competition would see the participation of 158 chefs from across the world competing in 17 professional categories and endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle and Saudi Chefs Association (SARCA).
Beefing up Spanish exports
For his part, exhibitor Jose Ramon Godoy, International Manager of Provacuno – the professional organisation for Spain’s beef producers – said: “This is our first participation and promotion of Spanish beef in Saudi Arabia. We are enthusiastic about participation in Foodex Saudi, and to endorse the advantages of our products in the Saudi market.
“We are pleased to introduce Spanish beef to local importers as a quality product. We will present a wide variety of products (from the calf to the beef) known for quality assurance along the industrial process and following the European Production System for tenderness and digestibility in of all products.”
The largest food market in the Gulf
“The Saudi market is very interesting for the Spanish beef sector because of its high demand and high level of imports, and also as a market with appreciation for top quality products and with high purchasing power,” Mr Godoy added, stating that to be the reason why Spanish exporters saw the Saudi market as “a priority”.
Saudi Arabia boasts the largest food market in the Gulf and the Middle East, and demonstrates strong economic and consumer power. According to Vijay Sarathi, Lead Analyst (Food & Beverages) at Technavio Research, Saudi Arabia’s food import rate is expected to reach almost US$35 billion by 2020 (130 billion Saudi riyals). Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan’s research ‘Packaged Foods Market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’, finds that the total food industry in KSA accounted for 12 per cent of its GDP last year and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9 per cent from 2016 through to 2020.
With all major supermarkets and hypermarkets in expansion mode, the private label segment is poised to experience significant growth in the coming years, with Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Science Consultant David Anil Kumar estimating an increase from five per cent up to 10-15 per cent by 2020. Food retailers are expanding rapidly to strengthen their foothold in the market and access more consumer segments. According to Technavio, the number of food retail outlets in Saudi Arabia was more than 42,000 in 2014, yet is projected to reach 50,000 by the end of 2020.
For more information on the upcoming FoodEx Saudi expo, visit: www.foodexsaudi.com