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Healthy food launches set to dominate Dubai’s Gulfood exhibition

Buoyed by a significant trend in mindful eating, Gulfood exhibitors are preparing to launch new products later this month

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.

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 forecasts the MENA region’s health, wellness and free-from product sales will rise 7 percent over the next five years compared with a global average of 4 percent.

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”.

The research provider has identified regional key trends as vegan and glutenfree 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 said it has given Health, Wellness & Free-From its own showcase sector within the 2019 event.

“The importance of nutrition has spiralled in recent years,” said 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.”

Gulfood is projected to attract upwards of 98,000 attendees from 198 countries with 5,000 exhibitors and 120 country pavilions vying for business across eight primary market sectors.

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