The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), said the country’s food products have big potential market in the Gulf States following the positive take-up of local food products in a recent Dubai trade fair.
DTI-CITEM said it recorded $109-million worth of negotiated sales in the 21st Gulfood: Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire at the Dubai World Trade Center that ran from February 21 to 25.
Under the generalized brand FoodPhilippines for easier recognition, the country’s food products attracted great demand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the trade fair.
The UAE is market is increasingly embracing health awareness, the DTI said which resulted in higher negotiated sales for FoodPhilippines products that showcased premium, healthy and Halal-certified products from 24 Philippine companies during the five-day trade fair.
Among the country’s best selling items are rice and fresh bananas. Other top products during the fair included noodles, coconut products and by-products, canned fruits, dried mangoes, canned seafood, fermented marine products, confectioneries, snacks, chips, sauces and condiments.
DTI-CITEM also said it is seeing great opportunity for Philippine coffee in the Middle East market due to the number of inquiries on ground and whole coffee beans.
In a briefing on trends and opportunities, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce said prices of coffee—which is considered a commodity—can range from one to two US cents. With proper branding, these coffee products can be priced at $2 to $5. UAE has also increased their consumption of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee and tea, which are identified as the fastest growing beverage products in UAE.
The trade agency views this as an opportunity to create innovative coffee branding for the Philippines to be marketed to the UAE market.
“With Gulfood as the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show, it opens up greater opportunities for local coffee bean growers, which can mean growth in the business,” DTI-CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos said in a statement.
FoodPhilippines is a branding initiative of the DTI-CITEM that enforces the image of the Philippines as a source of quality food products derived from fresh, healthy, and natural ingredients.
Under this industry brand, the Philippines is positioning itself as Asia’s most exciting and healthy sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of fresh fruits and marine products.
In February this year, FoodPhilippines also recorded $44-million worth of negotiated sales from a food trade fair in the West Coast of the US.