The new ingredient lines are based around research the firm commissioned on consumers across the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa (METNA) region. The research suggested consumers in the region responded to four different areas: first, “premium indulgence”, a desire by increasingly wealthy individuals for high quality products. Second was “health”, driven by consumers searching for healthier food choices.
The third trend was “innovation”, with consumers looking for unique products. “Cost optimisation” was the final category, driven by many consumers in the region wanting good value products without a reduction in quality.
Standing out in the market
“We help our customers stand out in the market by applying these latest trends to our ingredients which in turn are used in our clients’ products to the great satisfaction of their consumer audiences. We believe that the ingredient prototypes we have showcased today are of the highest quality and will be welcomed by our customers and by consumers in the region,” said Nedim El Cheik, commercial and market development director at Cargill METNA, speaking at a press conference at Gulfood Manufacturing.
Following the research, Cargill has launched a dozen new prototypes, and featured three of them at the show: a rapeseed-based salad dressing, which the firm claims is both healthier and cheaper than alternatives; white caramel chocolate, using Belgian chocolate with the colour and flavour of caramel; and stevia-based sugar-free chewing gum, as an alternative to artificially-sweetened gums.
“We want our customers to know that we have a genuine commitment to helping them sustainably grow their businesses. Our global expertise and international application centres, coupled with a strong understanding of the local and regional market, reinforces our pledge to provide relevant and quality products that consumers will love,” said El Cheik.
Cargill also revealed it had restructured its METNA operations to combine all its business units under one umbrella, through its five offices in the region. The company now offers a combined service for its cocoa and chocolate, starches and texturisers, sweeteners, and refined oils and fats divisions.
“Responding to the accelerating growth of the packaged food and beverages sector in the METNA region, our presence now includes combined technical and sales offices located in Dubai, Istanbul, Casablanca, Algiers, and Cairo. By going to the market with one offering, we are able to help our customers thrive by meeting their specific requirements more efficiently,” said El Cheik.