The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • Putting a Face on Middle East/North Africa

    By Angélique Hollister May 10, 2013

    In this issue, USDEC’s Middle East office representative provides a number of insights on the region. Among them: 1) the Middle East is erroneously seen as universally in turmoil; and 2) for U.S. suppliers to make inroads into what is a lucrative and growing dairy market, they need to put in more face time.

    My trip to Dubai earlier this year for the Gulfood Exhibition bore out both points. Dubai is a modern, high-tech, politically stable business center with a taste for dairy—certainly not the Middle East most frequently seen on U.S. news.

    Gulfood, one of the biggest food exhibitions in the world, grew another 10 percent this year, an indicator of the region’s rising interest in nutrition, food security and new food concepts, its growing appetite for Western products, and its position as a re-export hub. In fact, nearly half of the food imported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is re-exported to other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as Russia, India, Pakistan and East Africa.

    In other words, the region—and the UAE in particular—is an international marketplace. U.S. suppliers looking to become global players need to do business there. And in the Middle East, even with all the technology available, nothing replaces face time when building a business relationship.

    At Gulfood, USDEC operated a booth and participated in a series of practical culinary competitions. This November, USDEC will partner with members to host the U.S. Dairy Business Conference in Dubai—a first-of-its-kind interactive forum spanning cheese and dairy ingredients and targeting high-prospect Middle Eastern and North African food and beverage industry decision makers.

    By bringing U.S. suppliers together with Middle Eastern buyers, USDEC aims to put a face on the U.S. dairy industry just as Dubai was able to put a face on the Middle East/North Africa.

    (This article first appeared in the May 2013 edition of Export Profile.)

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff that builds on collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to build global demand for U.S. dairy products  


    Global Marketing Middle East Middle East/North Africa
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