Gulfood Manufacturing set to return with record-breaking array of exhibitors
Gulfood Manufacturing: pic: Neill Barston
This year’s Gulfood Manufacturing has already set its stall-out as its biggest ever, with more than 2,000 exhibitors, with confectionery and snacks once again featuring significantly. Editor Neill Barston previews the fast-paced, dynamic show
Having gained a strong sector reputation as among the most engaging and boundary pushing events in the world, Gulfood Manufacturing is continuing to set an especially high bar. As Confectionery Production has found in covering the event over the past few years, its compelling mix of technology, product innovation and multi-billion dollar deals being signed at the show have made it a must-see event. With the show nearing its tenth anniversary, we return as media partners for the event.
There are set to be plenty of surprises this time around, as it combines for a final time with ISM Middle East (formerly Yummex), which is moving to a new autumn date as of 2024. While its focus has been right across the entire food and drink sector, confectionery operations have featured prominently across its expansive floors, with machinery, systems and ingredients catering for the region’s individual tastes being developed at a markedly significant rate. As previously reported, Dubai was almost unique in the world for largely maintaining its significant schedule of events throughout much of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, as we have previously reported, while some events inevitably suffered a delay, such as the World Expo staged alongside Gulfood in 2021, the global exposure this brought the region has only served to intensify demand across manufacturing segments. In terms of product categories, confectionery and snacks have shown notable growth in the region, with demand not just for specialist Halal-based offerings, but across premium chocolate and wider snacks product categories. This has in turn driven the development of Gulfood’s sister show, now known as ISM Middle East, which has attracted a growing array of global businesses to exhibit, eager to gain a slice of the action both in terms of machinery and new product development.
There’s certainly been a strong sense of anticipation from organisers, the Dubai World Trade Centre, which has confirmed that this year’s show, being held from 7-9 November will be its largest yet. It will see a total of over 2,000 exhibitors, including the biggest global brands in F&B production, to fill 15 halls. As the organisers noted, away from the exhibition floor, over 100 of the F&B industry’s decision-makers and the world’s leading experts will be exploring the very latest trends in the industry, and setting out strategies to capture business opportunities and address the challenges the industry faces.
Moreover, the organisation noted that the show continues to attract players across sectors in processing, packaging, ingredients, supply chain solutions and control & automation, to chart a course towards a more sustainable, resilient, agile and efficient future. Furthermore, with COP28 taking place just weeks after the show, Gulfood Manufacturing is anticipated to redouble its long-standing focus on how our manufacturing industry is integrating sustainable practices and processes (such as sustainable packaging), reducing food waste, introducing energy-efficient machinery with a smaller carbon footprint, and driving traceable, ethical and transparent food production.
As such, the event will offer extensive explorations into some of the most pressing themes of the moment, including how AI and robotics are hugely influencing the direction of the market. Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre commented, “Gulfood Manufacturing is the leading industry event in the MENA region, sitting firmly in the top tier of global industry events, and the only annual event of its kind in the world. The event comes at a critical point for the global F&B industry, as it tries to balance rising inflation and input costs, against downward price pressure from retailers and consumers – whilst meeting the imperative to make food production more sustainable. By leveraging innovative technologies and driving efficiencies, the industry can strike this balance and continue to evolve and reach new heights.”
Reflecting its position at the pinnacle of the food production industry, many key ingredients brands have already confirmed participation for this year’s edition, including Apical, Cargill, Givaudan, Wilmar, Kerry, Dohler, Orkila, Fanar, Takasago will be appearing in Dubai. Meanwhile from the packaging and processing segment, global powerhouses from the likes of Tetra Pak, GEA, Krones, Husky, Sidel, Ishida, TNA, Theegarten-Pactec, SIG, Rieckermann will also be engaging prominently with the show.
There will be many other key names for the confectionery sector besides, including Denmark’s Aasted machinery, ingredients firms GNT and Palsgaard, fresh from playing their part at our World Confectionery Conference, IMA machinery, through to a number of key names from Germany and Europe, including Sollich, Tanis Confectionery, Tanis Food Tech and WDS machinery. As the event’s director, Mark Napier explained to Confectionery Production ahead of last year’s show, the exponential expansion witnessed across all segments of the industry has proved particularly impressive. “There’s been so much change in the market. Dubai has been a fabulous place to operate from during those difficult times of the pandemic, as there’s huge pent-up demand for attending physical events. We’re seeing huge opportunities in this market,” he enthused of the event, which is set to exceed last year’s total exhibitor by several hundred, as the event continues to lead the pack for setting key industry trends for the broader food and drink sector.