Riad Beladi ISN Media editor Middle East and North Africa talks to Mark Napier VP- Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre about the upcoming Private Label and Licensing exhibition

Private Label & Licensing Middle East is MENA’s only event where buyers can get straight to the source for cost-effective customisable products, branding & packaging solutions, bringing together food & and non-food suppliers, private label & contract manufacturers from over 30 countries across the globe, all conveniently located under one roof.

Riad Beladi ISN Media editor Middle East and North Africa talks to Mark Napier VP.- exhibitions the organiser of Private Label and licensing exhibition.

Q1 – ISN – Private label sales hit the record in 2022, could you provide further detail behind the reasoning for starting this show and why the Middle East was chosen as the location?

Private labelling is still a relatively new concept in the MENA region, compared to markets like Europe and U.S, where there is much greater penetration. Increasing consciousness about spending patterns has also meant an improved consumer perception of private label products in MENA. This has led to an incline in demand for private label products regionally. 55% of our Gulfood exhibitors confirmed private label as one of the most important trend in F&B. Addressing this demand and reacting to the industry’s need for a dedicated event to facilitate the private Label industry, Private Label & Licensing Middle East was launched in Dubai.

Q2 – ISN – Exhibitors: How international is it going to be, and what kind of exhibitors and visitors are attending?

The three-day event is attended by over 6,000 visitors including some of the biggest names in retail, HORECA, Travel, Real Estate and Leisure worldwide. Amazon, Carrefour, Unilever, Walt Disney, Aldi, Nazih Group, Doubletree by Hilton, Lulu Hypermarkets, Emirates Airlines, Landmark Group, Damac, Aster Pharmacy, Panda Hypermarket, and many more have already registered to attend in 2022. Visitors will have the opportunity to source from every corner of the globe with many countries joining for the first time including some really interesting and unique exhibits from the USA, UK, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Iran, Malaysia and Thailand.

Q3 – ISN – What other features, such as conferences, talks, innovations and awards can be expected inside the PL and Licensing exhibition?

In addition to the exhibition, visitors will be able to get invaluable insights into the latest trends and critical topics from industry powerhouses at the Label It Stage. Organisations including Daymon, Nielsen, House of Pops, KPMG, Al Bayader and Aswaaq to name just a few, will be presenting in 15 hours of engaging sessions.

Visitors will also be able to take part in the Private Label & Licensing Middle East Connexions Programme, the largest 1-to-1 business match-making programme to connect key buyers and FMCG manufacturers in the region for private label sourcing. Registered participants across all five shows from some of the biggest companies in retail, HORECA, travel, leisure and pharmaceutical companies can use the platform to narrow their search through 5,000 companies and connect directly with the people that matter most for their business and fit their requirements.

Q4 – ISN – Do you think private label products are the future as consumer buying power is getting weaker year after year?

Private label brands were traditionally considered to be lower quality, low-price products; this has shifted over recent years as consumers have faced pressure on what they can spend on groceries. Consumers increasingly see private label products as a ‘smart’ solution, with the value for money proposition winning out over brand loyalty, particularly in areas such as frozen foods, cooking ingredients and home care. According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the overall contribution of private label brands within the F&B category is expected to increase from the current 4%- 5% to approximately 7%-8% in terms of revenue in the next five years, a reflection of the increasing importance of private label products in the future.


Q5: As the most established sweets and snacks trade show in the world, ISM will take place alongside Private Label & Licensing ME and three more events this November in Dubai. Could you tell us more about your partnership with Koelnmesse and how both the exhibitors and visitors to the show will benefit from this collaboration?

The show’s partnership with Koelnmesse, the leading international trade fair and exhibition centre in Cologne, Germany, and its association with the global ISM network, will take the show to the next level this year, strengthening its position as the leading business platform for the sweets and snacks industry in the region, and improving the visitor and exhibitor experience.

Visitors can explore the largest variety of sweets and snacks from over 300 exhibitors including global brands from the chocolate (Harison Premium Chocolate, Vitaminka S.C and Chocolat Stella Bernrain), and confectionary and snacks (Roshen Confectionery Corporation, Trolli Gmbh, Batook Chewing Gum Industries Ltd, Walkers Nonsuch Ltd, Crispo S.R.L, Valeo Snacks and Elvan Food Ind. Co.) segments. More than 40 countries will be represented on the show floor, with participation from Switzerland, the UK, Korea, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Thailand among others.

With a re-imagined program set to focus on innovation and new market entrants, the New Product Showcase at ISM Middle East will put a spotlight on the most cutting edge new products from across the market. An independent jury of experts will select the top product in four key categories – Best Chocolate Product, Best Hard & Soft Candy Product, Best Bakery Product and Best Snack Product. Meanwhile industry newcomers such as Chic Kles Gum, Jakemans, Chocolate Island Confectionery LLP, will also have the opportunity to show off their contributions to the region’s growing sweets and snacks scene in the ISM Newcomer Area.


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