This year marked Gulfood’s 25th edition anniversary and it was about rethinking food and transporting the show to the future to see what the industry looks like in the next 25 years. Anniversaries are often a time to reflect on the past and celebrate milestones and achievements. For Gulfood’s 25th, under the theme Rethinking Food, Gulfood brought to the table a stellar line-up of industry experts. Bhushan Yengade, Binder Technology Consultancy’s Food Industry Consultant was invited to moderate the panel discussion on ‘Are you in or out of Africa?’ and deliver keynote presentation on ‘Follow the money: The importance of emerging markets for business growth’.
If the global population will grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 and 1 billion of that population growth will be in Africa. Inevitably Africa must represent the single most important future market based on population growth alone. Agriculture is a backbone of many African country economies and majority of the population dependent on subsistence farming, agriculture and food processing is at a poignant state for the economic growth. Food security, improving human nutrition and boosting the economic status of small-holder farmers is obligatory for growth. Investment in the infrastructure particularly food processing and supply chain would be a panacea for transforming the Africa.
The global leaders joined to discuss the investment opportunities in the African food industry sector. The keynote was delivered by H.E. Ambassador Misganu Arega, State Minister – Ministry of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia. Michelle Adelman, CEO Accite Holdings and the CEO International Business, Britannia, Annu Gupta were other panellist for this African panel discussion. The discussion was rigorous on disrupting food processing status quo. The panel agreed on rethinking food innovation opportunities in Africa. Bhushan is known for the global food industry market analysis. He highlighted the African food processing economy and stated the utmost need for providing technical assistance to increase the level of food processing, reduction of wastage and increase in value addition.
Bhushan also delivered a keynote presentation on Emerging markets – Asia Pacific and Middle East. Food companies are looking towards emerging markets to achieve overall long-term growth objectives. Emerging markets are underpinned by strong GDP growth combined with the rapid rise of a middle class with high disposable income. These factors offer tremendous potential for food businesses. But one size does not fit all. To achieve success brand owners have to leverage local marketing tools, partner or acquire local manufacturers, and adapt existing products to meet local market needs and tastes. His keynote session explored emerging market trends, business models, investment opportunities in detail and presented some of the strategies employed by sectors that have delivered impressive results. We would be happy to publish his exclusive article on Asia Pacific food industry market and interview on Middle East food industry market in our upcoming issues.