Foodex Saudi, an event that will see over 400 food and beverage brands from 30 countries in participation, took off this week at Jeddah. The event will likely see over 15,000 attendees, most of them buyers and visitors from the GCC region and Saudi Arabia. Prince Khalid bin Saud bin Khalid bin Turki Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Meteorology and Environmental Protection Technical Affairs deputy chairman, inaugurated the event.
Speaking on the occasion, who is at the helm of the exhibition Simon Blazeby said that the food sector in Saudi Arabia is projected to see 55.3% growth in the near future, reaching an estimated SR262.5 billion annually. Blazeby said that Saudi Arabia’s agricultural and food commodities alone constitute about 15 % (amounting to SR65.5 billion) of the Kingdom’s imports. Market experts project that agricultural imports by the country are expected to register a 76% increase by 2016.
This exhibition was conceptualized as a platform where companies and brands from both domestic and international markets could come together under one roof to help develop the overall food and beverage sector in Saudi Arabia.
Among the various sections that find exposure in the exhibition are – organic food, health food, baked goods, poultry, seafood, meat and game, ready-to-eat as well as frozen foods, and companies engaged in food packaging and food technology.
The inaugural function also saw the launch of the Saudi Food Forum, a three-day event that will cover discussions on a variety of topics such as supply chain logistics, food safety and security, export and import opportunities, food marketing, and halal food benchmarks.