How UAE's food industry can survive in today's world

The food and beverage industry in the UAE is one of the most significant industrial sectors in the UAE, driving its economy significantly. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are famous for having a variety of restaurants and food distribution companies. Dubai, alone, has more restaurants than New York or London. Needless to say, restaurants have surely gone through losses due to the pandemic since people had to follow strict lockdown guidelines. However, as one of the leading FMCG companies in the UAE, we know there has been an impressive surge in the demand for packaged, healthy foods and other essential items since the pandemic broke out. There has been less food waste and more people opting for self-sufficiency, which is fortunate. So, to ensure that the UAE food industry flourishes, these changes will have to be taken into consideration.

It is a big global hub for food trading, and imports foods, like grains and oil, and grows a variety of vegetables, fishes, chickens, and goats in their farms. So, the UAE will surely intensify its efforts to enhance the production of crops or foods that are usually imported, in order to decrease their reliance on other countries, without disrupting the supply. The food and beverage market is estimated to boom by at most 6% in the following year, and the growth will be enhanced by retail sales.

There are certain challenges that the food industry in the UAE has had to overcome though, such as high rentals in the UAE, incredibly high competition, lack of a USP, high labour costs, and high food costs. And, the best way to grow is to work on overcoming these challenges by following the steps given below:

Choose a location that fits your requirements:If you are starting a new food business, consider important factors, such as your target audience, cost of obtaining raw materials, and menu prices, while looking for locations for your restaurant. Whatever location you choose should match all your specific requirements and should not go further your budget.

Focus on customer retention:Since there is too much competition in the UAE’s food industry and not too many customers, every food business needs to focus on customer retention. So, it should leverage CRM, i.e. Customer Relationship Management, loyalty programs, and offer special discounted rates.

Establish your brand with a USP:Before you start a food business, it is essential that you have a solid understanding of what your customers want or are looking for, and you need to jump on the trend bandwagon, and establish yourself with the development of a USP. This will give you a competitive edge you’re looking for, and will help you beat the competition significantly.

Control labour costs:In the UAE, labour costs are very high, and a good solution to overcome this problem is to give your staff incentives and automate unnecessarily time-consuming processes by integrating advanced tools and technologies to increase efficiency, thereby leading to more productivity and comfort.

Manage food waste:In order to control food costs, manage food waste by minimizing waste and reusing most of it, if possible, and manage inventory without any additional costs. In addition, also indulge in yield management.

As one of the renowned food distribution companies in the UAE, we, at Al Maya Trading, know these are some of the best practices that can help to flourish the food and beverage industry here. The last year, the pandemic has surely taken a heavy toll on the growth of the industry in the country. However, if every food business, distribution network, and other players involved work tirelessly to overcome the challenges resulting from the pandemic as well as generic challenges that existed before, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.