More than 300 brands from 27 countries are on display at the inaugural Foodex Saudi exhibition that opened yesterday (December 8) in Jeddah.
The event, opened by Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Fuhaid, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, will run until December 11 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.
It is organised by Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, a joint venture between the world’s largest event organiser Reed Exhibitions and Sunaidi Expo, a division of Alfadl Group.
“The Saudi food and beverage industry is in the midst of a boom and is forecast to grow significantly over the next five years to not only sustain domestic demand, but meet its international export potential too. Foodex Saudi aims to connect international brands to this ripe market opportunity while showcasing Saudi Arabia’s potential as a global F&B hub,” said Simon Blazeby, director, Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions.
Food sales in Saudi Arabia account for around half of the domestic retail market and are expected to be worth almost $70 billion by 2016, with food consumption growing at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent from 2012 to 2017.
Thousands of trade visitors thronged the halls on the first day of Foodex Saudi to meet with familiar and new-to-region brands from across the US, Europe, Middle East and Far East.
Representing almost every sector in the F&B industry, Foodex Saudi offered a full spectrum product showcase with everything from food ingredients, prepared meals, gourmet and organic to health foods, food technology & packaging, confectionery & baked goods on display.
Ashraf Shehata, Quality and Food Safety director, Mars Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said: “There is no doubt about the growth potential of the Saudi F&B market. As we have been in the market for over 30 years, we have a great understanding of the dynamics of the Kingdom and look forward to pursuing our investment over the long term.”
“Events like Foodex Saudi and Saudi Food Forum represent a great opportunity to bring the relevant stakeholders around the table to discuss the issues, policy and regulatory developments as well as business opportunities that will drive the industry and its contribution to the country and its people.”
The first day of the show also marked the start of the Saudi Food Forum. Organised by the Halal Development Council, under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture KSA, the event was attended by prominent delegates from more than 30 countries.
During the three-day forum delegates will debate and discuss key issues affecting the Kingdom’s F&B sector including development of the local food and agriculture industry, food safety and security, supply chain logistics, harmonization of Halal food standards and food investment and marketing opportunities.
“We’ve been really impressed with the level of exhibitor participation in the inaugural Foodex Saudi exhibition and visitor attendance, just on this first day, is higher than what we were expecting. There is a real sense among delegates that this is the place to do business within the Saudi F&B sector, which bodes well for us to deliver a successful first show,” added Blazeby.
Foodex Saudi is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. – TradeArabia News Service