E-commerce in F&B industry projected to reach $71.62b by 2028 - GulfToday

E-commerce in F&B industry projected to reach $71.62b by 2028


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

E-commerce in the F&B industry is booming with recent research forecasting it to reach $71.62 billion by 2028, registering a compound annual growth rate of 17.8 per cent. The steep upward trajectory is driven by several key factors, including sweeping consumer shifts towards online shopping for groceries, ready-to-eat food deliveries and healthy produce.

These trends have led to an urgent need for the industry to dig deeper into its e-commerce offerings to level up the ecosystem. Yet, while the segment provides a plethora of opportunities and huge business potential, there remains inevitable growing pains and more work needs to be done to ensure success for all links in the fast-moving digital chain – it is not simply a case of tying up with aggregators or launching a proprietary online delivery service.

Trends, trials, and solutions to truly unlock the e-commerce potential will be explored in great depth for the first time at Gulfood 2022, the 27th edition of world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Big brand leaders, food technologists, policymakers, industry heads and start-up pioneers will convene in Dubai to unpack the industry and set the future agenda, with the all new Gulfood Inspire conference featuring dedicated sessions on e-commerce led by some of the sector’s leading innovators, while a focused networking programme will ensure the F&B sector can realise its digital capability.

“E-commerce in F&B is experiencing a meteoric rise thanks to a number of key factors. In this region specifically, it is flourishing thanks to increased high-income potential, high internet penetration, developed logistics network, modern digital payment systems, a growing tech-savvy youth population, and strong government support. As the F&B industry’s undisputed transformative powerbroker, Gulfood will connect and create the future course of the digital marketplace, with crucial insights from producers and aggregators,” explained Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC.

“It will be a coming together of an industry in need of addressing ecosystem challenges and opportunities, which if surmounted can be a huge engine of growth and transformation. What consumers are looking for from the food and beverage industry is very different from just a few years ago, and these new expectations are here to stay beyond 2022,” explained LohMirmand. “Gulfood will focus industry-wide debate on the trends and new value-chain networks that will shape the future.”

Consumers today are spoilt for choice online, with everything you could possibly want available somewhere for a competitive price, added to the ease of it being delivered to your door. The online marketplace is fast, convenient and without boundaries and it is changing how consumers shop for the foreseeable.

It is a fast pace that distributors have had to learn to adapt to, and keep up with, to remain ahead of the game.

Bhushant Gandhi, Department Head – FMCG, Truebell said: “At Truebell, our e-commerce journey started in 2017 and rapidly took shape in 2019, with the pandemic fast tracking all our business plans. E-commerce requires a different approach and thought process in comparison to tradition retail and foodservice. We feel we quickly adapted to this with specialized staff to manage this business.     

“In 2019, we diversified our business with an overarching strategy for systematic distribution via all relevant E-Commerce channels, including online marketplaces, third party eRetailers and direct sales. Today, Truebell fulfilment centre provides over 8,000 SKUs in various categories across Food, Health, Home and Personal Care. And continues to expand.”

The rise of e-commerce in F&B is a win-win for all, according to homegrown regional online marketplace Noon, which will be among the of high-calibre industry pioneers providing invaluable insight across the five-day Gulfood.

Gulfood 2022 will be held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols. DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols.

Gulfood has established a position as the world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event. Split into eight specific food industry sectors, the trade-only show is professionally managed and hosted by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

DWTC brings more than 40 years’ experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East and provides local, regional, and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organizes more than 20 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region. Our commitment to on-going innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.

Dubai Industrial City: Dubai Industrial City (DI), one of the largest industrial hubs in the region, will underscore its contribution to enabling the UAE’s food security agenda and advanced food manufacturing at Gulfood 2022, the world’s largest annual F&B trade exhibition. The business ecosystem will elevate the landscape for dialogue and collaboration with insightful panel discussions and networking opportunities at the gathering.

With over 780 business partners operating across eight sector-specific clusters, DI has been a strategic enabler of key national strategies advancing the UAE’s reputation as a global leader in industries of the future. The past year has witnessed significant growth in the district’s F&B cluster as innovation-driven producers joined its diverse community of start-ups, SMEs and international corporations, advancing the directives of Operation 300bn and ‘Make It in the Emirates’.

Announced towards the end of 2021, WenChao Group is constructing a state-of-the-art food manufacturing and distribution facility in DI. The Dhs735 million facility will harness the power of advanced technology to support a predicted annual food production turnover worth up to Dhs500 million.

Commenting on this year’s participation, Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director of DI said: “The push to empower and expand the industrial sector as the driving force of a sustainable national economy demonstrates the impressive foresight of our leadership.

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