The inaugural edition of The Saudi Food Show, held under the patronage of Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef, Saudi minister of industry and mineral resources, is currently underway at Riyadh Exhibition Center.
KAOUN International and dmg events are the organizers of the event, while MODON is the strategic partner.
The event, from June 20-22, offers a platform for the largest companies in the food industry to present their products, services and solutions to a global audience. The Saudi Food Show is affiliated with Gulfood, the world’s largest food and hospitality business event in the world.
Thousands of international brands from 43 countries are being represented in the sold-out exhibition, which extends across 20,000 square meters of exhibition space at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. For key players such as PepsiCo, Americana, Al-Jameel, Lactalis, GulfWest, Seara Foods, IFFCO, NADEC and hundreds more, as well as country pavilions of the US, UK, India, Singapore, Italy, Jordan and Australia, the show is an unrivaled platform to launch new products, services and technologies into the Saudi market.
The Saudi Food Show is a unique chance for participants to gain insights into market trends, uncover business opportunities and find out how to access the most dynamic market in the Middle East. On the opening day, a panel including Ali Alomeir, VP business development, MODON, and Prince Waleed bin Nasser Al-Saud, CEO of Mukatafa, gave an overview of the welcoming business environment in Saudi Arabia, and tips for F&B market entrants to the Kingdom.
Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, said: “Vision 2030 seeks to create a dynamic trading hub for the Saudi Arabian F&B sector, and the significant socioeconomic benefits arising from the F&B and hospitality sectors have been well-recognized by the Saudi government, which has brought the industry to the fore, making great strides in laying the groundwork for investment in the sector. The Saudi Food Show will be a significant catalyst for these efforts, growing the economic impact of F&B and hospitality further and faster on the local, regional and international stages.”
Matt Denton, president of co-organizer dmg events, added: “This inaugural Saudi Food Show is the first activation in our exciting plans to support the development of the F&B and hospitality sector in the Kingdom ... From food manufacturing and food tech to franchise, hotels and hospitality, this Saudi Food Show, packed full of inspiring content and features, is the nucleus of a portfolio of dedicated events scheduled for the coming 12 months.”
Summit sessions addressed some of the most urgent challenges facing the F&B sector in Saudi Arabia and the wider region — food security, sovereignty and sustainability, and mitigating uncertainty and volatility around supply chain and costs. The opening day also featured speakers including Ryan Lefers, co-founder and CEO of RedSea, and Bobby Rajendran, CEO of Tamimi Markets. The day concluded with a visionary keynote from Alkhorayef.
The ministerial panel on Day 2, featuring Al-Khorayef and Al-Fadhli, Saudi minister of environment, water and agriculture, was a chance to gain insights into the F&B policy and regulatory framework in Saudi Arabia. The restaurant dining scene in Saudi Arabia will spark discussions on the final day of the summit, with sessions looking at the regional and international brands seeking to enter — and expand in — the Kingdom.
Top Table Saudi
Top Table, sponsored by multinational food company GoodyCo, is giving visitors the opportunity to experience the latest dishes and techniques gaining popularity in the Kingdom, from an array of celebrated international and regional chefs, via more than 40 masterclasses. The lineup of chefs is a cross-section of international and regional, established names and rising stars, both male and female. It includes two Michelin-starred chefs: Paco Morales — one of Spain’s most progressive young avant-garde culinary masters — and Albert Adrià — current head chef of Michelin one-star restaurant Enigma in Barcelona and former head pastry chef of famed elBulli. Others include Lebanese chef and entrepreneur Maroun Chedid and Ian Pengelley from Myazu, two times winner of MENA’s Best 50. Furthermore, Chef Pierligui from Signor Sassi, an up-and-coming young chef with more than 1.3 million followers on social media, and Saudi chef Rayan Alayesh, from Kayzo by Myazo are also in attendance.
Across the three days, Middle East food and lifestyle TV channel Fatafeat is bringing four female chefs to present masterclasses — chefs Chahrazad Al-Hajjar, Salma Soleiman, Sumaya Obaid and Afnan Al-Jaadi.
“At Fatafeat, we’ve always striven to champion the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines and talented chefs, which resonated with millions of families in the region. As Saudi Arabia’s culinary culture has always been, and continues to be a big part of our programs, we are excited to partake in the Saudi Food Show in celebration of the Kingdom’s rising food economy. During the event’s Top Table segment, our star-studded lineup of celebrity chefs will do a kitchen takeover and perform cooking demonstrations live off-screen,” said Grigory Lavrov, head of Fatafeat at Warner Bros. Discovery.
At the inaugural YouthX Saudi, young talent from the Kingdom’s leading hotel chains — including the Ritz Carlton Riyadh, Grand Hyatt Alkhobar, JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh and Four Seasons Riyadh — will compete against each other in the Young Chef Challenge, to present a three-course menu in 25 minutes. The themes will be sustainability and zero waste, and menus will be judged on vision and industry acumen, alignment with the themes, presentation and taste. The winning team will not only scoop a cash prize, but also win a place in the international finals set to take place at Gulfood 2024. Judging the competition is media personality, celebrity chef and host of the hugely successful “World Café” Bobby Chin.
The inaugural Saudi Food Show is affiliated with 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. The event is strictly for trade and business professionals only.