Middle East Focus: GMG’s Farm Fresh chicken chips, Haus Rabenhorst fortified juices, Aiya matcha, Hunter Foods line-up expansion, House of Pops growth drivers

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Recent developments in the Middle East food and beverage market. ©Getty Images
Recent developments in the Middle East food and beverage market. ©Getty Images

Related tags Middle east Gulfood

This round-up features the growth strategies of Middle Eastern companies like GMG, Hunter Foods, and House of Pops, as well as how companies including Germany’s Haus Rabenhorst and Japan’s Aiya are eyeing market opportunities in the region.

GMG’s frozen foods brand Farm Fresh diversifies into healthy snacking category to capture Zillennials

UAE conglomerate Gulf Marketing Group (GMG)’s frozen foods brand Farm Fresh has unveiled its latest growth strategy by shifting its focus to healthy snacks, specifically targeting “older Gen Zs and younger millennials”.

Farm Fresh debuted its latest sub-brand called Shnax, which comprises chicken chips in various flavours, at Gulfood in February.

Claimed to be made out of 100% chicken, the chips are aimed at “reshaping the snacking landscape, offering consumers a healthier, protein-rich snacking option, and showcasing the company’s growth”.

Fortified beverages in the Middle East: Germany’s Haus Rabenhorst identifies market opportunities for juice range

German firm Haus Rabenhorst is looking to capitalise on the functional beverages trend with its range of nutrient-enriched juices, amid growing interest among consumers in Asia and Middle East.

A long-standing producer of premium pure and fortified juices, Haus Rabenhorst has been established for over 200 years, with its brands Rabenhorst and Rotbäckchen being household names in Germany.

Its domestic market generates the highest share of sales at 80%, while international markets in 42 countries make up the remaining 20%, according to Peter Weishaupt, Director of International Sales.

Japan’s Aiya eyes growth opportunities in Middle East’s nascent matcha market

Japan-headquartered Aiya is looking to seize growth opportunities in the Middle East, where the matcha market is still in its infancy.

The firm is a leading matcha producer with offices around the world, including China, Thailand, England, Germany, France and Austria.

Thomas Gromer, CEO of Aiya Europe, told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that there is still “a big difference” in the awareness of matcha among consumers in the Middle East, compared to those in Asian countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. This signifies opportunities for growth in the region.

‘No longer a niche’: Hunter Foods expands product line-up to meet healthy snacking demands while eyeing threefold growth

UAE-based gourmet snacks brand Hunter Foods​ has expanded its product range and repackaged its best-sellers amid booming consumer demand.

Its latest products, namely mushroom chips and okra chips, as well as the revamped version of its popular Hunter’s Ridges range, were introduced at Gulfood in Dubai.

Ananya Narayan, CEO of Hunter Foods, said that as the better-for-you category broadens, there is more room for new players to enter the space and competition naturally becomes stiffer. But at the same time, these firms help to grow the category.

“Regardless of the competition, we need to always stay one step ahead. And the key to that is constant innovation. As consumers’ benchmark for better-for-you foods goes up, the standards for gourmet foods rise as well, so we have to be even more creative.”

House of Pops touts portfolio extension, bigger market presence and contract manufacturing as key drivers for new stage of growth

Dubai-based frozen desserts brand House of Pops has identified three key drivers to propel its next stage of growth, namely expansion of product line-up, increasing market presence, and offering of private label services.

In development since last June​, House of Pops’ new gelato range and ice cream bites were introduced at Gulfood.

“We want to increase our footprint among the GCC markets as a priority. And that would be through either distribution or franchising contract. We have already made some good steps with partners in Bahrain and Kuwait. This year, we’re going to have a physical presence in Saudi Arabica, where the biggest opportunities in the region lies,” ​said Mazen Kanaan, CEO and co-founder of House of Pops.

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