As anticipation builds for the inaugural Saudi Food Show, the organisers of Saudi Arabia’s largest food event have unveiled the highlights of the forthcoming show, taking place in Riyadh next month from 20-22 June and is expected to see participation from thousands of food and hospitality professionals from around the world. In a reflection of its preeminent position, the show will be attended by H.E. Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources. His Excellency will deliver the opening keynote address and furthermore is also President of the Board of The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON), the official Strategic Partner and Sponsor of The Saudi Food Show 2023.
Under the theme ‘Rise with the new food economy’, The Saudi Food Show will proudly be held in collaboration with significant authorities including the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Investment, The Saudi Ports Authority, The Agricultural Investment Fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority, Saudi Made, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Saudi Exim, The General Food Security Authority (GFSA), Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and more.
The inaugural 2023 event will see participation of ministers, high-ranking government officials, senior officials and high-level delegates invited by the supporting organisations including ministerial sessions, workshops and live panel discussions with top policy makers and business leaders invited by the Ministries.
MODON recently announced that the Authority had signed several contracts and agreements worth SR1.07 billion ($285 million) to localise the food and beverage industry in the kingdom, furthermore revealing the increase of food factories to 1,171, with total areas of approximately 10 million m2.
Ali Alomeir, VP of Business Development at MODON commented: “The Saudi F&B sector offers tremendous opportunities to local and international investors. It’s among the fastest-growing sectors in the kingdom and directly intersects with key National strategies that aim at localization and National security. The Saudi Food Show is a crucial link between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and service providers and enabled by public entities. Participants can showcase their products, share thoughts, and discover potential business ventures. MODON, by being a strategic partner, ensures that the industry adheres to the highest standards of quality, sustainability, and innovation while also aiming to create a food system that is more resilient and inclusive for all along the supply chain of its 36 integrated industries cities in the kingdom, which will foster opportunities to attract global investments and incentivize growth in the food and beverage sector in alignment with the objectives of the National Industry Strategy.”
Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, commented: “The Saudi government has taken a visionary approach to growing the nation’s economy, as well as diversifying its industrial base through huge levels of investment. The F&B and hospitality sectors are central to realising this vision, and we are excited to be the governments’ partner of choice to provide the world-class platform that the region’s biggest market deserves. This event will unlock tremendous business opportunities for those global food and beverage brands across the value chain. Already the largest F&B show in the Kingdom, the fact that The Saudi Food Show exhibition sold out months ago has demonstrated to us the huge potential in the country – and the room for further growth in the coming years as Saudi Food Show becomes a firm fixture in the global F&B industry calendar.
The Saudi Food Summit, alone among Saudi food events, will bring together experts from the Kingdom and around the world to provide direct, original and valuable insights into the current and future trends shaping the F&B industry in Saudi Arabia and across the GCC. High-level speakers slated to attend include Raffaella Campagnoli, Chief Strategy Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Carrefour; David Rosenberg, Co-founder & CEO of AeroFarms, and Jerome Laredo, Co-founder & President at Deliverect, with sessions covering F&B investment and opportunities; supply chain agility and sustainability; innovation across foodservice; consumer trends and demands; agri-food tech impact and more.
Thousands of international brands from 35+ countries will be represented in the sold-out exhibition, which extends across 14,000 sqm of exhibition space at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre. With an additional 3000sqm space added via a bespoke structure to accommodate demand. For key players such as Pepsico, Americana, Al Jameel, Lactalis, GulfWest, Seara Foods, IFFCO, and hundreds more, as well as country pavilions including USA, UK, India, Singapore, Italy, Jordan and Australia, the show will be an unrivalled platform to unveil new products, services and technologies. It will also be a chance for buyers to connect with international brands exhibiting, many of which will be looking to enter the Saudi market, thanks to TawaSul, a dedicated meetings programme unique to the show. Meetings organised through TawaSul will be pre-scheduled, one-on-one interactions between top tier exhibitors and senior decision-makers on the buying side, driving forward tangible business opportunities.
Ian Halliday, General Manager – Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission commented: “Saudi Arabia is an important trading partner for Australia. The Kingdom is going through a rapid and substantial transformation, through the Saudi Vision 2030. This creates great opportunities for Australian food and agriculture products from packaged goods to wheat, barley, meat, and dairy products. The Saudi Food Show provides Australian food companies the chance to engage with key decision makers in-market and raise the profile of premium Australian goods and services. There is no better time for Australian exporters to enter Saudi Arabia.”
Rizwan Ahmed, IFFCO Executive Director said: “We take great pride in being one of the pioneering organisations to participate in The Saudi Food Show since its inception, as this is the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia. We are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious and ground-breaking event. Our participation offers a unique opportunity to showcase our products and services to potential customers, partners and investors. Additionally, the show provides an excellent platform for networking and connecting with industry peers. As an attractive growing market, the food and beverage industry in Saudi Arabia is of strategic importance to IFFCO. Our participation in the show will enable us to build on our existing strengths and actively pursue our growth strategy in the Kingdom’s ever-expanding food economy, focusing on our sustainability and food security values”.
The Saudi Food Show has also attracted a line-up of award-winning international and local celebrity chefs. A line up of culinary stars will be exploring the cutting edge of cuisine at Top Table Saudi, delivering over 40 masterclasses, to raise visitor awareness of the broad range of both the international cuisines that have made their way onto menus in the Kingdom, as well as traditional local dishes. With a strong showing from global Michelin-starred culinary maestros, celebrity chefs from the Arab world including Lebanese chef and entrepreneur Maroun Chedid, female chefs taking gastronomy to new heights in the region and young chefs, these masterclasses will revolve around the themes of ‘Global Gastronomy’ and ‘Flavours of Arabia’.
Top Table Saudi will present visitors with a never-seen-before line up of Michelin-starred celebrity chefs, marking their debut in the Kingdom and showcasing their signature techniques for the first time in the new culinary capital of the Middle East. Albert Adrià, current head chef of Michelin one-star restaurant Tickets, in Barcelona and former head pastry chef of famed elBulli is set to create various culinary delights as well as Michelin-starred chef and famed restaurateur Vikas Khanna and 2 Michelin-starred chef Paco Morales – one of Spain’s most progressive young avant-garde culinary masters.
Top Table Saudi will also host Arab celebrity chefs bringing Arab and Levantine cuisine to a wider audience, as well as for a deeper exploration of both traditional and modern Saudi cuisine in all its uniqueness and diversity.
In another first, YouthX will bring young talent from the Kingdom’s top hotel chains to compete against each other for a chance to go forward to directly win a place in the finals set to take place at Gulfood 2024. Rounding out Top Table Saudi will be an Innovation Lab for beverage masterclasses, and Pizza World – a series of interactive masterclasses, workshops, food tastings, and competitions that will take a deep dive into one of the most beloved foods not only in Saudi Arabia, but around the world.
The inaugural Saudi Food Show is affiliated to Gulfood, the world’s largest, go-to event brand trusted by the global F&B industry. Over almost three decades, Gulfood has cultivated the credibility, loyalty, recognition, and support of the global food and beverage sector, through an unwavering commitment to delivering real global business outcomes and valuable trade deals for participants. The Saudi Food Show draws upon this legacy and powerful international foundation.