Northern ireland targets hospitality Sector in 2018
Speaking on the side-lines of Gulfood last week, Invest Northern Ireland said trade to the UAE is growing year on year.
“At the moment we are up by over 10% from last year in our food and beverage export and 90% in the dairy sector alone,” Karl Devlin, business development manager - Middle East and Hong Kong, Food and Drink Division at Invest Northern Ireland said.
“We had new companies exhibiting at Gulfood for the first time and are seeing growth in a number of sectors, dairy being the biggest focus of last year is continuing to see growth,” he added.
Commenting on their participation at Gulfood, Sheethal Rishi, business development manager - UAE for Invest Northern Ireland said: “We started the year positively with Gulfood where we had 17 companies exhibiting. Most of them are already in retail stores and some have distributors so in a certain sense they are already in the market but what we are looking to do in 2018 is progress that success.
“The sector itself in retail space has grown by 60% and most of our companies are able to cater to that. Northern Ireland is known for its food traceability, sustainability and pure and natural products. The idea is to introduce our companies to the food service sector and we are also looking at categories within minibars in hotels as most hotels are looking for sustainable, health and wellness products.
“One of our clients had a lot of success within the first day of Gulfood itself as compared to the entire show last year, that indicates a very significant export success for our companies and a lot of our dairy companies supply to the hospitality sector, we would like to see that growing,” she added.