UAE-based supermarket chain Spinneys has announced the winners of its incubator programme for micro food and beverage suppliers in the UAE, which launched in May 2020. Participation in the programme surpassed Spinneys’ expectations with more than 160 local businesses entering submissions of an exceptionally high standard. In response, the grocer has increased the number of winners, with 22 brands to be fast-tracked onto Spinneys’ shelves, and another two companies accepted into its product development programme. The initiative also recognised by the UAE government’s Food and Water Security Office for its contribution to the country’s National Food Security Strategy.
“A leading objective for the UAE Food and Water Security Office is to support local food production, which includes helping innovative start-ups to enhance domestic agriculture and re-imagine the UAE’s food sustainability landscape. This aligns with the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy and the directives of our wise leadership, which recognises the importance of local tech-enabled production to strengthen the UAE’s food security,” says Mariam Almheiri, minister of state for food and water security.
“The Spinneys F&B incubator programme is a significant step in that direction. We applaud the company’s efforts to promote innovation and to identify and upskill the next generation of leaders in the UAE’s food security sector,” added Almheiri.
“Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a major driver of the UAE’s growth and economic development, and therefore, the Ministry of Economy remains keen to encourage and promote all initiatives aimed at advancing our efforts in this direction. I commend the contributions of the Spinneys incubator programme to promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the country. It is a promising trend that already established businesses are lending a hand to young and upcoming entrepreneurs through offering mentorship and knowledge-sharing,” says Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, minister of state for entrepreneurship and SMEs.
“We were amazed by the high calibre of local producers we have in the emirates – from fresh produce to packaged goods, to innovation in healthy food offerings. When we started this initiative, we expected to support 3 to 5 local companies. But our executive management unanimously agreed that more brands needed to be celebrated and showcased. The programme has brought to light that as a nation, we can enhance our local food production. At Spinneys, we are proud to be in a position to help develop and support such talented local businesses,” explains Tom Harvey, Spinneys’ commercial manager.
Of the 24 winners, eleven are from the fresh food category, nine offer shelf-stable products and four are frozen goods. Among the winners are Honest Kitchen, Crumbs & Co, and Sprout.