ME 'must rethink food strategies'
Dubai, November 29, 2010
Middle East needs to rethink its food agenda and adopt fresher technologies and practices to meet the demands of food consumers, according to a senior Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) official.
'We cannot stick to traditional approaches if we want to address the unique food challenges our region faces as it goes through the next two decades. Here in Abu Dhabi food safety and security rank high within our development plans through 2030,' said Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, director of communication, ADFCA.
Al Reyaysa was speaking on the sidelines of the 'SIAL Middle East,' the first regional edition of the largest professional food events network, held recently in Abu Dhabi.
Every two years, SIAL unveils consumer innovations and trends in the global food industry via its 'Trends & Innovations Observatory' which has become a favorite feature of SIAL events for the last 10 years.
Experts, speaking at the expo, said the government and private entities involved in the regional food sector were becoming increasingly attuned to the latest international developments in food technologies and practices in a bid to optimize their respective food strategies.
The Middle East needs to be more aware of underlying food trends across the world given its diverse and expanding demographic profile. There are more people in the Middle East than in the US and Canada combined, making the region one of the world’s top food markets, they stated.
Countries such as the UAE, the state with the highest population growth rate in the region at 3.69 per cent, have been actively pursuing solutions to growing food demand, a huge expatriate population with diverse food preferences, and more discerning consumer tastes, the experts pointed out.
“Today’s consumers prefer products that offer something new and provide them with substantial benefits. This explains the radical shifts in the way global food players develop and market their products,' said Xavier Terlet, president of XTC world innovation.
'The Middle East needs to be more aware of underlying food trends across the world given its diverse and expanding demographic profile. SIAL has been a remarkable source of innovative food concepts over the past 40 years that the Middle East should look to for inspiration,' he noted.
“For our part we have committed to moulding Abu Dhabi as a model of innovative food development strategies for the region which is why we are strengthening our collaboration in this regard with the private sector,” Al Reyaysa said.
The 'Trends and Innovations Zone' included as part of the expo gave Middle East’s leading food players insight into 15 major trends that will shape the future of food products.
About 50 winning products chosen by innovation and food experts during various global SIAL editions made their regional debut at the expo.-TradeArabia News Service