Growth in low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-calorie oils driven by health-conscious consumer demand
An increasing appetite for olive oil is spearheading strong demand for edible oils across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), putting the sector on track to record a 5.3 per cent compound annual growth rate by 2021, far outstripping the forecasted 3.8 per cent global average, according to Euromonitor International, the market research provider.
Euromonitor International also reported that soaring demand for olive oil, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, is the result of an influx of Arab and Southern European expatriates and an increase in the number of health-conscious consumers.
“Growing health awareness is enabling more oil brands to penetrate the market, a trend that is set to further extend consumer awareness and, therefore, build category sales,” stated the Euromonitor report.
Oils from vegetables, nuts and fish are also in high demand among increasingly health-conscious consumers, along with ‘low-impacting processing’ oils, in which nutrients are immune to heat – such as virgin olive oil, raw coconut oil and cold pressed walnut oil.
The growing interest in edible oils has given rise to a specialised Fat & Oils segment at next month’s Gulfood 2017, the 22nd edition of the world’s largest food and hospitality exhibition, which runs from 26 February to 2 March, at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
For the first time in its 30-year history, Gulfood 2017 will boast an evolved format where finished food and beverage products are divided into eight specialist sectors – a change designed to generate more direct access, deeper market insight and greater business potential for the 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors.
“This dedicated segmented approach will greatly increase accessibility and trading potential as global food producers and traders establish new supply routes to reach customers and monetize opportunities in emerging markets,” explained Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC. “It creates a heightened experience for buyers and traders of the various product groups by connecting them with the right experts in one place. This enables them to acquire greater market insights and make strategic purchasing decisions in a shorter time frame.”
The concept has received a welcome response from Gulfood’s international exhibitor base, with 84 companies featuring in the Fats & Oils segment alone, including the world’s top olive oil producers from Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Algeria.
The Italian pavilion will feature key brands including Costa D’Oro, an innovative leader in the olive oil market segment globally; top selling olive oil producers Oleificio Zucchi and Olitalia Group; and family-owned extra virgin olive oil specialists Oleificio Rocchi.
Taking part in Gulfood for the fourth time, Xavier Vallet, Export Manager at leading oil producers Oleificio Zucchi, said: “We have been producing high quality products since 1810, covering at first seeds’ oils and then also olive oils in which we have developed recent significant innovation such as traceability. Extra-virgin olive oil, pure olive oil and organic extra-virgin olive oils have gained popularity over the years, but as edible oils producers were are keen to showcase oils such as sunflower, soy, grapeseed and mixed seeds, and the versatility they offer. We have also launched our new product line made specifically for our B2C audience.
“Being hosted in the Fats & Oils segment at Gulfood will allow us to meet important partners from countries located in the Middle-East in order to expand our business.”
Meanwhile, the Spanish pavilion, under the umbrella of ICEX Spain Trade and Investment, will feature olive oil producing frontrunners such as Martín De Prado Evoo, Mueloliva Y Minerva, Oleicola Alvarez, Sovena España, and Ondoliva.
Jose Luis Marin of Ondoliva, said: “For more than 60 years we’ve produced the highest quality oils while staying true to our values of tradition and respect to the earth.
“With the increasing demand for edible oils, particularly olive oil, comes the added pressure of staying true to those values, but we have always pursued excellence in our work.
“Gulfood presents an opportunity to showcase the Ondoliva way and demonstrate why we continue to be market leaders with our products.”
With the number of health-conscious consumers on the rise, UAE-based olive oil producer IFFCO, will be showcasing its RAHMA Extra Virgin Olive Oil Special Harvest, which it claims has just 0.3% acidity compared with 0.8% found in most Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
“This Olive Oil is produced by processing a rare variety of Olives. The process involves hand picking the best-quality olives, which are immediately taken to the mill in weather-controlled containers to ensure the fruit is in its freshest state before processing,” said Sudhakar Gupta, Director Business Development at IFFCO Group.
“This is a unique proposition in the GCC region because no other known brand has this variety available for sale. Users of this variety are either consumers who missed having Olive Oil of high quality from their home country or existing users of Extra Virgin Olive Oil who enjoy adding a delicacy to their dining table.”
“This dedicated segment at Gulfood provides us with the perfect platform to showcase our high-quality products.”
“The biggest names in this important food commodities segment will be in Dubai to explore a market with consistently rising demand,” concluded LohMirmand. “The stage is set for some major deals to be struck.”
Gulfood 2017 will feature 120 national pavilions including first-time participants Malta, Finland, Somalia and Azerbaijan, while international heads of state, ministers, government officials and scores of national trade associations eager to ink lucrative bi-lateral trade agreements will be among tens and thousands of anticipated visitors.
Gulfood 2017 is a trade event open strictly to business and trade visitors. The show is open 11am-7pm from February 26 to March 1 2017 and 11am-5pm on March 2 2017. Visitors can pre-register at www.gulfood.com to save AED150 (US$ 40) on the on-site entry fee of AED350 (US$ 95).