Dubai, Feb 18th: once again sees Welsh (UK) food and drink companies returning in strength to Gulfood 2020, the largest food trade event in the MENA region, which accounted for nearly 9% of all Welsh food and drink exports in 2018. Since 2014, the sector has experienced consistent increases in exports to the MENA region, up 31% from 2017, therefore making it one of the most strategically important markets for a vital part of the UK economy, and with EXPO 2020 Dubai launching later this year these exciting trends are set to grow stronger.
Supported by the Welsh Government, ten companies from across the food and drink sector in Wales are currently present at Gulfood 2020 from 16-20 February, under the Wales (UK) banner, all with the aim to promote Welsh food and drink and to help the businesses achieve export success.
The Welsh companies exhibiting include Daioni Organic, Dairy Partners Cymru Wales, Rachel's Dairy, Gut Instinct Foods, Billington Foodservice, Frank's Ice Cream, Flawsome! Brands, HCC Meat Promotion Wales, Llaeth y Llan/Village Dairy and Calon Wen Organic Dairy.
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, believes it is vital for the industry to take advantage of such opportunities and to continue to strengthen relationships with key priority markets such as the UAE and beyond, commenting,
“Wales has a long association with the Gulfood event which has helped bring an array of Welsh brands to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Welsh food and drink exports have increased 31% since 2017 and we consider the UAE and broader region a key market for Wales.
“We are delighted to once again be participating in Gulfood to showcase our wide range of high quality food and drink products and look forward to another successful event as Wales continues to build on its strong connection with the food and beverage industry in the GCC as a whole.”
2020 promises to be an exciting year for Gut Instinct an innovative plant-based food and drink brand that will be exhibiting at Gulfood. Gut Instinct was born out of a desire to help consumers achieve strong physical and mental health through proper diet and nutrition and, at the same time lessening their carbon footprint. Products include Barista Oat Edition (crafted for coffee); Oatstix Dairy Free Milk Alternative and Vegan, egg free Mayonnaise.
Founder Chris Joll explains the background to the product, “Consumers are becoming more mindful of the environmental impact of commercial farming practices and as such, are choosing ‘alternatives' instead. Gut Instinct has been my personal journey of discovery, having been struck down with Chronic Fatigue in my mid-twenties. I learned over several years that the route back to good health was through a better understanding of food. I believe that balance and moderation is the key ingredient to achieving good health and a diet rich in plant-based nutrition is becoming a focal point in day-to-day eating habits.”
Commenting further Chris added, “I am looking forward to the visit to Gulfood as it will provide a fantastic opportunity to introduce Gut Instinct products to the UAE market and to have direct contact with buyers, distributors and suppliers in this region. Hopefully I'll return to Wales with plenty of contacts and potential buyers.”
One company exhibiting at Gulfood for the first time is South Wales fruit juice company, Flawsome! Founded by passionate duo Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk, the brand is inspired by their Grandmother's tasty recipes, which saves imperfect fruit and transforms them into perfectly crafted cold-pressed drinks.
After 24 months of New Product Development, in November 2019, they launched a range of cold-fizzed lightly sparkling juice drinks in an innovative Bisphenol-A (BPA) free can. The three fruit juices range are Rhubarb & Apple, Sweet & Sour Apple, and Cherry & Apple.
Flawsome! bubbly drinks are made from 60% misshaped and surplus pressed fruit, completely free from any added sugar or sweeteners. The range is school compliant in the UK, BPA-free and vegan friendly. On average, one can of Flawsome! saves at least two apples.
Their other fruit juice range includes Strawberry & Apple, Superberry & Apple, Pumpkin & Apple, Orange juice, Orange & Apple, Sweet & Sour Apple, Beetroot & Apple, Mango & Apple.
“At Flawsome! we encourage consumers to reduce waste in all its forms by reimagining waste creatively. We save fruit, pay farmers' fairer prices and donated over 22,000 portions of juice to charity. To date we have saved nearly 700 tonnes misshaped and surplus produce and avoided CO2e by equivalent of 796 return flights from Dubai to Beijing. We have also eliminated 1,065,474 plastic bottles to date, explains founder Karina Sudenyte.
“We simply blend sustainably sourced cold-pressed juice with lightly sparkling water to make natural, low calorie, vegan delicious drinks.”
Wales has a long and proud tradition of producing outstanding food and drink, but underpinning this tradition is a growing innovation landscape, bustling with unique products, diverse flavours and exciting new developments.
Investment in innovation and new technologies, reinforced by an excellent support structure for the food and drink industry in Wales has not only generated growth for our traditional heritage brands and products, but has also attracted international players and their creations who are inspired by the Welsh landscape, climate and heritage.
Visit the Cymru/Wales stands at Gulfood 2020 in the Dairy Hall: Hall2, the International Hall: Sheikh Saeed Hall and the Meat Hall: Hall 3