The international not-for-profit trade association for bakery equipment manufacturers, ingredient companies and service providers was exhibiting at Gulfood Manufacturing 2014 in Dubai with nine of its 200 plus members.
Find a way to get our equipment here
Kerwin Brown, president/CEO, BEMA, told FoodProductionDaily.com it came to the show because it wants to know more about the Middle East market.
“Demand here is growing like crazy and we have to meet that demand and find a way to get our equipment in here and make it in a quality manner,” he said.
“Like the ‘Wild West’, it’s expanding at a fast pace. Consumers have a taste for US products but they like branded goods and if they want the same quality of product it has to be made here.
“As an organization, we need to know more about the region and for our members it is the place they want to be and grow in this market.”
Consumers want it now
Brown said consumers in the region know what they want but they want it now.
“Products need to be made here because of the restrictions regarding halal, etc. If you want sandwich or pan bread you have to have the right equipment and manufacturers have to get better at producing it in the same way the world produces it,” he added.
“Companies are looking to manufacture here but the challenge is who is going to train the local workforce because without the experience you need the training and education, it can be hard because you need someone with that processing experience.”
BEMA is based in the US but its members come from all over the world including Allied Bakery Equipment, Baker Perkins and Propack Processing and Packaging.
Exhibitors who had stands at the show were; American Pan, Bettendorf Stanford, Burford Corporation, Hansaloy Corporation, Kwik Lok, LeMatic, Unifiller Systems, Topos Mondial and Shaffer Mixers & Processing Equipment.
“We want to grow our presence here. To help our members get easier exposure into this market. We exhibited in Moscow in April this year and we will be at the IBA show in Munich next year,” added Brown.
“The challenge is we can’t import frozen food products in the bakery sector because there are always issues with sourcing and quality, it’s easy to see how demand is driving business in the Middle East just by looking at the success of Gulfood, there’s even a waiting list for firms to exhibit at the show.
Dubai is the gateway
“There’s no where else in the world where an event (Gulfood Manufacturing) was created in less than a year and it was sold out.
“A lot of our members have agents here but a lot of equipment is still made in the host country and shipped in. Dubai seems to be the place people want to come to from other countries and it’s easy because it acts as a really good gateway.”
BEMA celebrates its 100th year anniversary in 2018. It has its annual meeting from June 23-27, 2015, in Maui, Hawaii and will hold its IBIE tradeshow from October 8-11, 2016, in Las Vegas, US.