11/17/2013 12:00 PM
Food manufacturers looking to tap into the booming Middle East food and beverage sector have been told by an industry expert to constantly evolve the way they make and market their products for the region�s consumers, or face the possibility of being forced out of the market altogether.

Xavier Terlet, CEO of the global food industry consultants, XTC World Innovation, said that as shifting Middle East consumer preferences steer toward more healthy and convenient options, food makers will need to keep on innovating to stay ahead of the curve.

�Middle East consumers, as with consumers all over the world look for pleasure before anything else when they eat food,� said Terlet. �And the key for pleasure is to provide something different and new, because eating the same food over and over again is boring.

�The food industry has to propose new products to the consumer � products with new tastes and health guarantees that come with convenient packaging to match the new way of life.  A food company with no innovation strategy will surely be condemned.�

Terlet is the President of the judging panel for the SIAL Innovation Award, a feature of SIAL Middle East 2013, taking place from 24-26 November at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), SIAL Middle East is the region�s fastest growing professional business platform for the food, drink and hospitality industries.

The SIAL Innovation Award will put a spotlight on 70 of the most innovative food and beverage products out of 120 submissions, including winners from the global competitions at SIAL events in China, Brazil, Canada, the Philippines, and Paris. All finalists will be displayed at the dedicated Innovation Area at SIAL Middle East, while the ultimate winners are displayed at every SIAL event around the world.

"The innovation area and the products on display there is unique and probably one of the rarest in a food exhibition anywhere in the world. It provides an opportunity for manufactures and businesses to demonstrate their capacity to constantly exceed expectations and cater to the ever sharpening consumer preferences," said Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Chairman of the SIAL Middle East Organizing Committee and the Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA.

Among the shortlisted products include sherbet flavoured fruit drink from Azerbaijan; banana with peach flavoured baby food from the Czech Republic; canned fishless tuna from the USA; and Benecol milk from the UAE-based Al Ain Dairy company, which is clinically proven to reduce cholesterol.

Added Terlet: �The SIAL Innovation Award highlights the innovation capacity of the global food industry and in the Middle East.  Every year we are seeing new and interesting products come to market, and this platform is the ideal opportunity for them to share their visions of the constantly evolving Middle East food landscape.�

Joanne Cook, SIAL Middle East Director, said: �All products at the Innovation Area at SIAL Middle East are new and have not been repackaged or rebranded; the finalists are truly unique products that provide genuine health benefits bought about by extensive research and development.

�Last year at the Innovation Area was an inflight multi-beverage system designed for airline crews and passengers on long-haul flights, which offsets the principle stresses of long distance flying and improves hydration, blood circulation and recovery from the effects of altitude. This year, we expect to see similar examples of food innovation at its finest.�

Now in its fourth year in the UAE capital, SIAL Middle East returns with a three-day conference, a hosted buyer programme, and La Cuisine by SIAL international chef competition.

Hosting more than 1,000 food, beverage and equipment companies from 40 countries, the three-day event is part of SIAL Group, the world�s largest network of professional B2B food exhibitions, which include SIAL Paris, SIAL China, SIAL Canada, SIAL Brazil, and SIAL ASEAN in the Philippines.

More than 15,000 trade visitors are expected to attend SIAL Middle East 2013, which is co-located with ITCA (International Travel Catering Association) Abu Dhabi, and the Emirates International Date Palm Festival.

For more information and to register for SIAL Middle East, go to

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  • Last Updated On: Dec 11, 2014