Kuwait hungry for Australian food products

02 Mar 2016

Recent high-profile events in Kuwait showcasing Australian food have highlighted the growing opportunities for Australian producers and suppliers.

In February, Kuwait’s largest independent retailer and supplier of fresh food The Sultan Center (TSC) held an Australian Food Festival to promote more than 1,000 Australian products at key TSC stores.

Australian brands included in the showcase included Australia’s Own, Carman’s and Bundaberg. Makram Malaeb, Commercial Director of TSC, said that Australia is now the third largest source of imported products for the supermarket chain.

In a TSC media release, Malaeb said: ‘Given Australia’s natural resources, it’s no surprise that it produces some of the world’s best quality agricultural, dairy and meat products.’

TSC’s Australian range includes Wagyu beef, veal, organic lamb and beef, fruits and vegetables, bakery items, dairy products, frozen foods, dry foods, beverages, confectionery and more.

‘The Sultan Center is looking to grow the number of Australian products in its stores, especially fresh produce, organic goods and gluten-free products, opening up opportunities for Australian food producers in these categories,’ said Jack Hajjar, Trade Commissioner, Austrade Kuwait.

Australian meat was the centre of attention at another event in Kuwait. Australian Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) hosted an evening reception with celebrity chef Tarek Ibrahim, its brand ambassador for the MENA region.

Ibrahim prepared dishes featuring Australian beef and lamb for more than 60 representatives from the Kuwaiti hospitality and food service industry and government.

‘There is strong demand for Australian meat in Kuwait and the Middle East due to its high quality,’ said Hajjar. ‘Australia’s halal licensing and regulation system is also well regarded in the region.’

Australian food companies and organisations also had a large presence at Gulfood, one of the world’s largest food and beverage trade events, held in Dubai in late February.

The Australian Food Pavilion hosted government organisations from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Around 150 companies including Fletchers, Murray Goulburn, Wellard and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter also attended the event, as well as industry groups such as Meat & Livestock Australia and Food Innovation Australia.

The Austrade showcase at Gulfood hosted 200 importers, suppliers and distributors. Austrade also introduced Australian attendees to potential clients and partners, and participated in food security seminars and networking events showcasing Australian products.

‘Australian businesses should take advantage of Australia’s reputation as a clean, fresh and reliable supplier of food to enter or expand into Kuwait and other Middle Eastern markets,’ said Hajjar. ‘There is genuine interest in and respect for our products among consumers, retailers and distributors in the region.’

Read more about doing business in Kuwait or call Austrade on 13 28 78 or email info@austrade.gov.au.