Gulfood Manufacturing showcased cold chain solutions for the food and beverage industry. The event, which ran from October 31 to November 3, 2017, in Dubai, featured an eclectic mix of local and international manufacturers in the cold chain and transport refrigeration sector. According to the organisers, Gulfood drew the attendance of more than 35,000 visitors, and hosted more than 1,600 exhibitors from 60 countries across 30 national pavilions. The event featured new and regular exhibitors looking to position themselves in the local food and beverage sector.
Pontus Grimberg, International Sales Director, Frico, a company specialising in air curtains, was one such newcomer. “It’s our first time [to participate], and it’s part of the focus area we have within cold storage,” he said. “Our aim is to meet developers, investors, even all of the manufacturers here, because everyone needs to have a cold storage and that plays well within our hands, because I think we can be part of every step in the food chain, from preventing leakage of cold air to preventing the food from getting ruined.”
Sharing insights as a regular exhibitor, Rosy Salameh, Assistant Managing Director, Tiger Profiles and Insulation, said the company’s decision to participate for the third time was owing to the positive response it has earlier received. This, she said, was because visitors were surprised to find a warehouse facility manufacturer to create steel structures and cold stores, providing the company with the opportunity to position itself. “We are happy to see a lot of visitors we don’t usually see in other shows, from countries we don’t usually cater to,” she said. “Especially the African countries, and the fact that they’re here means that they’re serious about what they’re looking for, so for us this is a good way to filter the inquiries.”
Dr Talat Haffar, Regional Sales Manager, Everest Industrial Group, Commercial Refrigerators, spoke of the company’s long-term participation in Gulfood to showcase its product range of beverage coolers. He said he is optimistic about the market and that currently, Saudi Arabia continues to be the UAE-based company’s biggest market for commercial fridges.
Fevzi Kaplan, Foreign Trade Manager, Mopas Cold Storage Solutions and Eco Frigo, which makes refrigerated commercial vehicles, said that the Turkey-based company’s participation signals the company’s move to strengthen communication channels with stakeholders in the UAE and the greater MENA region. Although the company has previously supplied to the UAE, Kaplan said it is looking for suitable and reliable contacts to represent the company, locally.
A number of international exhibitors across different pavilions also shared their eagerness to enter the UAE and GCC markets. Gianni Monai, Export Sales Manager, Friulinox from the Italian pavilion, said the company, which specialises in refrigeration for catering and bakery industries, views the exhibition with particular interest, as it manufactures shock freezers and blast chillers, which are in demand by growing number of hotels, restaurants and food factories. The demand for refrigeration from these industries, he said, prompted the company’s decision to exhibit for the second year.
Amar Choudhary, Senior Key Account Manager, SAARC countries, Verbruggen Palletizing Solutions, spoke of the Holland-based company’s solution in the context of thermal integrity, emphasising that the pallets help in air circulation, as well as in maintaining the quality of the product to ensure a reduction in losses.
Omega Ice Hill showcased its heat-transfer technology, which, Anil Agrawal, Managing Director, said, is crucial for processing, chilling and storing food products. He added that the company is looking to expand its presence in the UAE and wider Gulf region.
Sebastien Comby, Chief Executive Officer, ACFRI, from the French pavilion, showcased the company’s product line of more environmentally friendly refrigerants which, he said, was recently launched globally. Currently, he said, ACFRI is supplying to the UAE as well as to Kuwait. “The reason why we are here is to make more contacts and find some distributors to develop this business,” he pointed out.
Natalie De Saeger, Export Business Manager, JRI, which manufactures temperature-monitoring systems, said the company was aiming to introduce two new products in the UAE by the end of 2017 through its local distributor to help monitor and address temperature excursions in the cold chain.