Major new healthy food launches are being lined up by exhibitors at Gulfood – one of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition – which marks its 24th edition at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from February 17-21, 2019.
Buoyed by a significant trend in mindful eating, exhibitors are preparing to launch new products – many of which are free from gluten and dairy – with significant health and wellness benefits. The health-focused products are a cornerstone of Gulfood’s new theme for 2019: ‘The World of Good, The World of Food’.
The launches come as research firm Euromonitor International forecasts the MENA region’s health, wellness and free-from product sales will rise 7% over the next five years compared with a global average of 4%. Euromonitor says regional consumers are paying more attention than ever to what they eat and are opting “for products that make them feel good and lead to long-term health benefits.”
With Euromonitor highlighting how regional consumers “are becoming more selective in their choices, prioritising fresh, natural and minimally processed food and drinks,” the research firm has identified regional key trends as: vegan and gluten free products, along with plant-based proteins, products with low-calorie options and those with no ‘artificial’ ingredients, including sweeteners, as well as longevity foods such as avocado oil and dragon fruit.
Such is the region’s appetite for food with health benefits that Gulfood organiser DWTC has given Health, Wellness & Free-From its own showcase sector within the 2019 event.
“The importance of nutrition has spiralled in recent years,” says Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “The advice to ‘eat well’ is no longer just about keeping our bodies healthy. Eating responsibly also implies a sense of knowing what and when to eat, as well as an awareness of where food comes from and how it is produced. The backstory of products is becoming as important as tastes.”