Feb 20, 2023

Maksim Zagornov takes part in the Russian Food Manufacturers Training right before Gulfood-2023

Business Ambassador of Business Russia to the UAE Maksim Zagornov took part in a thematic training designed for the Russian food manufacturers. The event organized by Mosprom autonomous non-profit organization was held right before the business mission to the Gulfood-2023 International Exhibition.

According to Maksim Zagornov, the issue of food security is of high priority in the UAE today. The Emirates food sector is 90% dependent on imports. Over 40 tons of food per day are imported into the country from abroad.

To overcome this dependency, the UAE has adopted the National Food Security Strategy aiming to support food suppliers and manufacturers. In 2022, the Food Security Council was established. “Every year, the Emirates invests 50 billion dollars in the development of the food sector according to the strategy. It is one of the fast-growing markets. You need to enter it more actively,” said Business Ambassador of Business Russia to the UAE. According to Maksim Zagornov, Russia is envisaged as a key partner of the UAE in terms of quality food products supply. The items in demand are as follows: sunflower oil, flour, dairy products, poultry meat and others.

At the same time, a new trend occurs today. Russian manufacturers start suppling not only end products, but also semi- prepared food and raw materials to be further processed at the UAE enterprises. The Emirates authorities provide a wide range of additional benefits to food manufacturers.

During the training session, Nikita Ivantsov, head of the foreign economic activity department at MAKFA, shared his recommendations on promoting food products in the UAE market.

MAKFA is one of the leaders in the pasta and flour market in Russia. The company began to take its first steps in the UAE in 2014. It works through a distributor. Today the company is presented in all store chains of the UAE. Its share of product exports to the Middle East (UAE, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia) is 5%. The plans are to increase these figures up to 15% within 3 years.

Nikita Ivantsov, head of the foreign economic activity department at MAKFA, gave the following recommendations to the participants of the business mission at Gulfood-2023:

  • It is necessary to solve three tasks before entering the UAE market: select a distributor, monitor retail outlets, and form a price list.

  • It is easier to promote unique products. Your task is to make the distributor interested. (The presentation should include forecasts for 3-5 years as well as distributor's margin and letters of recommendation).

  • As far as insurance, test payments and counterparty checks are concerned, it is necessary to use the principle “verification before ratification”.

  • It is better to entrust packaging adjustment (English + Arabic) to the UAE contractors to have fewer errors.

  • Marketing tools are as follows: price promotions, additional display of goods, tastings, landing pages on amazon.ae, carrefouruae.com, work with bloggers.

  • Arab partners are slow. You shall not expect ultra-fast results, but everything is possible!

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