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Food exports to Middle East doubled

The Danish food cluster’s exports to the Middle East have doubled since 2009. The region’s purchases now amount to more than DKK 11 billion, which is five times the total Danish organic food export.
Rynkeby had brought a new product called 'Dagmar', along to Gulfood 2017 and interest in the alcohol-free alternative was overwhelming.

Publiceret: 08.03.2017
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

For the tenth year running, the Confederation of Danish Industry attended one of the world’s largest food and beverage exhibitions with more than 100,000 visitors and 5,000 exhibitors spread across 100,000 m2.

The exhibition is called Gulfoods and takes place in Dubai, from where participating companies can reach customers, distributors and agents in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and rest of Asia.

And Danish foods and beverages are popular in the region. The food cluster’s exports to the Middle East have more than doubled in the last seven years so exports to the region now amount to over DKK 11 billion.

“This is equivalent to more than five times the total Danish exports of organic foods, so it’s a very important market for Danish food manufacturers. The Middle East is dependent on imports of food, and since the region is simultaneously undergoing solid economic growth and population growth, it’s an attractive market, and it’s vital that Danish companies constantly turn towards new markets,” says Director Leif Nielsen, Danish Food and Drink Federation.

See also: Danish products travel the world

Can you sell dates in the Middle East?

22 Danish companies participated in the Danish booth. Among them is Castus A/S, which produces fruit bars. Export Director Michael Hjerting experienced an overwhelming interest in their products, and he is returning home with many good new contacts for potential customers and distributors in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

 “We’re the biggest importer of dates in Denmark and are always on the lookout for the best raw ingredients for our products. It therefore made sense to take advantage of the opportunity to visit a local factory that produces dates of very high quality,” says Michael Hjerting.

See also: Half of Danish exports from 100 companies

Large market for alcohol-free alternatives

Also Rynkeby A/S, Denmark’s largest producer of juice and cordials had brought a premiere along to Gulfood. The company presented the exclusive gourmet drink Dagmar, which was originally launched in Denmark in 2016 to meet the demand for high-quality alcohol-free alternatives to wine at gourmet restaurants.

“During the launch, we focused on the home market, because Dagmar is a new category for Rynkeby. But we’ve always had in mind that a great potential exists for this type of product in countries where you don’t drink alcohol.  The interest at Gulfood has been overwhelming. From the first day, we’ve experienced a lot of curiosity about the products,” says Sanne Lundsgaard Rasmussen, Customer Marketing Manager.

See also: Danish businesses - export is our bread and butter

Danish foods and beverages in the Middle East
The Middle Eastern region has a relatively high population (over 300 million inhabitants) with a solid purchasing power.
It is a market under development and with good opportunities for Danish food manufacturers.
Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly the most important purchaser of products from the Danish food cluster. Exports to this country specifically neared DKK 2.5 billion in 2015.
The other two nations on the Danish food exports’ top three are the United Arab Emirates (DKK 742 billion in 2015) and Oman (DKK 598 billion in 2015).
The main food groups in 2015 exports are milk and dairy products (DKK 1.55 billion) as well as cereal products (breakfast products) and baked goods (approx. DKK 2.1 billion). But also equipment and technology for the Middle Eastern food sector are important. In 2015, exports of equipment and technology amounted to over DKK 500 million.

The interest at Gulfood has been overwhelming. From the first day, we’ve experienced a lot of curiosity about the products.
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PUBLISHED: 3/8/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 3/8/2017