The UAE has long been viewed as the ideal base from which to expand into the Middle Eastern food market, and the company has opened a regional development and application centre in Dubai.
The new centre, located in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, will serve Kerry's global and regional customer base in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Working with Kerry's Global Technology and Innovation Centre for the EMEA market, which is currently under construction in Ireland, the new Dubai centre will support the day-to-day development needs of Kerry customers across these developing markets.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Gerry Behan, president and CEO of Kerry Ingredients and Flavours, said: "The Kerry investment in the Dubai-based centre is testament to the group's determination to service customer requirements in this important developing region. Here we will align our Kerry taste and nutritional offerings with local market trends and consumer demand - working in conjunction with our global centre to drive innovation across the beverage, dairy, meat, snack, confectionery and bakery industries.
“This centre will support our global customers who are expanding their footprint in the region, whilst bringing the benefits of our global technologies to local food and beverage producers - supporting indigenous industry development."
The centre was officially opened by Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who was leading a five-day trade mission to the Gulf States. The new venture marks the first expansion into the Middle East for the Kerry Group and, as with many other businesses that are branching into the region, the move is hoped to increase customer satisfaction, cater to growing consumer demand, and improve the company’s future prospects.
Behan added: “The centre will allow our commercial teams to better collaborate with customers in the region and we are confident that it will be a key differentiator in meeting the product development needs of our customers."
With its headquarters in Tralee, Ireland, Kerry Group currently employs over 24,000 people across Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Current annual sales are about €5.8bn.