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Scotland is hungry for success in the Middle East

19 February 2014

Largest ever Scottish food and drink delegation to UAE as companies return to Gulfood 2014 for sixth consecutive year

Twenty ambitious Scottish food and drink companies, ranging from chocolate fountain and pie producers to award-winning oil and seafood companies, are heading to the Middle East next week to showcase their products to importers, distributors and buyers from around the world. This represents the largest ever Scottish delegation at the show, supported by Scottish Development International (SDI), the international arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies.

The Scottish companies include Highland Spring, whose premium brand Speyside Glenlivet will be launched in the Middle East later this year after signing a contract with Winners International Trading Company following introductions facilitated by SDI at Gulfood in 2013, and award winning gluten-free company Genius Foods. In its first year at the show, Genius has been nominated into the Gulf Foods Awards in three categories and is launching a range of its gluten-free products in 13 Spinneys and Waitrose locations across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. The company plans to roll out the brand across the full 78 stores across the region in the coming months.

Susan Beattie, Head of Food and Drink at Scottish Development International, said: The Middle East is a core market for Scotland’s food and drink industry – exports to the region have increased by over 50% since 2007 to reach £166 million, with particularly strong growth in salmon, seafood, beverages and premium grocery.

“The UAE region is establishing itself as a global destination for fine dining, bringing success for Scotland’s premium producers as consumers are buying our best-loved Scottish brands and produce. We are helping businesses take advantage of these opportunities through providing market insight, making connections with buyers and distributors and supporting international strategy and skills development. We are delighted to see so many companies making the most of this year’s Gulfood exhibition.”

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The Middle East is a key target market for Scotland’s ever expanding food and drink industry, and I know from my previous visit that there is a tremendous appetite for Scotland’s high quality, iconic products. As we look to grow Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink, it is crucial that we tap into these markets to promote our fantastic natural larder and capitalise on the wealth of opportunities that are open to our firms.

“Scotland has some of the world’s freshest and healthiest foods, and our quality and provenance is recognised around the world. I’m confident that the Gulfood exhibition will prove to be successful for Scottish firms and increase the recognition of our premium products.”

During the show, SDI will also be hosting an evening reception at the Dhow and Anchor at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where Tom Kitchin, one of Scotland’s world renowned Michelin star chefs, will be using fresh Scottish ingredients to cook some of his best Scottish dishes for local executive chefs and guests from the retail and food service sectors across the Middle East.

  • Exhibiting companies on the Scottish pavilion at Gulfood 2014 include:

    Genius Foods: producer of a range of great tasting gluten free, wheat free and dairy free products

    Shortbread House of Edinburgh: producer of a range of quality handmade Scottish shortbread products, oat biscuits and Dundee cakes

    Highland Spring: bottler of pure and refreshing mineral water

    Sephra: producer of chocolate fountains throughout the world

    Summer Harvest Oils: family farm producing one of the finest quality oils

    Mackies at Taypack: producer of ice cream and potato crisps made with locally grown natural ingredients

    Macleans Highland Bakery: a Highland-based producer of indulgent traditional shortbreads and sweet biscuits

    Reids of Caithness: producer of award-winning range of biscuits and oatcakes using the finest Scottish oats and flours

    Supernature Oils: grow, harvest and hand bottle supernatural oil, using a spring variety of oil seed rape


  • The following companies will be attending Gulfood and participating in SDI’s first ever Food and Drink learning journey to the region:

    First Milk: leading dairy farmer-owned and commercial business with operations across the UK producing and supplying milk and cheese

    Findlaters Fine Foods: producer and supplier of award winning Pate and Pies

    Angelic Gluten free: specialises in a range of free from sweet cookies and savoury biscuits

    Braw Food: producer of pressed gluten free oat and fruit bars

    Wester Ross Fisheries: Scotland's oldest independent, owner-operated salmon farm

    Scottish Bakers Association: promotes and represents the bakery industry in Scotland

    Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil: producer of fresh oil

    Aulds: desserts for food service sector

    R&W Scott: hand-crafting the finest quality food products from jams and marmalades

    Braehead Foods Ltd: UK award winning supplier of fine foods & game offering a wide range of speciality products from the world's leading manufacturers.

    Safetray: product design company committed to creating, developing and manufacturing innovative products for venues and operators.
  • All the above companies as well as East Neuk Shellfish, John Vallance, Gourmets Choice, Dawnfresh Seafoods and Taste of Arran will participate in the Scottish Product Showcase at the Scottish Networking Reception and will provide their products for the menu that will be prepared by Tom Kitchin.
  • Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland to help the economy grow. It also helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas and promotes Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland.

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