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Food packaging industry boom with COVID outbreak

UAE industry to grow to AED 14 billion from AED 10 billion in 2020

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Food packaging industry boom with COVID outbreak

The world’s leading manufacturer of disposable food packaging products in the Middle East, Hotpack Global, with an annual Group turnover of AED 950 million, said that the COVID-19 outbreak presented an unprecedented growth opportunity to the industry, currently valued at AED 300 billion in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market alone.

In a statement issued on the sidelines of Gulfood 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Hotpack said that in the context of the exponentially rising demand for hygienic and sustainable packaging products, the Group is eyeing further expansion across global markets. Currently, it has operations in 12 countries in America, Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe.

“The food packaging industry was presented with unprecedented growth opportunities in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic, with demand rising for safe and sustainable food packaging options. The significant growth in e-commerce during the pandemic also triggered new developments in the industry with priority to safety and hygiene and tamper-evident packaging with increased sensitivity to offering a complaint-free consumer experience,” said Mr Abdul Jebbar PB, Managing Director of Hotpack Global.

He said the food packaging industry in the UAE was valued at AED 10 billion in 2020, set to grow to AED 14 billion in the next five years. “Food packaging is growing at a 3-5 per cent globally, and the presence of more international food brands in the MENA markets is also imparting a robust and competitive future push,” Mr Abdul Jebbar PB said, adding that MEA is the fastest-growing region for the industry at approximately 5-7 per cent annually.

Globally, the COVID-19 outbreak has put the US$900 billion a year industry on the front lines with consumers and companies working towards zero waste compliance and sustainability, which is also the key development agenda in the UAE. As manufacturers, Hotpack is investing in developing innovative packaging in terms of design and materials used in line with the demographic and lifestyle shifts in the UAE and worldwide.

“The shift towards environment-friendly packaging solutions is a prominent change in market dynamics. Intelligent packaging innovations, which includes the use of nanotechnology to ensure the extended shelf life of products and enhanced food safety, are trending like never before,” Mr Abdul Jebbar PB said.

Hotpack has a sizable share in the niche market of food packaging mainly because of the Group’s continuous investments in its own production lines, which gives it an edge over other competitors. “The Middle East and North African (MENA) region contribute to most of our market share, where we have our dedicated offices and production facilities.  Most of the product segments offer market contribution evenly, as customers generally regard us as a one-stop-shop for all their packaging needs,” he added.

Hotpack said the rising consumer demand for packaged food among consumers whose eating habits have evolved with the quickening pace of life has a major trending impact on the industry, particularly with food items that offer extended and stable shelf life, high barrier properties and safety. Food safety is also one of the primary factors driving the market, with the quality a significant issue faced by manufacturers and consumers.

Supermarkets are seeing an increase in single-use plastics for wrapping products compared to reusable packaging across the world due to the heightened awareness of health and safety, leading to packaging companies prioritizing hygiene and quality. With many consumers opting for stay-home orders for extended periods of time, food products processed to be shelf-stable for a long time are also seeing a resurgence in demand, Hotpack said.

Hotpack manufactures and supplies over 3,500 disposable food packaging products. The group plans to reinforce its position as a one-stop-shop for high-quality packaging solutions across over 75 countries in line with its vision to be the premier global brand in the packaging industry.

Hotpack, which completed 25 years last year, operates a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Wrexham – Wales, England, at an investment of GBP 50 million. The group’s manufacturing facilities are equipped with cutting-edge technology for competent production, storage and logistics operations. The company started as a regional player in the Middle East and, over the years, expanded its footprint across the region. MENA remains a major focus area, but Hotpack also sees growth in the UK and North American markets for its products.

Hot packs complete a range of disposable food packaging solutions include eco-friendly kraft boxes, trays, paper bags, paper cups, takeaway containers, Aluminum foils and flexible packaging products. Their ultra-modern PET extrusion plant in National Industries Park produces recyclable bakery containers, salad bowls, juice cups and more. Hotpack also specializes in facial tissues, napkins, kitchen rolls & toilet rolls under the brand “Soft n Cool”.

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