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Middle East: Consumers demand food origin information, report

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A surge in consumer demand for knowledge of food origin and source is now a key factor for successful sales and marketing in the global food industry, according to a survey by Opinion Matters.

The study found that a food’s ‘origin’ is now second on a consumer’s list, behind only sell-by dates, when it comes to purchasing, and leading international supermarket chains are addressing the issue through transparent ‘sourcing’ advertising.

The awareness of different foods from around the world has increased dramatically as a result of globalization, with global tourism to reach 1.5 billion by 2020 and 65% of households worldwide connected online.

This rise in awareness has resulted in a strong response from exhibitors for the World Food – one of eight specialist sectors in the newly evolved format of Gulfood 2017, which is taking place from February 26 to March 2, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

One trend seen across the globe is product knowledge and value, as consumers become more price conscious and increasingly mistrust brands, especially those from the largest global food manufacturers.

There is also a shift towards more ‘authentic’, niche and natural products, with people seeking brands that they see as upholding key values.

In addition, a growing number of consumers trust organic products to be healthier, more natural and greener but also favor smaller niche food manufacturers over large food multinationals.

The Asia-Pacific and Middle East and Africa regions are the main global growth drivers of packaged food globally.