Spanning eight halls and with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees, Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 was definitely a ‘must attend’ for those leading the way in the food manufacturing industry – full of insights, experts and emerging trends.
It became clear during our time in Dubai that there is considerable interest in UK food manufacturing, with businesses looking to emulate the UK manufacturing model. This is particularly the case in the Middle East and Africa, which have gone through rapid urbanisation over the past 30 years and, in turn, have seen increased demands on their food and drink supply chains.
This offers a high level of potential growth for all in UK businesses in the food and beverage sector. Until recently, most multinational brands in these regions had chosen to serve them by importing, which is both costly and doesn’t directly cater for the specific tastes of the regions.
As we enter the digital age, the show highlighted the need for manufacturers to stay innovative and relevant. Automation and Industry 4.0 are key driving forces here, along with the ever-changing consumer landscape. Manufacturers must remain flexible and pioneering to keep up with consumer habits and trends in a digitalised world that is constantly adapting.
The scope offered by digitalisation enables consumers to design products and packaging in line with personal tastes. Particularly noticeable was the UAE region’s thirst for knowledge on – and willingness to invest in – world-class manufacturing technologies to keep up with these consumer habits and demands.
We see a huge growth market overseas and an appetite for UK expertise. The future of food manufacturing is exciting and challenging, but there is certainly a lot to be learned from Gulfood Manufacturing. I am confident that those attendees from around the world will be keen to learn from each other in terms of how best to embrace the changes that are upon us.
For further details about Integrated Food Projects, visit www.integratedfoodprojects.com.