- Demand for long shelf-life products up 300% in March
- The reopening of hotels and restaurants providing optimism for F&B suppliers
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, -: UAE-headquartered Truebell, a leading GCC importer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), is expanding its existing portfolio of products as a result of a host of emerging consumer trends as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite the company being impacted as a result of restaurants closing or operating at reduced capacity, Truebell has experienced an increase in the popularity of long-shelf-life food products and baking ingredients, as well as an increase in the consumption of home-cooked meals, more residents shopping locally, and a rising interest in online food tutorials.
Over the last three months, the retail and food services division of the company has been working to align both current and future supplies, whilst exploring the expansion of its current portfolio with a range of new flavours to suit the UAE’s diverse tastes.
Truebell Divisional Manager, Retail & Food Service, Bhushant J. Gandhi said: “With the UAE, and indeed, the rest of the world in various stages of lockdown as a result of the global health pandemic, we have had to be resilient and adapt and change direction as a result of evolving food trends and consumer behaviour.
“During these challenging months, our frontline team of logistics workers and merchandisers have been proactively working to ensure shelves across the country are well stocked and our full portfolio of products are readily available for consumers in their local community supermarkets.
“Looking at the figures for March alone, we witnessed a 300% increase in demand for long shelf-life products particularly under the frozen and grocery produce category.”
With residents spending a lot more time at home, there has been a spike in the sale of baking ingredients with retailers recording between 130% and 150% increase, while bakeware sales have spiked 280%, according to Spinneys, one of Truebell’s retail partners.
Taking inspiration from famous chefs and food influencers and their popular online tutorials, and with more time on their hands, an increasing number of residents have started baking bread which has led to a surge in demand for flour and yeast products across the UAE.
“We are also seeing an increase in the consumption of fresh, home-cooked meals. Traditionally, consumers on average would eat twice a day at home with one meal bought and consumed outside. However, this has substantially increased to four or five meals per day being consumed at home, and as a result, we’ve witnessed a change in consumer buying habits,” added Gandhi.
Although the country’s hospitality and F&B sector has been hit particularly hard in the last three months due to COVID-19, several hotels and restaurants are beginning to reopen, and with the retail sector continuing to gather pace, Truebell is optimistic about the future.
“The hospitality and F&B industries have faced unprecedented difficulties. Many outlets however are once again opening their doors to guests which is a positive sign of recovery, as well a positive sign for other industries intrinsically linked to these sectors,” concluded Gandhi.
Truebell has grown exponentially since it was established in 1984. To date, it has a portfolio of over 10,000 products, including 60 global products, underscoring its position as a leading importer, wholesaler, distributor, and exporter throughout the GCC.