Consumers shaping today’s food trends

DUBAI — Consumers are the driving force shaping the future of the food industry; with demand for convenience, a hunger for greater transparency and use of social media platforms identified as the three key game-changers for the industry.

By (Staff Report)

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Published: Thu 28 Feb 2013, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:41 AM

Those are the conclusions of Yousif Abdulghani, managing director of McDonalds Middle East and Africa, speaking at Gulfood, the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality show.

“Consumers’ changing needs are driving us as an industry to offer more choices, better service, and better value. Consumers are changing their eating habits — there is more out of home consumption, they want convenience and they want to know more about their food, how it is made and where it comes from. They are hungry for information and demand transparency from companies,” he said.

He was discussing major trends affecting the Middle East food industry in a lively panel debate session entitled ‘Who is shaping the future of food? Big business, consumer or public policy?’.

McDonald’s operates more than 360 restaurants and employ over 10,000 people in the GCC.

“What is exciting and also challenging to see is how lifestyle shifts, technology and social media are changing the way that people interact with brands in our industry,” Abdulghani said.

He praised the role of regional governments in ensuring quality standards, especially in terms of halal certification, food safety and hygiene. “We believe that governments should actively work with businesses to establish guidelines and regulations that can positively enhance industry practices.”

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