UAE remains one of the fastest growing food and drink markets for Scotland

February 19, 2014 11:27 am

The Scottish Government’s most recent food and drink export statistics show Scotland has seen a massive rise in food and drink exports to the United Arab Emirates. With an increase to US$144.8 million in 2012 from US$142 million in the previous year, the UAE is one of the fastest growing markets for Scottish food in the world.

Scottish Development International (SDI), the international arm of the Scottish Government, will be attending Gulfood for the sixth consecutive year, bringing 20 Scottish companies to attend the show and participate in a learning journey to showcase a range of internationally recognised Scottish goods and produce to consumers, executive chefs and key buyers.

The Middle East remains a core market for Scottish salmon, seafood, beverages and high-end grocery /packaged food with total food and drink exports valued at approximately US$276 million in 2012, an increase of 53% (US$180 million) from 2007. Saudi Arabia is the second largest importer of Scottish food & drink in the region after the UAE at US$15 million in 2012.

The Scottish companies attending Gulfood this year include Highland Spring, whose premium brand Speyside Glenlivet will be launching into the Middle East later this year after signing a contract with Winners International Trading Company following introductions facilitated by SDI at Gulfoods in 2013.

Another of the companies participating in the mission is Gluten-free company Genius Foods. The company has been nominated into the Gulf Foods Awards in three categories and is launching a range of its award winning gluten-free products in 13 Spinneys and Waitrose locations across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. The company plans to roll out the brand across the full 78 stores across the region in the coming months.

Tom Marchbanks, Regional Manager Middle East, Scottish Development International, said: “Gulfood continues to provide a fantastic platform to showcase the Scottish food and drink industry. Trade figures clearly show that the Middle East in general and the UAE in particular have become key markets for Scottish companies. As the UAE has established itself as a global destination for fine dining we are seeing particular success for our food and drink companies with regional consumers buying more of our best-loved premium Scottish brands”.

During the show, SDI will be hosting an evening reception at the Dhow and Anchor, Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s fashionable British Restaurant and bar, where Tom Kitchin, one of Scotland’s world renowned Michelin star chefs, will be using fresh Scottish ingredients to cook some of his best Scottish dishes for local executive chefs and guests from the retail and food service sectors across the Middle East.

Tom Kitchin, leading Scottish chef said; “In Scotland we are blessed with one of the world’s most enviable natural larders and Gulfood offers the perfect opportunity to shout about Scotland’s fantastic produce to the Middle East market.

“I’m really proud to be part of this event because for me, it’s all about providing a platform for some truly outstanding producers from Scotland and creating an opportunity for others to try, taste and recommend their produce. It’s a chance to show some key decision makers that we really know our food and that in many cases, Scottish food and drink really can’t be beaten.”

For more information, please contact:
Erica Pettit /Vadia Rai @ FTI Consulting
Tel: +971 4 437 2100