NRA trends for the region
The National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) runs every May at the Mccormick Place in Chicago, US, gathering leading F&B companies together, from across the globe, to present the latest industry breakthroughs
The show’s conferences provide a platform for participants to learn about the latest out-ofthe-box technologies for guest engagement and driving frequency, while also providing opportunities for building connections with industry leaders and suppliers of innovation. The 2018 show also offered valuable insight into robotics and automation for F&B, plant-
based food alternatives, sustainable packaging and customer expectations. After five consecutive years of visiting NRA, Wondereight branding and design agency decided to exhibit there for the first time in 2018, bringing its expertise in launching products for new and established businesses in the Middle East. Boudy Nasrala, CEO of Wondereight, shared some of the key messages that he brought back from the show:
• 60 percent of consumers expect highquality packaging from fast-casual restaurants • Robotics and automation are the future of F&B • Sustainable, sugar-cane packaging is on the rise • Plant-based meat is the vegan alternative • Key role for intelligent data in finding the next location; refining the offer; identifying trends early on
“We met a lot of startups and SMES that are keen to enter the Middle East market, but they see localization of culture as a barrier to those markets, when it comes to branding,” said Nasrala. “We’ve partnered with big distributors in the Middle East to help them access more than 12 countries. We can bring them a lot of support on this front, from localized branding to distribution channels.” He said the company was delighted to announce that it had signed a strategic partnership with a major commercial food service equipment manufacturer that currently holds 80 percent of US market share. “We will support them with their marketing and communication globally, catering to 17 worldwide offices, as well as their digital and social media presence,” Nasrala added.