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Tue 7 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Region's sweet tooth drives industry growth

A growing taste for sweets and snacks among Middle East consumers is developing into "one of the most dynamic sectors of the global food market", according to the organisers of the exhibition Sweets Middle East 2008.

A growing taste for sweets and snacks among Middle East consumers is developing into "one of the most dynamic sectors of the global food market", according to the organisers of the exhibition Sweets Middle East 2008.

"The confectionery and sweet industries continue to expand across the Middle East," said Joanne Cook, industry group manager for exhibitions and events management at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the co-organiser of Sweets Middle East 2008.

"We are seeing interest from international exhibitors, who are looking to meet key Middle East distributors and manufacturers," she explained, adding that more than 160 companies from 30 countries would be taking part in this year's show.

"In addition, the exhibition will feature leading industry players such as IFFCO, which is participating again as this year's platinum sponsor, as well as Salehia and United Foods from Saudi Arabia, Seham from Syria, Perfetti van Melle from Belgium, and Wrigley USA/UAE."

A joint venture between DWTC and Koelnmesse, organiser of international confectionery show ISM, which was held in Germany in August, Sweets Middle East is the only dedicated trade show for the confectionery, bakery and ice cream industries in the Middle East.

The event would "recognise the growth and increasing sophistication of the snack food market", said organisers.

"It is an opportunity to exchange ideas, offer hospitality and our support through several meetings on-site," said director of international markets for IFFCO, Fethi Khiari.

"At the inaugural show we were very impressed with the number of international visitors and anticipate an even larger visitor turnout at the 2008 show."

"[Last year], everyone who took part had positive results," confirmed brand manager of Koelnmesse, Markus Reetz.

"Together with our partner DWTC we will be further developing this trade fair in line with market demand."

The exhibition will run from November 3-5 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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