Dubai: On 22nd May 2020, the Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo launched the regions first-ever Digital Trade Week, where international suppliers showcased their products in the presence of top retailers, distributors, re-exporters, eCommerce businesses & HoReCa buyers in the Middle East. The trade week saw five months of online trade activities focused on specific product segments ranging from superfoods to clean beauty, vegan products and nutraceuticals.
“The Middle East has been witnessing a major spike in demand for organic products during and post-COVID-19 times. The country is heavily depended on 92% of its imports, however, during this uncertain period, the demand for organic & natural products seemed unfulfilled. Keeping this in mind, we conceptualized an opportunity for importers in the Middle East to stay ahead in capitalizing, by learning about the emerging market trends while getting introduced to new products and suppliers,” said Shinu Pillai, Exhibitions Director for the Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo 2020.
Each trade week included live webinars where an average of 3000+ attendees from 27 countries witnessed new product introductions, panel discussions involving the category in the spotlight, highlighting the insights on demand and the scope of growth from trade buyers. In addition, the expo featured first-hand access to supplier products on arabianorganics.com, the region’s only wholesale b2b platform for organic & natural products where buyers can submit Request For Quotations for products in demand, enquire about products with suppliers directly and also engage by connecting with them over the portal. The platform gives them access to 365 days of business unlike any other expo in the region.
Given the trend, the trade week has identified a growing demand for natural beauty products & immunity-boosting ingredients at the highest in the region and witnessed a crucial demand for superfoods, vitality based supplements, vegan alternatives and fresh produce as well. Top buyers from various sectors and categories presented interesting numbers on the consumption behavior and shifting dynamics of food trade.
David Propialok, procurement director at Kibsons said, “People are going to be a lot more aware of the trends and their health, specifically obesity, hence organic is here to stay. Speaking of which, online has seen huge growth and this has been both challenging and exciting for Kibsons.”
Meanwhile, Adam Ragab, general manager of Bedaya General Trading mentioned, “From a distributor’s perspective, we’ve noticed a shift in the HORECA sector, where they are using organic ingredients to differentiate flavors and make food healthier. For retail, people are looking for innovative solutions, health, and convenience”.
Speaking of demand in the health sector, Imran Masood, operations head at Thumbay Pharmacy highlighted that, “There has been a 140% growth in UAE in the health supplements category due to the current situation and they are open to procure from various countries in the world.”
While Food & Beverage and Health markets have viewed a spike in demand for organic products, the beauty sector is still climbing up the ladder slowly but steadily through eCommerce. Mukta Tharwani Purain, founder of MissPalettable.com said, “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people within the region were not so comfortable shopping online. They wanted to go to the stores to test beauty products. During the COVID-19 era, we saw a lot of online sales coming in. Skincare and haircare were two of our biggest sellers as people could not go to the salon at that time. This trend is going to continue.”
The digital expo generated an overall 4425 RFQs and enquiries from B2C and B2B buyers from 47 countries catering to the hunger for organic, natural & bio products in the region. Currently, 65 exhibitors are engaging with these buyers and negotiating their deals to enter the Middle Eastern market thus building a new revenue channel for them.
Yazen Al Kodmani, the operations manager of Emirates Bio Farm appreciated the effort behind the initiative, “This is a very interesting platform to connect buyers and suppliers from across the globe to push towards the agenda of food security by helping businesses diversify their sources. The Digital Trade Week is a successful case of pandemic-proof business collaboration.”
From an exhibitor’s perspective, Waleed Gabr, export supervisor of Egypt’s pioneers in sustainability farming, SEKEM, said, “The expo, along with its online marketing services, worked well for us to network with existing and new business partners. We also got good quality leads from potential customers. Overall a very good show.”
The Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo is at the Dubai World Trade Centre, happening from 15th December to 17th December 2020. Visitors can explore different product categories in the organic and natural sector from around the world, and also conduct business, all under one roof.
For media enquiries, contact:
Middle East Organic & Natural Products Expo 2020
© Press Release 2020