Farm Fresh is a leading marketer and distributor of branded frozen, chilled and dry food products in the UAE and Oman, and has a direct reach and coverage over all market segments, Mazola said in a statement.
Simon Gottfried, vice-president for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We feel that this move will give us the opportunity to increase business amongst professional staff that appreciate the quality and range of products that Mazola has to offer.”
The UAE distribution deal comes after Mazola gained ground in Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s biggest food consumer, where it has risen to become the second-biggest corn-oil supplier following average annual growth of 3% since 2014.
According to a study by Alpen Capital Middle East, an analyst, the UAE is expected to witness the fastest growth in food consumption by 2019 as a result of its growing population.
Growth there is forecast at a rate of 3.5% between 2014 and 2019, to reach nearly 52m tonnes of oil.
Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain have also shown similar growth patterns, ranging from 2.7% to 3.2%. Qatar led the GCC food consumption growth at an annualised rate of 5.5%, followed by the UAE at 4.8%.
Consumer spending in in the GCC food retail sector is expected to be worth almost US$106bn by 2017.
According to Alpen, Saudi Arabia will continue to lead the region’s food sector, accounting for 59% of the total consumption up until 2017. The country currently consumes 872kg of food per capita, compared to 852kg in Qatar, 634kg in Kuwait and 453kg in Bahrain. By 2017, per-capita food consumption for the entire region is forecast to reach 983kg.
The UAE’s reliance on food imports amounts to more than 80% of its food needs with expectations of a compound annual growth rate of 8% on food and beverages spending in the UAE up till 2018, according to Euromonitor projections.