Press Release

Changing Consumer Habits Drive Middle East Snack and Confectionery Market

07 Nov 2013

Changing Consumer Habits Drive Middle East Snack and Confectionery Market


With the snack and confectionary market in the Middle East developing at a phenomenal rate, the latest tastes and flavours are in high demand among consumers across the region. According to a recent report by TechSci Research the Saudi Arabia confectionery market is set to grow with 12% CAGR during 2013-2018, while a recent Times and Trends report by Information Resources Inc (IRI) states that one in five consumers are now grazing on snacks throughout the day instead of eating three square meals, or even several ‘mini-meals’.

This change in consumer habits is a key element in the future growth of the Middle East sweets and snack market, and the strong market opportunity it represents is reflected in demand for space at Sweets & Snacks Middle East. This year’s edition of the region’s largest and most influential trade show for the snack and confectionery industry, has reported a more than 40% increase in exhibitor space over the 2012 event. The show, which runs from 17 to 19 November 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), is part of a cluster of niche food industry shows that includes SEAFEX and The Speciality Food Festival.

A truly international platform for product selection, more than 177 specialised exhibitors from 32 countries will be showcasing both sweet and savoury snacks and confectionery, with Greece, Germany, Korea and Jordan country pavilions experiencing 100%, 140% and 200% growth in size respectively.

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of DWTC and organiser of Sweets & Snacks Middle East commented:  “With changes in consumer lifestyles driving the growth of the snack industry throughout the region, it has never been more important for businesses to attend this key trade exhibition. The show provides a dedicated and comprehensive platform for both suppliers and buyers to source products, conduct immediate business deals and showcase the latest innovations and product launches in the sector.”

Recognising the importance of Sweets & Snacks Middle East for their business Candelite, UAE based sweets and snacks retailer, will be using the show as a platform to launch two new products in the region; the award winning “Pop - Gourmet Popcorn’ a natural, gluten free popcorn with a range of exciting flavours including Oprah Winfrey's favourite White Truffle Bliss and 100% vegetarian, pulpy fruit chews ‘Falero’. Commenting on his participation at the show this year, Manish Jeswani, Business Head, Candelite said: “Sweets & Snacks Middle East provides an ideal platform for us to showcase our wide range of products from brands such as Candyrific, Pop Gourmet, Falero, Decoria and Kidsmania for which we are the sole distributors in the region. As the only trade show in the MENA region to focus on sweets, snacks and the confectionery industry, it consistently reaches our target audience resulting in business deals and contracts”.

Other exhibitors at the show will also be following global food trends for healthier eating, offering ranges such as low-calorie, fat-free, vitamin fortified, fibre-rich and organic foods. Koochikoo! is one such exhibitor who this year will showcase all natural, sugar free, ‘Free at last!’ cookies sweetened with monk fruit,  providing an excellent source of fibre with 20% fewer calories than conventional cookies. Commenting on their participation at the show this year, Sally Cox, President Excel Trade, said:“We are thrilled to be exhibiting at Sweets & Snacks for the first time and we will be using the show as a platform for what we call our "Koo-miere" – the first time launch of ‘Free at last!’ sugar free cookies in the region. With a high percentage of the population suffering from diabetes, we hope that visitors to our stand will appreciate the truly innovative, great tasting product line that allows you to indulge without sugar.”

The regional market for chocolate is experiencing robust growth, and is expected to be worth USD5.8 billion by 2016, according to forecasts by AC Neilsen. The participation from the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers including HEINERLE and BERGGOLD, The Hershey Company and Del Conte, reflects this important trend.

Combined with the co-located events SEAFEX and The Speciality Food Festival, all three dedicated food industry events will run alongside each other providing visitors and exhibitors alike with the perfect trading, networking and cross-selling environment.

The exhibition is for Trade and Business Professionals only and will be open from 10:00am-6:00pm on November 17-18, 10:00am-5:00pm on November 19.  General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry.

 Free visitor registration is available now online at Registration will also be available at the show upon proof of trade status.