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Major new healthy food launches are being lined up by exhibitors at Gulfood – 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 Euromonitor International, the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research, forecasts the MENA region’s health, wellness and free-from product sales will rise 7 per cent over the next five years compared with a global average of 4 per cent. 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 provider 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,” explained 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.”

New Country Healthcare LLC (NCH), a Dubai-based distributor and retailer of health and wellness products, will leverage Gulfood 2019 to roll out healthy, new-to-market brands which promote a healthy lifestyle.

Meanwhile, regional food supply giant Barakat Quality Plus, which will showcase a new range of ice pops and juices at the show, says the trend towards healthy food represents “a sea change in the consumer’s general outlook to what is good” for them,” says Managing Director, Chef Michael Gerhard Wunsch.

German exhibitor CSM Deutschland GmbH, a leading international manufacturer and supplier of baking and confectionery ingredients and frozen baked products, is looking to capitalise on the growing trend for health and wellness.

“Gulfood is a great opportunity for us to display our world-class portfolio of bakery ingredients, products and services. Our focus has always been on providing qualitative, nutritious and delicious baked products,” said Vladimir Trankovsky, VP International Operations, CSM Bakery Solutions.

With Gulfood projected to attract upwards of 98,000 attendees from 198 countries, visitors will discover a show packed with 5,000 exhibitors and 120 country pavilions vying for business across eight primary market sectors: Beverages; Dairy; Fats & Oils; Health, Wellness & Free-from; Meat & Poultry; Power Brands; Pulses, Grains & Cereals; and World Food.

Details: Gulfood 2019 is open 11am-7pm from 17-20 February and 11am-5pm on 21 February. Visit www.gulfood.com for more information.

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