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Exploring Future Trends in Food Industry at Gulfood 2022

Plant-Based Meat

The 29th edition of Gulfood in Dubai has brought together a cadre of experts, thought leaders, and futurists to illuminate the future of food, revealing a landscape shaped by innovative trends and global events. Daniel Levine, renowned for his insights as director of the Avant-Guide Institute, underscored in his keynote speech how the food industry mirrors broader global dynamics. He emphasized that contemporary trends reflect not merely consumer preferences but also the interconnectedness of various aspects of life, from food choices to technology and transportation.

Vegan Meat Revolution

This five-day event, a pinnacle in the world of food trade fairs, serves as a platform for unveiling the top trends poised to dominate the market in the coming years. Let’s delve into the five key trends set to revolutionize the culinary landscape:

  • Vegan Meat Revolution: Plant-based meat has surged in popularity, with brands introducing innovative offerings like plant-based shawarma meat. Jean Ordureau from Linck highlighted the growing demand driven by consumers’ environmental consciousness and dietary preferences. This trend underscores a shift towards sustainable and ethical food choices, resonating strongly with consumers in the UAE and beyond.
  • Alcohol-Free Craze: The trend towards alcohol-free beverages has gained momentum globally, with the region leading the charge. Local company Drink Dry has experienced a significant surge in revenue, with alcohol-free versions of familiar brands like Corona Cero and Peroni Nastro Azzurro leading the pack. This trend reflects evolving consumer preferences towards healthier lifestyles and mindful drinking habits.
  • Sustainable Packaging: Green packaging solutions are gaining traction worldwide, simplifying recycling processes for consumers. Companies like Agthia are embracing bamboo packaging for products like Al Ain water, reflecting a growing corporate commitment to environmental sustainability. Consumers are increasingly willing to support eco-friendly initiatives, even at a premium, signaling a shift towards conscious consumption.
  • Transparency and Accountability: In an era dominated by social media, transparency has become paramount. Companies are adopting more open and honest practices, from sharing kitchen staff names in restaurants to enabling consumers to trace the origins of their food. Local eatery Boca’s public disclosure of its carbon footprint demonstrates a commitment to accountability that resonates with discerning consumers seeking ethical and sustainable dining options.
  • Exploring New Flavors: Consumers are embracing novel flavor profiles and culinary experiences. Hydroponically grown produce offers a crisp, fresh alternative to traditional options, resonating with the growing trend towards locally sourced ingredients. Furthermore, the rise of chili crisp as a favored flavor represents a departure from convention, with leading brands incorporating it into a diverse range of products, from chips to pizzas.

As the food industry evolves, these trends underscore a broader shift towards sustainability, health-consciousness, and culinary innovation. By embracing plant-based alternatives, sustainable packaging solutions, and transparent practices, the future of food in the UAE promises to be both exciting and transformative. As consumers increasingly prioritize ethical consumption and novel culinary experiences, the stage is set for a culinary renaissance defined by creativity, sustainability, and mindful consumption.

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