Twenty-one of the world’s best and brightest food, beverage and hospitality industry innovators from three continents have claimed honours at the seventh edition of Gulfood Awards, one of the region’s most highly-regarded industry accolades.
More than 1,000 leading industry decision-makers, celebrity chefs, key exhibitors, customers, media and national groups attended a ceremony at the five-star Conrad Dubai hotel, where 18 awards judged by an international panel of 25 independent industry experts and three Best Trade Stand winners decided by the Gulfood management team were named.
Organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the highly-prestigious Gulfood Awards celebrate both people and companies pioneering leadership and innovation in the global food and drink industry. This year’s awards attracted more than 300 entries from 30 countries across four continents.
Accolades included: ‘Best Newcomer Brand or Business’, ‘Best New Halal Food’ and ‘Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative’. Innovation was a key highlight this year and was recognised with awards in ‘Products’, ‘Coffee’, ‘Fast Food’, ‘Foodservice’ and ‘Catering Equipment’ amongst others.
The UAE emerged as the Gulfood Awards’ top winner with 11 companies claiming awards. Abu Dhabi-based Agthia Group won the country’s top performer and claimed awards for ‘Best New Baked or Confectionery Product’, ‘Best Foods Company’ and ‘Best Consumer Marketing Campaign Award’.
With a trio German companies scooping three accolades in the ‘Catering Equipment’ categories, Vietnam’s TH Food Chain Joint Stock Company won an unprecedented three awards alone including Best New Frozen or Chilled Food, Best Health Education Initiative and the Gulfood Industry Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognises a company or personality demonstrating outstanding food and beverage industry commitment and achievement.
“It is a fantastic honour to win three Gulfood Awards in such prestigious and competitive categories,” said Thai Huong, the Chairwoman of TH Group. “These awards recognise our commitment to deliver a diverse range of high quality, natural products to mothers and their children all over the world, and we are thrilled that the TH true MILK brand promise has resonated so strongly with the UAE and Middle East food trade. We hope these awards act as a springboard for TH true MILK products appearing in retail stores across the regions and all over the world.”
Companies from Saudi Arabia – Al Watania Poultry for ‘Best New Halal Food’, Portugal – Mendez Goncalves for Best New Fast Food Product or Innovation, and the UK – InSinkErator for Best New Foodservice Innovation’ – also won awards.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC, added: “As the region’s most sought-after accolade in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, winning a Gulfood Award constitutes industry recognition which resonates far beyond the borders of the UAE.”
The winners of the Gulfood Awards 2016 were:
- Best New Functional Food or Drink: The Goods Collective & Co., Health Food Distributor, Dubai – UAE
- Best New Non-Alcoholic Beverage: EFB FZE Twisst Mocktails, Dubai – UAE
- Best New Halal Food: Al Watania Poultry, Saudi Arabia
- Best New Fast Food Product or Innovation: Mendez Goncalves, Portugal
- Best New Baked or Confectionery Product: Agthia Group PJSC, Abu Dhabi – UAE
- Best New Frozen or Chilled Food: TH Food Chain Joint Stock Company, Vietnam
- Best Health Education Initiative Award: TH Food Chain Joint Stock Company, Vietnam
- Best New Foodservice Innovation Award: InSinkErator, UK
- Best Coffee Innovation: Muddle ME, Dubai – UAE
- Best Foods Company: Agthia Group PJSC, Abu Dhabi – UAE
- Best Newcomer Brand of Business: Heera Group, UAE
- Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative Award: Technical Supplies & Services Company LLC, UAE
- Best Consumer Marketing Campaign Award: Agthia Group PJSC, Abu Dhabi – UAE
- Best New Catering Equipment Innovation Award: MKN Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer GmbH & Co.KG, Germany
- Best Sustainable Catering Equipment Innovation Award: VITO AG, Germany
- Best Light Equipment Innovation Award: Muddle ME, UAE
- Best Heavy Equipment Innovation Award: MKN GmbH & Co.KG, Germany
- Gulfood Outstanding Achievement Award: TH Food Chain Joint Stock Company, Vietnam
- Best Trade Stand: 12 – 20 square metres: Anverally & Sons – Sri Lanka
- Best Trade Stad: 20 – 50 metres: Al Dahra Agriculture, Abu Dhabi – UAE
- Best Trade Stand: 50-plus square metres: IFFCO, Dubai – UAE
The Gulfood Awards also saw cleanLAB – a Singaporean company that has created a food safety disinfectant which contains a highly active food grade oxidiser that neutralises unwanted bacteria and viruses – crowned winners of The Innovation Hub sponsored by British Airways and Avios. Held as part of Gulfood’s F&B Business Forum – the opening salvo of the three-day conference programme – the competition saw cleanLAB emerge victorious from six entrepreneurial finalists that pitched game-changing business ideas to an expert judging panel in a bid to secure start-up investment capital.
“New grassroots initiatives such as The Innovation Hub will further encourage growing UAE businesses to implement creative concepts that will make an impact in the industry and I have been impressed with the diversity of ideas presented,” said Anjulika Dutton, Sales Manager UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Central Asia for British Airways. “Our own research tells us that UAE start-ups and pioneers still benefit from face-to-face meetings to secure business deals internationally and British Airways will continue to offer SMEs and entrepreneurs such as cleanLAB with affordable and manageable travel options.”
Gulfood is the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show. A strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business with global contemporaries, the exhibition is a showcase for global finished foods and hospitality equipment suppliers, distributors and retailers across all key sectors of the international food and hospitality industry. For more information, please visit www.gulfood.com.