Gulfood Manufacturing 2015, Dubai

PepsiCo, Mars, Mondelēz and Fonterra throw spotlight on Middle East

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Maltesers MaltEaster
Maltesers MaltEaster

Related tags Middle east Nutrition Mars

PepsiCo, Mars, Mondelēz and Fonterra will focus their efforts on the Middle East at Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai next week (October 27-29) with two conferences entitled Next Generation Manufacturing and F&B Innovation.

Tery Denton, director, Mondelēz International will talk about smart factories of the future and the opening of its $90m biscuit plant in Bahrain​ for brands such as Oreo, Ritz and TUC biscuits. 

Mondelēz International biscuit plant, Bahrain


With full commercial production scheduled to start in early 2016, the facility will be Mondelēz International's most advanced manufacturing site in the Middle East and Africa, where demand for its biscuits has been growing at double-digit rates.

The plant will operate four biscuit-manufacturing lines with a total capacity of nearly 90,000 tons per year.

It is Mondelēz International's second, major investment in Bahrain. It has already invested more than $75m in developing a Kraft Cheese and Tang powdered-beverage plant in the country which has been operational since 2008.

PepsiCo environmental sustainability

Edgar Valladares, director, Environmental Sustainability, PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and North Africa, will discuss aligning sustainability goals with driving business performance at the Next Generation Manufacturing conference (October 27).

PepsiCo AMEA, either independently or in conjunction with third parties, makes, markets, sells and distributes snacks including; Lay’s, Kurkure, Chipsy, Doritos, Cheetos and Smith’s, Quaker-branded cereals and snacks, beverage concentrates, fountain syrups and finished goods such as Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP, Mountain Dew, Aquafina and Tropicana.


It also markets and sells ready-to-drink tea with Unilever (Lipton) and licenses the Tropicana brand for use in China on co-branded juice products with Tingyi.

PepsiCo anticipated the need to take environmental stewardship to a whole new level in 2000, recognizing environmental sustainability was becoming a core component of sustainable performance.

The company began to put in place the systems, processes and metrics to drive improvement in energy and water conservation, greenhouse gas, packaging and waste reduction. It also advanced innovations in packaging and sustainable agriculture, and improved performance in overall productivity and plant efficiency.

For example, in 2014, it removed over 89 million pounds of packaging materials from the market compared to the prior year, resulting in $48m of cost savings. It also used over 130 million pounds of food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in its packaging, an increase of nearly 25% versus 2013. It is now working to increase the percentage of beverage containers recycled in the US (PepsiCo 2014 Sustainability Report​).

Innovation and design

In-store display

Bruce Hannant, global head of design, Mars, and Moftah Samir, R&D market leader, Mars, will discuss embracing risk to improve the chance of launching ‘breakthrough’ products at the F&B Innovation conference (October 28-29).

Mars chocolate UK design team won silver in the DBA (Design Business Association) ​Design Effectiveness Awards 2015 in the Packaging: Branded Food category for its MaltEaster Bunny.

It introduced Maltesers MaltEaster in 2009 to disrupt the market at Easter time by producing something that portrayed the Maltesers brand. The design needed to be fun and novel, standing out through inspired graphics and structure.

Five years since the launch the MaltEaster bunny range is seeing year-on-year growth, gaining more in-store space. The range has grown considerably within season and into additional seasons, with the Merryteaser Reindeer product launched for Christmas 2013.

The MaltEaster is considered ‘Best in Class’ by Mars and has inspired future projects. The bunny brought 246,000 new customers to the Easter Self-Eat segment of the market and reinforced to the trade that Mars could deliver successful seasonal propositions.

“The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards objectively demonstrate Mars Design team’s value back to the business and give the team time to reflect and celebrate their successes. On top of this, we’re able to continue attracting top talent from the industry,”​ said Hannant.

How are regulatory standards addressing changing consumer needs?

Eyad Attari, regulatory and scientific manager, Fonterra, will take part in a panel discussion about Standards Vs Innovation on day one of the F&B Innovation conference (October 28).

According to Fonterra, doing business in many different countries and cultures can sometimes be challenging because of different regulations, standards or commonly accepted practices.

Three main trends driving development in dairy right now are: the growing Asian market, the increasing scientific evidence that protein is important for health, and the demand for healthy food and beverages, according to Dr Nick Robinson, beverage applications manager, Fonterra.

He said the changing consumer dynamic within Asia has created a huge group of consumers who see dairy as fundamentally good everyday nutrition. But they are looking for different kinds of products to those in traditional dairy markets, with different sensory and texture requirements.

A growing awareness of protein in a healthy diet, is continuing to support the positives of dairy protein – especially in the diets of children through to the elderly. This in turn will fuel further innovation as it becomes clear how dairy nutrition can be tied to health benefits.

The future of functional dairy is still bright for Europe​, even though there has been much debate around EU health claims approvals – in fact, we see the high hurdle for EU claims as a positive​,” said Robinson. 

The nutritional value and nutritional density of milk is well recognised globally by international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. In Europe, dairy ingredients have performed well in the health claim substantiation arena, and health claims on major milk constituents such as protein and calcium have received positive opinions from the European Food Safety Authority​.”

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