Middle East

Saudi merger turns Foodpanda profitable in Middle East

Saudi merger turns Foodpanda profitable in Middle East

By RJ Whitehead

Global online food delivery company Foodpanda has announced a deal to merge its Hellofood business with HungerStation in Saudi Arabia to create a market leader in one of the world’s biggest food delivery markets.

Mezzan reports slow growth ahead of Saudi JV

Mezzan reports slow growth ahead of Saudi JV

By RJ Whitehead

Kuwait’s Mezzan Holding, one of the Middle East’s biggest manufacturers and distributors of food and beverages, has reported in an increase in second-quarter revenue of 2.4% over the same period in 2015 to KWD52.8m (US$175m), and a 3.9% increase in year-to-date...

Iraq has a 'lack of commitment' to biosecurity, according to an FAO official in the Middle East

Iraq has ‘chronic’ bird flu problem

By Oscar Rousseau

Iraq’s inability to tackle the cause of bird flu means the deadly virus  is likely to spread across neighbouring countries, according to an expert on animal diseases.

© iStock

Mazola signs UAE distribution deal as GCC consumption grows

By RJ Whitehead

Global cooking oil major Mazola is placing its focus on expanding even further into the Middle East’s growing non-retail sector by appointing Farm Fresh as its new distributor for food-service business in the UAE.

YouGov names Almarai as Saudi’s favourite brand

YouGov names Almarai as Saudi’s favourite brand

By RJ Whitehead

Local dairy major Almarai was named Saudi Arabia’s favourite brand in the YouGov 2016 Mid-year BestBrand rankings, alongside Emirates airline in the UAE and Facebook in Egypt.

Inside a vegetable factory

Japanese trio plan vegetable factory in Dubai

By RJ Whitehead

Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, Showa Denko K.K. and Chiyoda Corporation will jointly develop an overseas artificially-lit vegetable factory business with a base in the UAE that promises to harvest crops throughout the year.

© iStock

Egypt named one of ‘10 emerging markets of the future’

By Richard Whitehead

An influential new report has identified Egypt as one of the “10 emerging markets of the future” though its food industry is predicted to see a dramatic change in fortunes as part of an overall predicted slump in its primary industries over the next five...

Photo: iStock

Middle East drives hope for Brazil sweet producers

By Eliot Beer

The Middle East is a bright spot for Brazil’s confectionery industry as the only global market seeing growth, with Brazilian producers hoping to capitalise further on synergies with the region.  

Americana sale back on, NFPC sale off

Americana sale back on, NFPC sale off

By Eliot Beer

The sale of Americana finally went ahead this month, with Adeptio paying US$2.4bn, while NFPC abandoned its sale attempt, with potential buyers’ scepticism over expansion plans blamed. 

Mezzan buys into KSA’s Al Safi for $25m

Mezzan buys into KSA’s Al Safi for $25m

By Eliot Beer

Kuwaiti food conglomerate Mezzan Holding will buy into Saudi Arabia’s Al Safi Food for up to US$25m, while EIP, one of the buyers of Diamond Meat Processing, eyes further purchases.

Photo: iStock

Ethical labels worth $2bn in UAE market

By Eliot Beer

Sales of products with ethical labels of some sort reached more than US$2bn in the UAE last year, according to Euromonitor, with recycling and preservatives the main areas of focus.

 Supplement start-up looks to offer a 'modern yet natural solution for a world in which healthy fasting has become more difficult'. © iStock.com / alexkich

Not so fast: First fasting supplement takes cautious approach to claims

By Lynda Searby

Start-up Nowrish has launched the first fasting supplement - a mix of vitamins, minerals and herbs formulated to support the body’s cleansing, immune, digestive and energy production systems during periods of fasting like Ramadan, but without making any...

Photo: iStock

Haram ingredients hidden in food

By Eliot Beer

Muslim consumers may be unintentionally consuming significant quantities of “hidden” haram ingredients in food products thanks to complex supply chains, according to a new report.

Photo: iStock

Valleyfresh puts down KSA roots

By Eliot Beer

Australian produce distributor Valleyfresh has announced it will open an office in Saudi Arabia in a bid to expand its operations and strengthen its relationships in the Middle East.

Photo: iStock

Food security bleak, says NGO report

By Eliot Beer

The outlook for food security in the Middle East is not hopeful, but growing pressure may start to force policy change across the region, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Photo: iStock

Polish push new apple types to UAE market

By Eliot Beer

Polish apple producers shut out of the Russian market are turning to the UAE, but now face challenges from long-held consumer expectations, according to the head of the Polish Fruit Union.

UAE firms buy Power Horse stake

UAE firms buy Power Horse stake

By Eliot Beer

Two UAE-based investment firms have bought a significant stake in Austrian energy drink producer Power Horse, and plan to expand the business’s reach beyond its Middle Eastern stronghold. 

Photo: iStock

Consumers seek Ramadan bargains as UAE ups subsidies

By Eliot Beer

Saudi, UAE and Egyptian shoppers are prepared to switch brands for a bargain even as they increase their food spend during Ramadan—a time when the UAE Ministry of Economy pays US$68m on food subsidies.

Siniora CEO: 'This will add to Siniora’s portfolio, to help us continue our growth in the same way as we have in Jordan and Palestine...' ©iStock

Siniora buys UAE’s DMP, eyes GCC growth

By Eliot Beer

Palestinian meat producer Siniora has bought the UAE firm Diamond Meat Processing (DMP) in a deal worth US$17m, in order to expand into the UAE and wider GCC.

©iStock

$4bn Americana sale collapses

By Eliot Beer

The sale of Americana to investor consortium Adeptio will not proceed, both parties announced on Sunday, ending a transaction which could have been worth as much as US$4bn.

©iStock

Brazil agri exports extend regional reach

By Eliot Beer

Brazilian agribusiness exporters are expanding their markets in the Middle East, as poultry sales boom, Saudi rice imports ramp up, and live cattle exports to Egypt are set to resume.

© iStock

Egypt smashes wheat target, continues buying

By Eliot Beer

Egypt has exceeded its domestic wheat-buying target, paying farmers for more than 4.3m tonnes, but plans to keep purchasing wheat until the end of the season as reformers look to the future.

© iStock

Spinneys and Multibrands go under the hammer

By Eliot Beer

US private equity firm TPG Capital may buy Spinneys Egypt for US$100m, as Gulf Capital announces the acquisition of GCC food distributor Multibrands to target the fast-growing Saudi F&B market.

Photo: iStock

Asia-Pacific nations lead in growth of ethical labels market

By RJ Whitehead

China, the United Arab Emirates and Australia are expected to be the fastest-growing vegan markets between 2015 and 2020, according to data from Euromonitor International’s newly launched ethical labels database.

The halal market is expected to grow significantly over the next four years

Halal labelling expected to grow

By Oscar Rousseau

The prevalence of halal labelling is expected to grow by a quarter between now and 2020, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. 

Photo: iStock

GNT opens colours base for GCC market

By RJ Whitehead

Global colours major GNT Group has opened an affiliate office in Dubai to service GCC countries which, the company says, are “becoming aware of the need for real colour solutions”. 

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