NRA trends for the re­gion

Hospitality News Middle East - - CONTENTS - won­ show.restau­

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.

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