Middle East Focus: Innovation drivers in Yemen, House of Pops’ collaboration range, clean label beverages and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

A round-up of developments in the Middle Eastern region. ©Getty Images
A round-up of developments in the Middle Eastern region. ©Getty Images

Related tags Middle east

This round-up features HSA Group’s insights on innovation drivers in Yemen, House of Pops’ collaboration with a Lebanese food company, demand for clean label and sugar-reduction beverages in the Middle East, key factors behind Saudi Arabia’s rapid food industry growth, and more.

Impactful innovation in Yemen: Recognising consumer priorities and behaviour shifts caused by reduced purchasing power key – HSA Group

Yemen food manufacturing major Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group is seeking to address the significant changes in consumption behaviour among the domestic population and food security issues in the country through product innovation and active collaborations.

Businesses in conflicted-affected areas must first understand the pressures faced by local consumers to counter food insecurity and economic uncertainty, said Dr Rabih Kamleh, Chief R&D Officer at HSA Group.

“While innovation is more commonly associated with major MNCs, businesses in developing markets can prioritise cross-cutting issues like nutrition, packaging integrity, and shelf life in their R&D operations to meet complex, ever-changing consumer needs,” ​he told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Collaborate to innovate: House of Pops injects Lebanese flavours into new collaboration range

Dubai-based ice cream brand House of Pops has tapped into the popularity of Lebanese cuisine in the UAE through a collaboration range with food company Mama Rita.

Mazen Kanaan, House of Pops’ co-founder and CEO, said that while the firm is “always excited” to work with other brands, the collaboration needs to make sense and partners must share the same values.

He also shared that the brand is working on more collaborative projects with other brands, which will be announced in the near future.

Middle East majors: Clean label and sugar reduction ‘a must’ to penetrate local beverage market

Beverage products entering the Middle Eastern market need to be clean label and low in sugar in order to gain a strong local foothold, with both regulatory pressure and consumer demand firmly pushing trends in this direction.

The Middle East, and Dubai in particular, is well known for being associated with luxury and opulence, which also brings with it a higher awareness among consumers when it comes to food and beverage consumption and increased demand for higher quality.

“It is very clear that consumers are limiting their consumption of sugary drinks and carbonated drinks [partially due to higher price points], but mostly due to higher awareness of the health and wellness connotations, so beverage brands also need to accommodate these changes,”​ Rob Furse, Director of the +PW beverage brand’s parent company Millennium Group, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Food manufacturing in Saudi Arabia: National targets and ‘gender inclusivity’ propelling industry to new heights

National government support of food manufacturing localisation targets and the gradual rise of female leadership roles in the industry are key factors behind Saudi Arabia’s rapid food industry growth in the Middle East, claim industry players in the country.

Saudi Arabia is the region’s largest economy overall with some US$1.11tn in GDP as of 2022.

“Saudi Arabia is moving quickly to address any challenges that lie in the way of creating a sustainable working environment for women, and this has been particularly so in the food and beverage industry.

“This has included areas such as addressing the importance of day care and transportation to support mothers so that we do not need to worry about the logistics in leading balanced and efficient lives between motherhood and career,” ​PepsiCo Senior Plant Manager Noof Hasan Nooh told the floor at a recent panel discussion.

Beetroot juice intake found to improve muscle recovery among female athletes after high-pressure training – Iran RCT

Beetroot juice supplementation among female volleyball players was found to improve muscle endurance and pain reduction after high-pressure training.

The results were based on a crossover, randomised, and double-blinded study design conducted during two phases with a 30-day interval. It involved 12 young female semi-professional volleyball players with almost five years of volleyball experience.

The paper written by researchers from Iran, Japan and the US, and published in Nutrients​.

Related topics Nutrition Business Markets Middle East

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