Welsh food and drink to take centre stage at major Dubai event

Welsh food and drink producers will be showcasing their products in Dubai in February at Gulfood, one of the world’s largest food and drink trade exhibitions.

The event marks a significant opportunity for Welsh businesses in the sector to travel to a major global event.

Gulfood is a five-day event held between 13-17 February at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It will feature international brands displaying their latest food and drink products and services. The exhibition attracts over 5,000 suppliers from 198 countries around the world keen to discover new market opportunities, meet with suppliers, sample new foods and learn about the latest culinary trends.

Supported by the Welsh Government, eight companies from across the food and drink industry in Wales will be attending Gulfood 2022, all looking to reach new export markets.

Wales has a long association with Gulfood, which has helped promote a variety of Welsh produce to the Gulf region.

Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Welsh food and drink sector is one we can rightly be proud of and we need to ensure everybody knows about it. It is important we maintain our visibility and showcase the innovative products made here in Wales at key global trade events.

“Gulfood provides a strong platform to sell Welsh produce around the world. It is more important than ever we champion Welsh food and drink products and support businesses in every way we can. We will continue to help Welsh companies build strong working relationships so they can learn about new technologies, explore foreign markets and be competitive in their industry.”

The Welsh companies exhibiting at Gulfood are Dairy Partners, Rachel’s Dairy, Mario’s Ice Cream, Calon Wen, Hilltop Honey, Old Coach House Distillery, Morning Foods and Ty Nant.

Monmouthshire based company, Old Coach House Distillery, the world’s first alcohol free distillery is hoping that Gulfood will open new opportunities for them in the Middle East. They are launching their ‘Stillers’ brand across trade outlets in UAE, and they now feel that their business is ready to support this by exhibiting at Gulfood.

Cameron Mackay, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We are excited to showcase our two unique distilled, botanical, alcohol-free brands to the UAE market. We believe the attendees at Gulfood will be very receptive to our brand and hope we can meet many potential customers.

“We are looking to broaden our horizons on what market potential there is in the No/Low alcohol drinks category in GCC and beyond. We are also optimistic that our brand will be well received by our target audience.”

Another company looking for new business opportunities for both home and international markets for their established Mornflake Mighty Oats Cereal range is Europe’s premier Oatmiller, Morning Foods based in Buckley.

The company’s Head of Sales, Richard Jones, said: “We will be launching our new rice alternative ‘Oatmade’, savoury oat microwave pouches and pots in new exciting flavours. A truly innovative and exciting addition to the range that takes the humble oat in a completely new direction.

“Gulfood will be one of the first large scale exhibitions of 2022. It will provide us with a perfect opportunity to showcase our products to a worldwide audience and a good chance to meet some potential new customers.”

Also showcasing their various range of honeys from all over the world at Gulfood is Newtown-based Hilltop Honey.

Managing Director Scott Davies said: “We have decided to attend the Gulfood event as we are building a presence in the UAE and Saudi. Not only that, it’s a fantastic middle ground to meet prospective customers on varying sides of the world. We are hoping to increase brand exposure, increase distribution in current countries but also gain access to new markets.”

Wales has long been a successful trading nation, with the country's award winning goods and services exported all over the world. As part of the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, International Strategy and Export Action Plan, the ambition is to grow the value of exports even further, by supporting more Welsh companies to export their products to new markets across the world.

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