Food and beverage players across the UAE have observed a surge in demand for organic produce and products, which is in line with global trends.
Experts at the Gulfood 2021 exhibition revealed that consumers have become increasingly knowledgeable about proper nutrition, traceability, and farm-to-fork concepts. This, they said, is driving and accelerating growth in the organic food segement.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group, said: “The growth of healthy and organic foods has really taken off in a big way as more people are focusing on the organic range. At Al Maya, we are constantly increasing our range of organic products; in fact, in our recently concluded British Food Festival, we featured a large number of organic products.”
“We are continuously adding to our organic range at almaya supermarkets and have always been at the forefront in offering healthy products ranges,” he added. “We represent Woolworths from Australia on an exclusive basis and we just added a large range of healthy products from them. We are also taking up with Canadian companies to supply us with additional organic products. Our current organic range includes chia seeds, flax seeds, cereals, eggs, milk, chocolates, energy bars, pasta, rice, oil and vinegar, and honey.”
Valerie Brown, regional agricultural counselor, at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Dubai, also highlighted the shift towards healthy organic ranges. “Organic is huge for us. Sustainability is a message that we are very eager to showcase, and we are delighted with the fact that it is also a message that will be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai. People have to understand that this is topic that impacts all of our lives and is the way forward.”
She also revealed that the UAE and the US have been working together on the issues of food security for several years now. “Technology plays a key role in food sustainability especially when you look at innovations such as vertical farming, drip irrigation, and indoor farming.”
“Trade between the UAE and the US has been steadily growing year on year, and we have come up with several strategies that will help support exporters post-Covid-19, especially in the ‘new to market’ segment,” she added.
Guillaume Vannier Moreau, CEO of La Mandorle, a French company specialising in the production of organic plant-based milks and high nutritional value food solutions, noted that the organics market is maturing in terms of the type and range of products being launched. Organics, he explained, is a lifestyle that goes beyond buying organic fruits and vegetables. Towards this end, the company has developed a wide range of organic almond milks that come in a variety of flavours for both adults and children. The company is also showcasing its range of organic baby food, developed especially for infants that are lactose intolerant.
“Faced with the growth of food allergies and intolerances, it has been a very important mission for us to develop a range of food products that are suitable for adults with La Mandorle and for babies and children with Bebe M. We take pride in offering clean eating options closest to their purest forms to our consumers and the integrity of each product is at the heart of what we do. The UAE is a market with great potential for the export of organic French food products and we are very excited to take part in this year’s Gulfood exhibition to introduce our latest product ranges in this food sector,” he said.
Events to be staged at the DWTC, comprising diverse sectors including construction, energy, technology, beauty, food, healthcare, environment and automotive, will mark the emirate’s post-pandemic economic recovery