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Food and Beverage show Gulfood 2022 kicks off in UAE

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
UAE

The annual food and drinks trade show Gulfood 2022 has kicked off in Dubai this week, taking place 13-17 February and showcasing more than 100 of the world’s top chefs and thousands of innovative organisations and brands.

The show has almost 4,000 exhibitors taking part, coming from over 180 different countries around the globe, providing incredible business and networking opportunities for the international F&B sector.

The participating food and beverages companies will be able to build their market internationally by introducing their brands to potential clients in the United Arab Emirates.

The theme for this year’s show is ‘Innovations, Revelations & Prodigies’, which has inspired the line-up of speakers who will appear at Gulfood 2022.

The speakers list features a range of people from the Emirati and international F&B industry, including important national government figures, brand leaders, head chefs from hospitality organisations, e-commerce consultants, and investors. Some of the big names include: Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security for the UAE Government, Mohamed Bin Sulaiman, Senior Manager of Business Relations at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Antony J.I.X, Vice President for Innovation at Olam Food Ingredients, Erich Sieber, General Partner at Peakbridge VC, and Sâadia Lakehal, President Founder of Global Women in Agtech Summit.

As part of the trading show, certain brands have also been awarded for their innovations. Notable brands that made the finalists list include Olam Food Ingredients’ (OFI), which made the cut for the Most Innovative Beverage category for their coffee fruit cascara extract powder. Cascara, the dried skin or pulp from coffee cherries, is usually seen as a waste product, but OFI has transformed the product into a superfood ingredient which contains a low amount of caffeine. French brand, Kokiriki won an award under the Most Innovative Frozen or Chilled Food category for its plant-based Veg-Toona, which has a shelf life of two months in a tray and up to one year in a can.

UAE-based food brands also did well in the Most Innovative Health, Wellness and & Plant-Based Product category, with the region’s first locally-produced clean-label vegan cheese company Freakin’ Healthy being listed as a finalist for their cashew-based cheese spreads.

The 2022 edition of Gulfood will see several new features, such as a networking and conference event focused on the development of e-commerce and its use in the food and drinks industry, and the Gulfood Zero Waste project, where leftover food from exhibitors and live-cooking demonstrations will be sent to a compost site run by the Dubai-based food waste start-up, Waste Lab. Part of the Zero Waste project will also include the ‘Across the City’ sub-project, where chefs from around 30 dark kitchens, cafés, and restaurants will be challenged to use leftover scraps in their cooking.

Other new features include the promotion of Gulfood YouthX, a new youth programme supported by Hilton and Dubai College of Tourism, which is aimed at young Emirati aspiring chefs.

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