Food & Drink Supermarkets embrace UAE’s brand of plant-based meat By Melissa Hancock August 8, 2023 Switch Foods’ products sold in 133 stores Plant-based meat company opened Abu Dhabi factory in May Switch Foods, the plant-based meat brand based in Abu Dhabi, is now available at 133 stores across the UAE as the Gulf’s appetite for alternative diets continues to grow. Consumers can now buy its products from retailers including Carrefour, Organic Food Café, Grandiose, Geant, Union Coop, Sharjah Coop, Al Maya, Abella and Spinneys. Online purchases can be made through platforms such as Talabat, Careem, Kibsons and Noon. Edward Hamod, founder and CEO of Switch Foods, said the take-up showed retailers’ commitment to local producers and the drive towards “reducing the region’s carbon footprint”. Prince’s cell-grown meat investment gets US approval Abu Dhabi’s Switch feeds appetite for meat alternatives In May Switch Foods launched Abu Dhabi’s first plant-based meat factory in Kezad. Its products are tailored to local tastes and include kebab, soujuk and kofta, as well as burger patties and minced meat. The demand for meat substitute products in the UAE is growing, according to Statista. The forecast compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2027 is 27.19 percent. Switch Foods is planning further expansion. “I believe that with the right product offering and the right price point, the market can be three, four, five times its size today,” Hamod told AGBI in June. The UAE has declared 2023 the “year of sustainability”, launching a nationwide campaign to encourage plant-based diets, reduction of water use and avoidance of fast fashion. Switch Foods has been chosen as a strategic partner when Dubai hosts the Cop28 climate summit in November. “The UAE sees us as one of the catalysts of the development of the sustainable food industry locally,” said Hamod, who formerly sat on the executive council of the Abu Dhabi Food Security Centre, which was set up in 2010 and tasked with ensuring food security for the emirate. After raising $6.5 million in seed funding in March 2022, Switch is now in talks with regional and global venture capital businesses.