COVER STORY

Cel­e­brat­ing 15 years of op­er­a­tion in the UAE, HORECA Trade started from hum­ble be­gin­nings to be­come one of the most suc­cess­ful food­ser­vice dis­trib­u­tors in the mar­ket to­day. Ma­hak Man­nan caught up with the gen­eral man­ager, Wael Al Jamil on its achieve­ments

CateringNews Middle East - - Contents -

HORECA Trade on com­plet­ing 15 years of op­er­a­tion in the UAE.

ORECA Trade, a part of Bid­food, the global dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany, has been con­stantly adapt­ing to change in an ever-grow­ing mar­ket which de­mands reg­u­lar in­no­va­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Wael Al Jamil, gen­eral man­ager, HORECA Trade this is one of its key el­e­ments of suc­cess.

“The jour­ney of Bid­food in the UAE has been one of con­stant change, as is with the mar­ket con­di­tion. Like any other com­pany we started with noth­ing and to­day have al­most 200 em­ploy­ees,” he says.

“So far we have com­pleted over 1.5 mil­lion de­liv­er­ies within the coun­try. We started with less than 50 cus­tomers and to­day we de­liver to 5000 cus­tomers. Ini­tially, we had no brands and to­day the port­fo­lio has more than 20 in­ter­na­tional brands which we con­tinue to grow. The idea is not about num­bers but our abil­ity to change and the agility of the busi­ness,” he says.

“I be­lieve it is a sim­ple equa­tion - if we don’t change we fail. Con­sumers have be­come very knowl­edge­able about their food now, the word foodie did not ex­ist when we started but to­day ev­ery other per­son is a foodie. With that knowl­edge comes the need to adapt to grow­ing con­sumer needs. The trend for more ex­pe­ri­en­tial din­ing over your typ­i­cal ca­sual din­ing is rapidly be­com­ing pop­u­lar.”

“This view has opened up so much and as sup­pli­ers we have to of­fer a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence and prod­ucts too,” he adds.

The need for change has also led to the growth of HORECA Trade’s port­fo­lio over the years. In 2003, it was lim­ited to a hand­ful of bev­er­age prod­ucts and condi­ments, fast for­ward 15 years later and it is on board with food and bev­er­age prod­ucts and in­no­va­tive equip­ment.

“Chefs have nu­mer­ous re­quire­ments and ven­dors to deal with but they all want to work with lesser sup­pli­ers. HORECA Trade is now present in the bev­er­age, ap­pe­tiser,

main course and dessert cat­e­gories. Ad­di­tion­ally, we have man­aged to ex­pand into the non-food busi­ness with pack­ag­ing and in­no­va­tive equip­ment like Vito. This has helped cus­tomers be­come more reliant on HORECA Trade rather than hav­ing more sup­pli­ers,” Al Jamil says.

“Change is the only con­stant and that is what we will keep do­ing. To­mor­row, we will be in a com­pletely new sec­tor.”

The need to ex­pand its port­fo­lio came from cus­tomer needs, ac­cord­ing to the gen­eral man­ager.

“Our pur­pose is to pro­vide food­ser­vice op­er­a­tors with prod­ucts that would help them cre­ate an amaz­ing meal. With that be­ing said, the jour­ney of our port­fo­lio ex­pan­sion has never stopped. For ex­am­ple, since we rep­re­sent Lamb We­ston, the lead­ing potato brand, we have been chal­lenged by our cus­tomers on of­fer­ing some­thing that en­sures their fry­ing oil con­tin­ues to de­liver a su­pe­rior prod­uct af­ter days of fry-

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