MUSCAT, SEPT 15 – Representatives from the Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC) have introduced the innovation that is taking place in Food and Beverage in Oman to international industry professionals at Ireland’s National Food and Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2019. The event is the country’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, retail, food service and hospitality sectors.
Taking part in the conference and expo panel on the Future of Food was IIC’s Food and Beverage Innovation consultant Dr Bashair al Riyami (pictured). During discussions Dr Al Riyami took the opportunity to highlight the activities and preliminary results of the Food and Beverage Innovation Project in Oman. She also gave insights into the novel approaches used by IIC to identify opportunities for innovation in the Sultanate’s food processing sector as well as explaining how sector-wide innovation is being encouraged by the Centre. Delivering value from waste as part of a Circular Economy approach along with market trends and insights for the EU and Middle East markets were other topics covered by the IIC innovation consultant at Dublin’s Citywest Convention Centre.
Congratulating the organisers on an exceptional conference and exhibition, Dr Al Riyami said: “This has been a very productive event for the IIC Team and we are delighted by the highly positive reception IIC’s work on innovation in the Food and Beverage industry has received. It has been gratifying too to forge new links with like-minded European industry innovators as well as potential investors in IIC’s Food and Beverage projects. We look forward to introducing them to the possibilities of the IIC Industrial Innovation Ecosystem and the tremendous commercial opportunities in Oman in the coming weeks and months.”
Attended by over 3,000 industry professionals, experts, investors and influencers, Ireland’s National Food and Drink Business Conference & Exhibition highlights the key trends and challenges facing the industry and showcases the latest innovations, developments in best practice and new technological solutions available. Its program of seminars and panel discussions highlight the most pressing issues facing the industry and explore practical solutions to current and upcoming industry challenges.
Oman has a strong heritage in the production of traditional Arabic food and beverage products. Blessed with extensive fish resources from the Indian Ocean and a variety of fruit and vegetable produce, the Sultanate’s Food and Beverage industry has the potential to make a significant contribution to the growth of national exports. To realise this promise, IIC is working with enterprising producers across the country through its Sector Innovation Program to bring to market innovative food products that combine tradition with the evolving tastes and preferences of modern Middle East consumers and global markets.
Not only boosting Oman’s export offer, innovation in the Sultanate’s Food and Beverage Industry will help reduce reliance on food imports, which are likely to touch $4.8bn by 2020 according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, and in so doing contribute to the nation’s food security. Lucrative in its promise for local businesses, spending on the food and drink in Oman is forecast to be strong over 2019-2023 with food sales expected to grow by an annual average of 6.5 per cent during the period according to analysis carried out by Marketresearch.com who note that trends in preferences for healthy and premium products will continue to gain momentum as the disposable income of consumers rises.