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05/06/2018 – News / Event / FoodEx Saudi / Saudi Arabia

International manufacturers to compete for their share of flourishing Saudi market at Foodex Saudi expo in November

Foodex Saudi is set to return to Jeddah Center for Forums and Events for its sixth edition from 12–15 November 2018, as one of the leading events in the international food & beverage sector calendar. The previous exhibition secured around 600 international brands, and all the signs are that this year’s show will not only match but also likely surpass the achievements of previous editions of the premier F&B professionals’ event.


Last year, the event welcomed the participation of companies hailing from more than 32 countries – all seeking to attract influential Saudi food importers, distributors and investors. The show’s previous edition was inaugurated by Prince Abdullah Bin Saud, Chairman of the Tourism and Entertainment Committee in Jeddah Chamber for Commerce. Prince Abdullah said that the wide participation of European, Asian and Arab countries proves the event’s importance and high demand for diversity in the local food market. 


According to recent statistics from Saudi’s Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI), the Kingdom imports about 70 per cent of its food and spends about SR 87 billion (US$23bn) annually.


Major participation from Europe


Haya Al-Sunaidi, Chairwoman of Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, noted that the event this year will be characterized by a remarkable European participation from such countries as Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Portugal and Greece, with firms hailing from those nations offering advanced and high quality products. Foodex Saudi provides the perfect business and trade platform for international exhibitors competing to have their share in the Saudi market. 


Ms Al-Sunaidi pointed out that the exhibition has grown significantly year-on-year – in tandem with the ever-expanding prominence of Saudi Arabia as one of the largest, most promising markets in the world – raising the level of aspiration for the upcoming edition. 


Providing variety


The Chairwoman of Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions went on to mention the ‘Salon Culinaire’ competition, which will see the participation of 158 chefs from different countries in 16 professional sections, representing the most famous restaurants and hotels in the Kingdom and supervised by World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), Saudi Arabian Chefs Table Circle (SACTC), as well as Saudi Arabian Chef Association (SARCA).


“Every year I visit this exhibition to find out about new products and to network with international and local suppliers,” reported Mazin Batterjee, Vice President of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce. “I am glad to see that the exhibition is growing fast in terms of the number of exhibitors and partners. There is a continuous demand in the Saudi market for high quality products – and Foodex Saudi helps to provide the variety we are looking for.” 


















Favourable reviews


Foodex exhibitors and guests from the show’s previous event are pleased by the results and are looking forward to returning this year. 


“We think that the visitors are professional,” remarked Tomas Llistosella, Export Manager at Frit Ravich, Spain.  “They are looking for specific products. I'm quite satisfied with Foodex Saudi.” 


“This is our 5th time in Foodex Saudi,” noted Khalid Baassiri, General Manager at Alpha Trading and Shipping Agencies, LLC, KSA. “Every year the show is getting better in terms of the quality of exhibitors and visitors. The number of visitors is increasing year after year. Our main goal as a leading food trade company in Saudi Arabia is to meet with international suppliers and build partnerships.” 


“This is the first time we’ve decided to come to Saudi Arabia,” revealed Luiz Eduardo Yurgel, International Trade Director at Josapar, Brazil. “It's a very nice show. We had the opportunity to meet a lot of potential buyers, and probably we are going to come back next year.” 


“This is our first time in Foodex Saudi,” said Hussen Alfakih, General Manager at Al Baraka Fresh Dairy Factory, based in the UAE. “We are delighted with our participation, as we had a chance to meet a lot of trade professionals, businessmen and investors.”


"We found the exhibition very good in terms of organisation and in terms of high-quality visitors,” observed Enver Saidoglu, Export Manager at IMPA ICECEK VE MESRUPAT PAZ. SAN. TIC. LTD. STI, from Turkey. “We made good connections and had useful negotiations. I think that after the exhibition we will be able to maintain good business relations. Most likely, we will participate next year as well.” 


“It was a very well organised and eventful show with high interest from the visitors,” said Chef Thomas Gugler, President of World Association Of Chef Societies (Wacs). “I am sure that expectations were met. The international pavilions were set up nicely and the exhibitors from the whole world were well selected.” 


A swiftly expanding market


Saudi Arabia has the largest food market in the Gulf and the Middle East, boasting with strong economic and consumer power, according to the recent data from Central Department of Statistics. Fast food market exceeds SR5bn (US$1.33bn) a year, with the retail sales growing by 66 per cent – fuelled by a large number of new hypermarkets and food markets. Food and beverage imports are expected to increase up to SR130 billion (US$34.6bn) by 2020, compared to a current SR80bn (US$21.3bn).



For more about Foodex Saudi, visit:

Latest issue – Vol 1/23
– Health & Nutrition focus
– Gulfood 2023 Special
– Next level legume – The rise of the chickpea
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