yummex Middle East expands as MENA’s confectionery, snacks and ready-to-eat industry on track to reach USD34.5 billion by 2023
Amid rapid transformation and growth across the region’s confectionery and snacks sector, the 2019 edition of yummex Middle East – the MENA region’s leading sweets and snacks event – will boast significantly expanded feature content during its 29-31 October run at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Designed to probe the latest trends, developments, regulatory updates and innovations driving the sector, yummex Middle East will boast an all-new three-day knowledge series called ‘Munch’, while a tailored meetings programme and free-to-attend brand licensing workshops will ensure visitors and exhibitors optimise participation and business potential.
The yummex Middle East expansion comes as the industry is tracking at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.3 per cent and is forecasted to reach USD34.5 billion in value by 2023. The confectionery, snacks and ready-to-eat industry forms the fastest growing F&B category across the MENA region.
This trend, says Euromonitor International, points to exceptional opportunities. “A strong contributor to this is the adoption of healthier lifestyles. Opportunities lie on product innovation that does not compromise on taste, while providing consumers with healthier ingredients,” the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research said in its latest confectionery whitepaper report.
Established exhibitors remain sweet on Middle East market
Growth forecast, coupled with transitioning consumer appetites and tastes, has ensured a host of newcomers to yummex Middle East, while longer-established exhibitors are using the show as international launch pads for their latest product innovations.
The UK’s Walkers, one of the country’s oldest independent family companies recognised as one of Britain’s finest toffee makers, will this year mark its 125th anniversary of production by launching a commemorative 700g tin of Nonsuch assorted toffees and chocolate eclairs at yummex Middle East 2019. Walkers is also planning tastings of the new range at the show.
“All Walkers’ Nonsuch Toffee is free from artificial colours, preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils and gluten. Different flavours are always trending and the latest additions to our range are Salted Caramel and Double Dipped Chocolate Toffees. Our key is only using quality ingredients such as whole milk, butter and Belgian chocolate in our eclairs,” said Emma Walker, Director, Walker’s Nonsuch Toffees. “Though the Middle East has been a good part of our export business for many years, there is still growth to be had.”
New players eye opportunities
The robust market potential has also attracted new producers to the yummex Middle East fold. Among the latest is Dupin-Adria, a household name in Croatian confectionery.
“We are using the show as a test-bed for market reaction to our products,” said spokesman Goran Kurtovic, Import Export Manager, Dupin-Adria. “We want to find gourmet stores or distributors who are interested in high-quality products with unique design.”
One of Russia’s most popular snack producers is also seeking a market breakthrough at yummex Middle East 2019. The Fortuna Production Company, which produces bread snacks, is hoping its flagship BRIPS bread chips product will make the MENA grade and prove a real competitor to the conventional potato chip.
“BRIPS is a snack made of traditional Russian rye bread which is high in fibre and has a unique, authentic taste,” explained Dmitriy Topilin, Brand Manager at The Fortuna Production Company. “It is hand cooked in 100 per cent sunflower oil and has no artificial colours or flavours. We want to expand our distribution to the East and African markets to capitalise on great interest in our products.”
“Our product is made from real rye bread using finely selected natural ingredients,” added Topilin acknowledging that an approach to health and wellness is key. “We don’t use any artificial colours or flavours and our product has no MSG or GMO with all flavours being vegan and halal approved. Our bread chips are a premium natural alternative to potato chips, they also contain more nutrients than classic potato chips.”
yummex Middle Est 2019 organiser DWTC says the market forecasts, coupled with changing consumer trends, illustrate the sector is open for business for established brands and newcomers alike.
“Innovation is the key and this principle applies to those that have been in the regional market for years, and those new to it,” explained Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC. “Success will lie with those attuned to the market and yummex Middle East’s knowledge platforms – including the new Munch and brand licensing workshops – are designed to cascade those insights.”