Dubai / Emirates Business
Gulfood 2016 is gearing up to provide some Italian tastes too. Eyeing the growing appetite for the UAE’s F&B market share — an estimated AED43 billion (US$11.7 million) industry — an organization from the country — Associazione Formaggi Italiani DOP e IGP — has grabbed a pavilion at the event.
The Association of Italian PDO Cheeses, better known as AFIDOP, will present live interactive cooking demonstrations and educational seminars showcasing four of Italy’s premium Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) status cheeses over the course of the exhibition.
AFIDOP encompasses 25 regional Italian accreditations, to create the main consortia dedicated to the protection of Italian P.D.O. cheeses. The group as a whole promotes and protects cheeses originating from different geographic regions made in a typical all natural process across Italy under EU law. Currently there are 49 P.D.O. cheeses produced in Italy.
With the UAE and wider GCC becoming a culinary centre in the middle of the world, and a gateway to locations further east, it’s a meeting point for F&B suppliers, restaurants and retailers from across the world. Events such as Gulf Food have become essential to the procurement and success of the global hospitality business.
“With growing appetite for the UAE’s F&B market share, an estimated AED43 billion) US$11.7 million industry, it is essential for AFIDOP to not only have a presence at the exhibition but to also have some facetime with current and prospective clients,” said Nicola Cesare Baldrighi, Chairman of ADIFOP.
“Equally, with the rise of healthy eating trends and the desire to consume premium quality products, along with the region’s love of authentic Italian food, our cheeses, given their PDO status are perfect to meet those needs,” Baldrighi added.
Continuing, exports to the UAE from Italy have grown at a faster pace than other parts of the world and with the value of the UAE F&B Italian export market valued at over AED 1 Billion ($275 million), it is clear there is a demand. What’s more, with an additional 1,600 F&B establishments expected to open by 2019, it is likely the demand for Italian products will further increase.
Along with an increase in demand, export operations, as result, will need to run efficiently. Suppliers can work together rather than individually, to meet this need. By sharing the costs and work involved in the process for exporting goods, similar to AFIDOP’s model, this allows them to invest more in targeted promotional activities in the importing markets, like Gulf Food to educate the final consumer directly.
This year, AFIDOP will highlight four well-regarded Italian PDO cheeses: Grana Padano, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Pecorino Romano with background material on each complemented by tastings at the stand.
Material on all of the 49 P.D.O. cheeses will also be available. An added feature this year, a dedicated area for educational seminars and live interactive cooking demonstrations using the four selected cheeses will also give AFIDOP the ability to interact with prospective buyers.
Highlighting real time use of the cheeses, Chef Alessandro Cargiolli, Executive Chef at Nais Italian Kitchen in JLT, Dubai will collaborate with AFIDOP by holding two separate cooking demonstrations on February 22 and February 23. Four recipes each highlighting one of the selected aforementioned P.D.O. cheeses will be prepared in front of a live audience. Chef Alessandro will talk guests through the preparation and cooking process whilst also offering his tips on working with the four cheeses. A taste of each dish will be presented upon
“The exchange of the latest food trends, innovations, tastes, cooking and preparation methods are essential business practices for our industry. Being in the food industry, experience and knowledge are key and events like Gulfood, not only allow us to be in direct contact with our customers in an important market, but also allows us to continually learn and evolve. “We felt the addition of interactive cooking demonstrations with a local chef further showcases our commitment to and appreciate for the region,” said Baldrighi.