Consumers throughout the Middle East will soon be able to beat the heat with a wide selection of Australian soft serve ice creams and yoghurts.
Frosty Boy Australia, a leading supplier of frozen desert products, expects to boost its trade with the Middle East by at least 500% by the end of the year.
General Manager Sales and Marketing Felipe Demartini made the bold prediction after attending the world's biggest annual food and beverage trade show, Gulfood 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre last week.
Mr Demartini sees huge opportunities in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The company, established in 1976, now supplies frozen dessert and beverage powder bases to 50 countries throughout the world – with SE Asia currently its biggest market.
Frosty Boy was one of 5,000 major international brands exhibiting at Gulfood 2017, which attracted more than 90,000 visitors over five days.
The company had three soft serve machines set up on its stand and served nearly 5000 samples to show visitors, including soft serve and frozen yoghurt, with a selection of frappes.
Interest from big food chains
“This is the first time we’ve exhibited at the show,” Mr Demartini told Dynamic Export.
“And we received more than 250 leads from buyers across the Middle East – including a number of big food chains.”
Mr Demartini said Frosty Boy has been trading in the Middle East for the past three years with “only a few clients here and there.”
But that is about to change.
“We are confident the Middle East will become our second biggest market behind South East Asia,” Mr Demartini says.
“There is huge potential in the UAE alone. It is a wealthy country and its retail is driven by food and beverage, with more outlets per capita than anywhere else in the world.”
And Saudi Arabia will be the key focus.
Perfect market to succeed
"We've recently partnered with a local distributor, the Vending Machine Company, who are well connected with major companies across Saudi Arabia and are already making deals to secure our product within these businesses.
"It is the perfect market for us to succeed – the food business is booming. In western markets people usually spend their money on various luxuries such as expensive clothing or experiences, but here, the focus is on food.”
Frosty Boy has a major manufacturing plant at Yatala, north of Brisbane and supplies cafes, restaurants and fast food chains.
The company began exporting in 2001 and now exports make up about 75 per cent of sales.
Each day it supplies more than two million serves of its products across the globe, offering more than 150 different soft serve combinations.
"The food market trends in the Middle East lean towards more decadent, sweet flavours and the frappes are popular, including white mocha, toffee and strawberry,” says Mr Demartini.
“We are hoping to sign deals with major distributors within the next three months.”
..Mr Tarek Helaly (right), soft serve sales specialist from VMC Gulf (Frosty Boy’s partner in the Middle East) with Felipe Demartini at Gulfood 2017