Following the success of previous Gulfood exhibitions and the increasing popularity of Southeast Asian cuisine across the GCC, Singapore food and beverage companies are expecting to net record breaking sales at this year's international food trade show. In 2011, Singapore food exports to the GCC markets increased 20% over the previous year to reach $286m.
Fast-rising as a key food and culinary destination, Singapore is widely celebrated for its diversity and quality of food. All Tasty Singapore participants at the pavilion offer the highest standards in quality, health and safety. Chee Seng Sesame Oil, for example, has received the Gold Medal from the prestigious International Monde Selection for five consecutive years.
Visitors to the Tasty Singapore pavilion will get to savour some of the country's distinctive flavours with products that incorporate either native ingredients or capture Singapore's unique cultural fusion of Southeast Asian cuisine. Prima Food, for example, will introduce ready-to-prepare meals such as Curry La Mian and Laksa La Mian, offering a combination of traditional noodles and authentic Southeast Asian flavours.
Singapore companies are also committed to product innovation that adapts to local trends and palates. For example, Ellaziq is launching new flavours such as El-Dina Butter Chicken Pate and Olive Salmon Pate to cater to the palates of the Arabs and expatriates. To cater to the ever increasing fast-paced lifestyle in the UAE, Chye Choon has added quick meals to its existing range of high quality vermicelli.
"Global consumers are becoming more receptive to different flavours and Singapore, with our multicultural cuisine, has a lot to offer," said Lester Lu, IE Singapore's Regional Director for the UAE. "This year, Singapore companies are bringing an unprecedented variety of products to Gulfood to meet the market's growing demand for Southeast Asian cuisine. The GCC is now the ninth largest export market for our food manufacturers, whose successes have been built on providing high-quality, healthy and authentic food products to consumers globally."
Beyond their diversity of flavours, Singapore food manufacturers at Gulfood 2012 are eyeing growth opportunities in the health and wellness sector. As the prevalence of diabetes and obesity increases across the GCC, Singapore companies are promoting healthy eating as well. Pomefresh Organic, for example, will introduce its Otrimix line of oats porridge and oats beverage, the world's first 100-calorie meal power-packed with Omega-3, antioxidants and dietary fibre derived from organic whole-grains.
Highlight of Tasty Singapore pavilion - food demo by Singapore's celebrity chefHelping to promote these diverse and distinctive flavours is celebrity Singaporean Chef Haikal Johari. In collaboration with SPICE (the Singapore International Culinary Exchange), he will be using ingredients from the participating companies to prepare Singapore-inspired cuisine as part of his daily cooking demonstrations at the Tasty Singapore pavilion. Chef Haikal will give a modern twist to one of his dishes, the popular street food dish, Laksa, which is rice noodles served in a spicy coconut soup base. He will replace rice noodles with his creation of Laksa-infused noodles, made with the same traditional ingredients as the original dish, retaining the authentic flavours that Singaporeans love.
Born and raised in Singapore, Chef Haikal is one of the country's most celebrated young chefs having led the kitchens of some of the world's most prestigious restaurants, including Restaurant Ember in Bangkok, Coriander Leaf Restaurant, Les Amis and the famed Pierside in Singapore. He is currently head chef of Water Library in Bangkok.