Koelnmesse

Koelnmesse

Final Report: yummex Middle East 2018 convinces as the leading innovation and trend platform for the MENA region

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Source: Koelnmesse

More than 50 new exhibitors from abroad - Numerous new products focus the trends of the region - Exhibitors are convinced by the high quality of visitors

yummex Middle East (ME) has once again impressively demonstrated its position in the top three of the world's most important trade fairs for sweets and snacks. It is the most important international event of the industry for the growth markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A total of 283 exhibitors from 43 countries presented their products and services over three days in Dubai. More than 8,500 trade visitors once again made use of the diverse offering of the 97 regional and 183 international exhibitors. More than 50 international companies exhibited for the first time at yummex ME. The trade fair brought supply and demand together precisely: exhibitors and trade visitors both emphasised the high quality and relevance of yummex ME for their business. Important buyers from India and Pakistan were also represented more intensively. Sixteen country pavilions, including from Brazil, Germany, Iran, the Netherlands, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the USA emphasised the internationality of the event, which is organised jointly by Koelnmesse GmbH and the Dubai World Trade Centre. Top companies like Jelly Belly (USA), Katjes (Germany), United Confectioners (Russia), Barcel SA de CV/Grupo Bimbo (Mexico), Prestige 96 AD (Bulgaria) or BMB Foodstuff (UAE) participated in yummex ME 2018. Together with the special trade fairs SEAFEX, The Speciality Food Festival and Gulfhost, which took place parallel, the event was an ideal meeting point for the most important buyers of the industry. The co-location offered both exhibitors and trade visitors attractive new synergies and business opportunities. 'At this year's event, exhibitors reported initial contacts in advance of EXPO 2020 Dubai. In the coming year we anticipate great interest in yummex ME in this context. It then takes place at the end of October, once again parallel with Gulfood Manufacturing, and thus at the optimal point in time for both the industry and especially for the anticipated EXPO business', emphasises Denis Steker, Vice President International of Koelnmesse GmbH.

Innovative trend platform
Many exhibitors used yummex ME 2018 as the premiere platform for their new products and innovations. Many of them focused the most important regional trends. Especially in demand were offerings in the segments of enjoyment as an experience and health-conscious sweets and snacks. Companies presented a variety of products that are vegan or free from gluten, wheat or added sugar and focused on offerings that dispense with preservatives or artificial colouring and flavouring. In doing so, they consciously addressed the increased demand of consumers in the MENA region in these segments.

Thus Majani, Italy's oldest chocolate manufacturer, presented gluten-free products at yummex ME, among others. Some items are also free of added sugar and milk. 'After more than 220 years of activity, it's time for Majani to look beyond national and European markets,' explained Guilia Pagnoni, Majani's Export Sales Manager. 'yummex Middle East is probably the most important showcase in our sector among the Gulf countries, which, according to last year's trends are the most promising ex-EU markets for sweets and confectionery.' The Bulgarian manufacturer Prestige 96 AD also pays attention to trends of the region and uses probiotic ingredients and the natural sweetener maltitol for its products.

Innovation Awards 2018
The Innovation Awards for especially future-oriented products were conferred for the 5th time at yummex ME in four categories. Thirty exhibitors participated in the competition, and fifty products were nominated. For the first time, not only the prizewinners could be viewed in the Innovation Gallery, but instead all nominated products. 'The awards are in line with developments in the industry where both overseas suppliers entering the market and local and regional producers are stepping up their game to meet rising demand for confectionery and snacks. Vitally, these new wave products feature more health-related ingredients, while still satisfying the region's renowned sweet tooth preferences,' according to Mark Napier, Portfolio Director at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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