- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Saudis sample world food at Saudi Food Expo
- Date: 9th December 2013
- Summary: COMPUTER SCREEN SHOWING WEBSITE
- Embargoed: 24th December 2013 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVADOQ648DTNWW1ZW3L0QHIPL0YR
- Story Text: Saudi Arabia's first International food exhibition kicked off on Sunday (December 8) with participants from 27 countries including India, Greece, France, Spain, England, Germany, South Africa and Turkey.
The director of Saudi Food Expo 2013, Simon Blazni, said Saudi Arabia has the biggest food industry in the Gulf and still a lot of potential for growth.
"Saudi Arabia has the biggest food industry in the whole of the Gulf with 70% of the consumption of all the Gulf countries. In fact Saudi Arabia`s food industry is currently valued at 55 billion US Dollars and is projected to increase to 66 billion US Dollars by 2016," Blazni said.
Saudi Arabia depends almost entirely on imports to meet consumers' need.
Food company director Marwan al Muta`aem said the Saudi market is widely open to foreign companies and he sees a lot of opportunities.
"It is possible for the Saudi market to accommodate a larger number of companies as a result of openness to foreign markets and global markets and to the international chains of restaurants. A lot of restaurant chains have not yet opened in Saudi Arabia, there are still many huge and big projects looking at the market here in order to open a new business and invest in Saudi Arabia," Muta'aem said.
Business was booming for a Kuwaiti company specialised in online food delivery.
"We are a Kuwaiti company and have been working in this field for ten years. We entered the Saudi market a year and a half ago and were able to achieve 500 to 550 food delivery request per day. This number is excellent and we actually expect to double this figure in the near future because of the higher numbers of restaurants targetted," a representative of the company, Muhana Awad, said.
A visitor said food consumption is changing with more people going to restaurants and giving up on home-made food.
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