By Eileen Mencias
Some 25 Philippine food manufacturers will participate in Gulfood, a much-anticipated trade show for food and beverages at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates from February 19 to 23.
According to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM), Gulfood brings together the leading food and beverage brands from more than 120 countries worldwide.
This year, Gulfood’s theme, ‘Healthy and Convenient Food Options,’ recognizes the increasing demand for healthy, organic, and convenient food in the UAE.
A study by Future Markets Insights, a US-based market research organization, estimated the organic food market in the UAE to have reached $176 billion in 2023.
CITEM executive director Edward Fereira expressed confidence that the Philippines is more than capable of taking advantage of this huge market opportunity.
“Consumers shifting to healthy food options could be equated to people opting to live a more sustainable lifestyle. People have become more conscious about their well-being. This trend could work in our favor only if we provide a competitive environment for our local food enterprises. That’s why it’s only fitting that the Philippines takes part in international trade shows such as Gulfood,” Fereira said.
Philippine exports to the UAE amounted to P50 million last year, aided in part by the participation of Philippine companies in Gulfood.
“The Philippines has a lot more to offer. Our consistent participation in this annual trade show for food and beverage will sustain the benefits we have gained after expanding our market share in the global halal trade,” Fereira said.
The Philippine pavilion at Gulfood will feature healthy food products, including plant-based snacks, healthy snack bars, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, high-protein options, as well as ready-to-cook meals.
Among the Philippine companies participating in Gulfood are Amley Food Corp., CaLe88 Foods Corp., DT Interacts Philippines, Inc., Krystle Exports Philippines, Inc., Market Reach International Resources, Mega Prime Food, Inc., Miguelitos International Corp., Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc., Pixel Transglobal Foods, Inc., Q-Phil International Trading, Sagrex Foods, Inc., Sandpiper Spices and Condiments Corp, See’s International Food Manufacturing Corp., SL Agritech Corp., Yan Yan International Philippines, Inc., DATAJ Aquafarm, Inc., JBM Food Products, Lighthouse Cooperative, Bestfriend Goodies, Sabroso Chocolate Manufacturing, Seabeth Food Processing, Gem Foods International, Inc., Profood International Corp., Lionheart Farms Philippines Corp., Hijo Superfoods, Inc.