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Food & Drink

Food & drink news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

UAE food waste

HeroGo steps up fight against ‘ugly’ food waste

HeroGo, an online delivery service for “ugly” or surplus produce, is planning to cut food waste beyond the UAE via partnerships with supermarkets and hotels, its founder reveals.  “To have the biggest impact we need to be in multiple markets, so we’re in talks to expand in the near term,” HeroGo’s Daniel Solomon tells AGBI.  […]

India's onion harvest was hit by poor rainfall, so its government moved to protect domestic supply

Gulf’s many-layered reaction to India’s new onion export tax

Omani farmers could be one of the few beneficiaries of India’s decision to impose a 40 percent export duty on onions, while UAE restaurateurs are bracing for another hike in food costs. India is the world’s biggest exporter of onions, but a lack of rain this summer has affected harvests and prices have already risen […]

Talabat delivery drivers at a rest station. The company is owned by German conglomerate Delivery Hero

Delivery Hero reports Mena revenue surge

Germany’s Delivery Hero has reported a rise of almost 25 percent in second-quarter revenue from its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. The company said strong customer demand resulted in second-quarter Mena revenue rising 24.4 percent to €641 million ($706 million), up from €515 million a year earlier. The Berlin-based conglomerate […]

Saudi halal

Saudi’s investment fund gets taste of halal food market

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund aims to increase the kingdom’s share in the global halal food market, currently worth at least $2 trillion.  Halal Products Development Company, a PIF subsidiary launched in October 2022, signed an agreement with the Saudi Exports Development Authority to support companies targeting the halal market, as well as encourage local […]

Switch Foods' plant-based burgers Video length: 04:13

Supermarkets embrace UAE’s brand of plant-based meat

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 […]

KFC Pizza Hut Mena

KFC Mena franchisee’s H1 profit rises 19% to $145m

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) franchisee of fast-food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut, has reported net profit of $144.8 million for the first half of 2023. Americana Restaurants International Plc said this represented a yearly increase of 19.4 percent. Revenue increased 7.8 percent to $1.24 billion in the first six months, compared to […]

Workers in rice field

UAE restaurants feel the squeeze from rice restrictions

The UAE has banned the export of rice for four months, and while most restaurant owners have sufficient excess stock in place, some are concerned supply chain disruptions will lead to increased costs. The Gulf state said the ban will cover rice of all varieties, including brown rice, fully or partially milled rice and broken […]

An olive harvester at work in Gafsa, Tunisia. Exports to the EU are expected to increase this year

North Africa to the rescue as Europe’s olive oil dries up

A caesar salad may be the ideal light meal on a summer’s day, but you might have noticed it is weighing heavier on your wallet. That is because the price of olive oil is at an all-time high. Prices have jumped by nearly 80 percent in just one year, according to data from YCharts.  European […]

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri

Cop28 urges nations to put food at heart of climate action

The UAE has called on governments around the world to put food at the centre of their climate-change agendas. Speaking at the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome on Monday, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the UAE’s minister of climate change and the environment and Cop28 food systems lead, invited governments to sign the Leaders Declaration […]

Poultry Saudi Arabia

PIF unit buys $339m stake in Brazilian food processor

A subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested in Brazilian food processor BRF as part of its drive to boost food security in the kingdom. Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (Salic) has acquired 180 million equity shares in BRF, representing 10.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, for SAR1.27 billion ($338.77 million). The […]

MMI's stores have reported double-digital sales growth since Dubai's alcohol tax cut

Dubai alcohol tax cut saving swallowed by most venues

Six months after Dubai suspended its 30 percent sales tax on alcohol, most hospitality venues have not passed on savings to consumers – but retailers have, driving up sales. Mike Glen, managing director at Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI), one of the main alcohol distributors in the emirate, estimates that only around 30 percent of […]

Chocolates, shop, Eid, Doha

Chocolate shops squeezed as cocoa bean prices hit 46-year high

While chocolate lovers the world over celebrated World Chocolate Day on Friday, retailers are watching the markets anxiously. Cocoa bean prices soared to a 46-year high last week in London and have continued to rise since. The surge in bean prices is due to ongoing supply shortages and is set to increase further, according to […]

factory Saudi

Food sector dominates new factories approved in Saudi

Saudi Arabia approved licences for 53 new factories with total investment capital of more than $5 billion in April. The majority of new licences came from the food products industry, according to the latest monthly figures from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, with nine new licenses approved. Other major sectors included non-metallic minerals […]

Person, Human, Bird

Brazil’s BRF share offer may drive new Saudi investment

Brazilian food processor BRF has filed for a follow-on share offering that will allow a previously announced investment by Saudi Arabia’s Salic in the company to materialise. BRF said in a securities filing it will initially sell 500 million new shares in a bid to raise money to reinforce its capital structure, particularly aiming to […]

Saudi catering firm signs $2.4bn deal with Red Sea Global

Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC) has signed two contracts worth SAR9 billion ($2.4 billion) with Red Sea Global, the developer of Red Sea and Amaala mega projects. The first contract, valued at SAR6.3 billion, is to design, build, operate and transfer a central production unit for catering and facilities management to service RSG hotels, resorts […]

Cell-grown meat Prince Khaled

Prince’s cell-grown meat investment gets US approval

Saudi Arabia’s “vegan prince” is set to get a prime cut of the profits from his investment in a startup producing meat made from cultivated animal cells. The US government this month approved the sale of Upside Foods products to American consumers. “Sometimes when you talk to an entrepreneur, you know,” Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed […]

Deliveroo's orders have dropped this year but business is holding strong in Kuwait and Qatar

Deliveroo riding the storm in Kuwait and Qatar

Kuwait and Qatar are predicted to continue to buck the trend as Deliveroo’s worldwide orders tumble. The online food delivery platform received 72.1 million orders worldwide in the first three months of this year, a drop of 9 percent over the same period last year, according to a statement from company headquarters in London. Earlier […]

InstaShop GroCart

UAE grocery delivery startup InstaShop buys GroCart

Grocery delivery app InstaShop is expanding into the wholesale sector with the acquisition of B2B operator GroCart. The move comes as a new survey said that a third of UAE consumers are planning to spend more on food in the next year. Founded in 2015 in Dubai, InstaShop operates in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and […]