MENA confectionery industry is valued at US$9 billion and forecast to reach US$11 billion in 2021 Regional savoury snacks industry is expected to reach US$6 billion in 2021 Dubai, UAE: The snacks and confectionery industry in the Middle East is leading the world in terms of growth, posting increased annual sales results that are double those of the global average. According to Euromonitor International, chocolate confectionery in the Middle East and Africa is growing by 5 percent in value sales year on year since 2011, against the global average of 2 percent for the same period. Growth in the savoury snack segment is equally strong, increasing in value sales by 6 percent annually since 2011, and double the global average of 3 percent.
The undeniable potential of the MENA market highlights the importance of yummex Middle East, the region’s largest trade exhibition for producers and manufacturers of sweets, confectionery and snacks. Taking place from 18-20 September 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and organized by DWTC in partnership with Koelnmesse GmbH, the show is one of six co-located shows running during Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW).
With a 5% growth in exhibition space, yummex Middle East brings together more than 370 companies from over 40 countries, representing chocolate, sweets, ice cream, bakers’ confectionery and savoury snacks. With the MENA region’s forecast growth driving strong interest from suppliers, distributors and manufacturers, this year’s edition has attracted companies such as Chocofino, Colombina, Del Conte, Destrooper-Olivier, Especialidades Vira, Jelly Belly, Katjes, Original Gourmet Food Company, Ragolds, Torrons Vicens and Y3K. 19 country pavilions will exhibiting at the show including strong participation from Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey.
“The snacks and confectionery industry is one of the fastest growing in the region, driven by consumer lifestyles and behaviours. With the rise of on-the-go snacking, healthy lifestyle choices and a variety of innovative new products, flavours and varieties being launched across all sub-categories every year, it has never been more important for businesses to attend yummex Middle East to stay ahead of the curve,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management (DWTC). “Businesses attending this year's show will also benefit from the other five hospitality shows taking place under the roof of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW). The region’s largest hotel and foodservice expo will enable the hospitality players from across the region to come together, exchange knowledge and learnings, and create valuable opportunities for future growth.”
Market opportunities across the region are being driven by a fast growing population, changes in social habits, and increasing demand from high income individuals for both savoury and sweet snacks. Sectors such as ice cream and frozen desserts are seeing growth from new flavours and ingredients, new brands and niche launches of culture specific variants such as Indian style kulfi and Arabic baklava.
Within the confectionery market chocolate remains the leader for the sector - in the UAE alone representing 77.3 percent of confectionery sales in 2016 (Euromonitor International). Consumption of dark chocolate has increased more than any other chocolate tablet flavours, although plain milk chocolate continues to hold the most popularity. Growth has also come from the introduction of new packaging formats, such as fun-size, on-the-go and family size packs.
General Mills, the global food company with a presence in over 100 countries around the world, is highlighting three of its signature brands in this year’s yummex Middle East.
Ali Shaikh, Commercial Director at General Mills MENA, said: “We are delighted to participate at yummex Middle East and we consider the show an ideal platform to meet the region’s top buyers. General Mills is committed to the consumer needs in the MENA Region and we always adjust our offering to meet the changing consumer attitudes towards food – simply making food people love. This year we will be highlighting the latest products from three of our signature brands - Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley and Betty Crocker.”
While snacks and confectionery could be considered indulgent, increasing efforts are being made by manufacturers to ensure the best quality ingredients are used in their products in order to satisfy health conscious consumers who have a growing interest in the nutritional value and source of their ingredients. British company Walkers Nonsuch Toffee is bringing the full line-up of its world-renowned toffee to yummex Middle East. Emma Walker, Director said: “We are delighted to be returning to the show and increasing our presence in the region. This year, we are launching the newly designed 400g bags in Assorted Toffees and Chocolate Eclairs and Top Toffees. Made with just good ingredients, the quality of our toffee is second to none, because it's free from artificial colours, preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils and gluten too.”
Savoury snacks remain a category with strong potential across the Middle East and Africa. Current sales value growth is being driven by potato chips – Saudi Arabia is the largest market, accounting for more than a quarter of regional sales. Nuts and seeds remain popular snacks across the region, with local market variants adding to the more international products.
Quality in savoury snacks is also recognized across the region, attracting companies like Yarych Confectionery, a Ukraine-based company specialised in the production of sweet and savoury biscuits and crackers. Commenting on the company’s participation, Oksana Kazanchuk, Marketing Director, said: “This is a key show for us to expand our presence in the Middle East. As the number one producer of plain biscuits and crackers in Ukraine, we have an excellent reputation. This year, we will be showcasing our new snack crackers in a variety of highly popular flavours - basil, garlic and vegetable. Of course, our bestselling delicious Maria and Petit Beurre biscuits will also be showcased.”
Powered by Gulfood and the world’s leading sweets and snacks fair ISM in Cologne, the 11th edition of yummex Middle East is co-located with five other shows under the roof of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) – an initiative endorsed by Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Spanning 90,000m² of exhibition space, DIHW brings together more than 2,000 of the world’s top hospitality brands and is expected to attract 50,000 trade and business professionals. The other five shows are DWTC’s new GulfHost 2017 (the first dedicated hospitality and food services expo in the Middle East); The Speciality Food Festival and SEAFEX Middle East (which are organised by DWTC); and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show (which are owned and organised by dmg events). yummex Middle East is open between from 18-20 September 2017 and is for trade and business professionals only. General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry.