Gulfood, currently taking place at Dubai’s World Trade Centre, is known for dishing up some truly innovative products.
This year, the annual food and beverage trade exhibition is hosting around 2,500 exhibitors from more than 85 countries, with plenty of international flavours on offer. The event will see live workshops, talks and cooking demonstrations taking place, as well as the launch of an e-book Culinary & Business - The Club, highlighting some of UAE's most famous chefs.
When it comes to food products, the variety is endless. From the weird and wonderful, to the traditional and innovative, here's a sample of what’s on offer, and the upcoming food trends to look out for...
Gourmet salt by Salt Bae
Internet sensation Nusret Gokce, popularly known as Salt Bae thanks to his flamboyant salt seasoning style, has wholeheartedly embraced the moniker and released a range of gourmet salts.
The collection features sea salt and Himalayan flake salt for traditionalists, and quirkier flavours like espresso, truffle, toasted onion, beetroot garlic, celery and ginger for those looking to try something new - all within packaging that showcases his famous meme, of course.
The range has already launched in Turkey, but is yet hit UAE shelves. Judging by the popularity of the chef in this region, though, it probably won’t be long.
Vegangurt by Jogurty Magda
There’s been a strong shift towards veganism over the last few years, and brands are undoubtedly listening, with several innovative concepts geared towards those embracing a plant-based lifestyle.
One of those products by Polish brand Jogurty Magda is a yoghurt snack, made using coconut milk as a base. “Vegangurt” keeps its creamy taste while being dairy, gluten, soy and colorants-free, and comes in four flavours (mango, apple and cinnamon, blueberry and blackcurrant, and natural).
It has also been named as “most innovative organic product” at the Gulfood Innovation Awards.
Vegangurt is available in Carrefour, with prices starting at Dh11.
Avocado hummus by Freshcourt
Mexican company Freshcourt is playing into the world's avo-obsession with an interesting range of snack-sized avocado-based products. There are avocado coco smoothies, avocado jams and avocado hummus, while those with a sweet tooth can try out their Mango Guacamole. The products are yet to retail to consumers in the UAE, although the brand hopes to expand in the region soon.
Instant camel milk coffee by Camelicious
Homegrown company Camelicious has been serving up premium camel milk, camel milk ice cream and even camel milk ghee for a while now. But for those who want to try it out for health reasons (camel milk is high in several vitamins and minerals and also antioxidants) or are just curious, it also has a range of camel milk powders.
Recently, it has taken things to the next level with the launch of an instant coffee with camel milk powder, available in individual sachets. The company has also recently launched a range of camel milk chocolates.
Liquid Eggs by Ovostar
While the concept of liquid eggs isn't new to the UAE market, more and more options are becoming available. Ukrainian company Ovostar is hoping to add to that by bringing its products to the region soon. According to Alex Revak, the company's regional business manager, "you cook them just as you would a normal egg" with each packet mentioning how many eggs it contains.
“It’s been pasteurised or heat treated, making it safe against diseases like salmonella and you don’t have to worry about breaking them as you carry them into the house,” he says. Another reason for the growing popularity of liquid eggs is their shelf life, which enables them last 90 days when chilled and a year when frozen. Ovostar’s liquid eggs come in three varieties: whole egg, egg white and omelette.
Rectangular crisps by Long Chips
If you’re looking to take snacking to a whole new level, a 1986-born Latvian Company has recently rolled out its uniquely shaped crisps in the UAE.
The rectangular crisps are a cross between a wafer and a chip, and come in14 flavours including wasabi, magic masala and grilled paprika.
Other than the convenient portion sizes, the chips' unusual shape allows them to be flash fried for just ten seconds, making it slightly healthier than others in the market. No GMO and artificial colouring are other perks, and the shape is also great for dipping.
The product is currently being retailed in select stores from Dh4.
Honey souffle by Peroni
Hailing from Russia, Peroni’s luxury honey souffles are easy on the eyes and the tastebuds. “They can be eaten as is, like a dessert, on bread or added to other dishes,” the vendor explains. Flavour options include blue lagoon, mango and passionfruit, and raspberry sorbet. Peroni is looking to launch its range in the UAE in the near future.
A luxury energy drink by Diamant Vogue
Proving that there’s always space for high-end products, Polish brand Diamant Vogue is displaying what it’s calling the “first luxury energy drink”.
The luxury aspect, it says, comes from the ingredients, design and a price that will be “higher than the average” on the market. There are four of these premium flavours – the classic, no calorie, lime and mint, and white strawberries. While the brand is not yet available in the UAE, it hopes to be soon.