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Fri 12 Feb 2010 04:00 AM

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Serving up an F&B feast

Gulfood project manager Goli Vossough tells Caterer Middle East what exhibitors and vistors can expect from this year’s installment of the established exhibition.

Serving up an F&B feast

Gulfood project manager Goli Vossough tells Caterer Middle East what exhibitors and vistors can expect from this year’s installment of the established exhibition.How has Gulfood 2010 grown compared to last year’s show?

Gulfood is the fastest-growing trade exhibition in the Middle East, with year-on-year growth for every aspect of the show — exhibitor participation, footfall and product and service offerings. With an increase in floor space of more than 20%, this year’s exhibition will take up one million square feet, showcasing the latest products, trends and industry innovations from more than 3300 participating companies. We anticipate over 45,000 visitors from over 152 countries worldwide.

Overall, 76 countries will be represented at Gulfood 2010, with country pavilions including Argentina, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Spain, Turkey and the USA.

This year we also welcome new companies from as far a field as Kuwait, Libya, Peru, Portugal, Sudan, Ukraine and Uruguay. What areas in particular are you expanding for 2010 and why?

It’s expanding in all areas, due to the increase in exhibition space at the venue, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. With this space increase of 20%, we are now able to triple the size of Ingredients Middle East and locate it alongside Gulfood in the new Sheikh Saeed Hall, creating an all-encompassing environment for the food industry.

The Processing and Packing sector will now also have its own dedicated area, reflecting the impressive growth in this area of the food industry over the past year.

The additional space has also allowed for the introduction of a number of new country pavilions, making Gulfood even more global!

What key trends have you noted in 2009 that you are responding to in the show line-up?Many visitors come to Gulfood knowing that they can hear about the latest trends in the industry, as it is used as a yard stick for the industry as a whole in the Middle East. There are many different trends which will impact on the industry across the wide variety of areas in the show, from the latest new and unusual flavours through to more sleek designs in restaurants and cafés.

The fundamental trends we have recognised across every element of the show are increasing pressure to deliver more cost-effectively without compromising quality, and the need for more creative marketing of culinary offers to continue to excite and interest end-users and grow the bottom line.

To reflect these changes, we are launching the first Gulfood Conference under the title ‘Global Trends in Food, Beverage and Processing’. Across the four days, senior leaders in the food industry will cover trend topics which will affect the industry over the coming 12 months.

Apart from the conference, what else is new at this year’s show?

There are many new features to ensure that we deliver exactly what the industry requires.

First and foremost is the increased size of the show, as previously mentioned. This allows for more choice, the introduction of industry newcomers and the accommodation of growing industry sectors, all under one roof.

This year we will also launch the annual Gulfood Awards, to recognise the excellence and passion of both individuals and companies behind the region’s exceptional food and drink industry.

With 21 categories designed to reward and champion innovation and excellence, the search is now on for the best food and drink brands, services and suppliers!

Also new this year is the launch of the Gulfood Majlis Club, a commercial networking platform for senior industry professionals to develop new business opportunities, and one that recognises the importance of Gulfood as a serious trading platform for the global food and beverage industry.

What will be the key message from Gulfood 2010?

Bigger, better business. As the largest and most influential trade exhibition in the region for the F&B industry, located at the centre of a globally recognised key growth market, it has never been more important for businesses and professionals to see and be seen at Gulfood.

With tangible business benefits for all sectors of the industry, and at all levels, attending Gulfood as an exhibitor or trade visitor has become an essential activity to be included in the business plan.

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