Manuel Supermarket, a Jeddah-based supermarket chain, is set to leverage this months trio of niche food shows at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) before rolling out a three-year expansion plan across the UAE from next year.
Speaking ahead of the 2015 editions of Sweets and Snacks Middle East, The Speciality Food Festival and Seafex – which return to DWTC from October 27 to 29 October, Khalid Al Darwish, co-founder and chief executive officer of Manuel Supermarket, believed the three events provide the perfect springboard to increase the chain’s visibility in the ultra-competitive UAE supermarket sector.
“With our sixth Jeddah store opening in the second quarter of next year, 2016 will also herald the dawn of our long-awaited expansion into the UAE,” said Al Darwish.
“Our aim is to start in Dubai and establish a further two outlets across the UAE by 2018. This is not a sudden decision; it is a case of right place, right time. Dubai is the leading trade and business gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. It will be a landmark moment for the company when we open our first outlet in the emirates,” he said.
Al Darwish and a senior delegation of procurement officials from Manuel Supermarket will attend DWTC’s trio of niche food shows armed with a$15million procurement budget – a significant slice of the chain’s $500 million annual turnover.
“We’ve allocated $15 million as our minimum spend but we are prepared to go substantially higher if we find the right products for the right price,” he added.
“Having such a diverse line-up of products – from organic and gourmet foods to confectioneries and seafood – under one roof gives us greater flexibility to identify new brands and items for our stores.
“Our shopping list includes dry foods, confectioneries, canned foods, deli products, dairy goods, meat bakery products and seafood products – we expect the three shows to be very productive for our business,” added Al Darwish.
In addition to the three shows’ stand-alone potential as strategic procurement platforms in their specialised sectors, Al Darwish stressed the collective opportunity to reach out to an international network of suppliers, buyers and producers from multiple industries.
“There is no preferred show for us, there are 600 exhibiting companies from over 60 countries participating across the three shows and we view each one as a key sourcing platform and opportunity to expand our brand’s global equity,” said Al Darwish.
“There is a huge demand for confectionery products in our stores and Sweets & Snacks Middle East is a fantastic opportunity to expand our retail range. The Speciality Food Festival is a treasure trove of potential new product lines for our bespoke luxury supermarkets, while Seafex provides ample opportunities to source caviar, sardines, anchovies, mussels, shrimps, octopus, salmon and canned seafood products for our Red Sea consumers in Jeddah.”
The second edition of Gulfood Manufacturing – a sector-specific spin-off of February’s finished foods showcase, Gulfood – is also on Darwish’s agenda.
“Gulfood Manufacturing is a unique opportunity to explore technological and processing innovations in cutting-edge bakery equipment,” said Al Darwish.
“Traditionally, we have travelled to Germany for Munich’s IBA Show for these sourcing opportunities but Gulfood Manufacturing and the three sectorised food shows allow us access to finished products and processing equipment in one trip,” he said.
Manuel Supermarket will be joined by procurement and buying delegations from some of the region’s leading supermarket brands including Spinneys at DWTC’s trio of niche food shows.
Khalid Al Fahim, show director of DWTC’s trio of October food events, added: “Receiving the endorsement of Manuel Supermarkets – one of the leading supermarket brands in Saudi Arabia – illustrates the regional significance and collective pulling power of our sectorised platforms. Manuel Supermarket yield significant purchasing power and add further prestige to the influential community of major buyers making on-event transactions at the shows.” – TradeArabia News Service