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
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-