Citing an industry report from Mordor Intelligence, Truebell has highlighted healthy frozen foods as one of the main drivers of F&B in the coming year, with the market expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3% during the period 2019-2024.“To keep up with this growing demand, our food division has launched a wide variety of products in the frozen food category last year, including Rana premium frozen Ravioli, Al Islami processed meats and Château Gâteaux frozen cakes,” said Truebell divisional manager, retail & food service, Bhushant J. Gandhi.
Dubai’s 3.1 million population currently consists of just over 2.9 million expats, with 85% of these expats Asian, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, according to the latest figures from Dubai Statistics Centre’s (DSC) 2018 annual report. And in recent years, the emirate has witnessed a surge in the number of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Korean expats.“Asian cuisines – primarily Japanese, Chinese and Thai – have consistently been firm favourites among UAE nationals, residents and tourists alike. However, with a growing number of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Korean expats arrive, we are keen to capitalise on this opportunity by expanding our Asian offerings – trialling new produce and flavours from these countries,” Gandhi said.
Amid the various nutritional programmes on the market today, plant-based and vegan diets as well as meat replacements, are becoming particularly prominent, which is clearly a key food trend for 2020 and beyond.Gandhi said: “Plant-based meat replacement products including seitan, tempeh and tofu are gaining traction across the region. Over the coming months, we will be looking to add brands that fit into these categories to our ever-expanding portfolio. We will soon enhance our 14-year partnership as exclusive distributor for leading bakery and patisserie La Rose Noire as we launch their latest line of vegan delicacies as well as their new, 100% biodegradable packaging in the region.”
In addition to this, society is becoming more health conscious than ever before, and as a result, increasing number of consumers are interested in local and organic produce as well as collagen-rich and gluten-free food and drinks.Over recent years, the UAE government has launched initiatives to make organic produce more readily available, and placed a strong focus on agriculture, with the country now more than 80% self-sufficient for milk and almost 40% self-sufficient in its demand for eggs, according to research firm BMI.
As well as probiotic supplements and drinks, we are seeing an increasing demand for on-the-go collagen drinks, due to the multiple health benefits associated with this protein such as healthier skin, hair and nails.Meanwhile, other trends are growing in popularity, such as the combination of vegan and gluten-free, as well as eco-friendly, sustainable food products.