The UAE firm mainly operates in the Middle East region and it now has plans to move further afield.
China, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia were some of the locations in mind, Jacek Plewa, the general manager of GFI told FoodNavigator-Asia.
These locations are preferred as they meet most regional compliance requirements.
As such, food produced can be exported into the broader Asian market.
To seek for potential partners, GFI will be visiting Thailand next month, Plewa said.
“We are looking for partners to produce the ‘Healthy Farm’ products under our license…Our first option is Thailand, China, Japan, and Malaysia.”
“They are approved for export to the other (Asian) countries which we don’t have access to from the UAE.”
The “Healthy Farm” products were introduced to provide healthier food options for consumers. At present, some of the brand’s products include frozen burger, nuggets, biscuits and organic vegetables.
The products contain superfoods such as kale and quinoa, and is GFI’s first clean label brand.
Currently, the “Healthy Farm” products are available in the Middle East. Outside of the Middle East, they can be brought via Alibaba.com.
"We have successfully established a strong foothold in the Middle East and we hope to replicate the same in Asia. Asian consumers have positively responded to the brand, with many of them purchasing the products since their launch in our core markets in the Middle East."
Besides Asia, Plewa revealed that GFI is also keen to expand into the US and South Africa. GFI also intends to license the production and distribution of "Healthy Farm" frozen products to local partners.
Reaching 1M consumers
GFI has set up itself to reach one million consumers via its “Healthy Farm” products by March next year, Plewa said.
This is a one year plan that started in March this year, when the first “Healthy Farm” products – frozen nugget and burger were launched.
“We aim for one million who will try and consume our ‘Healthy Farm’ product…We want to be a movement, the choice for healthy food.”
“We are about clean label, transparency, purity, expertise with superfood and at the same time, a novel and sophisticated brand.”
To reach more consumers, it will be launching the brand and its products in Kuwait next month and in Saudi Arabia in December.
Currently, "Healthy Farm" products are available in the UAE itself, Oman, and Bahrain.
To promote its products, GFI has also partnered supermarkets in setting up sampling kiosks for shoppers to try out their products.
Plewa revealed that the firm was also planning to launch its e-commerce platform in the UAE.
Expanding product category
GFI plans to launch 10 categories of products under the “Healthy Farm” brand in the next five years.
Currently, it has launched three product categories under the brand, namely frozen nuggets, burgers, biscuits and organic kale and spinach.
Its frozen nuggets are made up of a mix of chicken breast meat and eight types of vegetables.
It boasted the following: 30% more protein, six times more calcium, 40% less sodium and carbohydrates, 60% less calories, eight times less fat, and 12 times less saturated fat than other patties and nuggets available in the market today.
In addition, the product claimed to be free of MSG, trans-fat, mechanically deboned meat, sugars, food fillers, food colouring, and gluten.
Besides healthy eating, GFI also tries to guide consumers towards healthier cooking habits.
For instance, its burger patties are not battered as it wanted to prevent consumers from deep-frying the patties. Grilling and pan-frying are recommended instead.
“We want to educate consumers to move from deep-frying to healthier cooking habits...These products are made to tackle health issues such as obesity and diabetes in the region.”
These innovation achievements were made possible after two years of product development efforts, Plewa said.
During that period, the company experimented with 90 superfoods and chose 20 to work with in the end.
Its hard work paid off when it was the only UAE-based company to be named as finalist at the 4th World Food Innovation Awards held in the UK in March this year.
Its “Chicken Quinoa and Kale Nuggets” was the finalist for the Best Children’s Product.
Earlier in February, it was also awarded the “Best Halal Food” and the “Best Meat or Poultry Innovation” awards at Gulfood Dubai for its “Super Chicken Quinoa & Kale Nuggets” and “Chicken Quinoa & Kale Burgers”.