SAUDI ARABIA – Global food ingredients supplier Kerry has expanded its presence in the Middle East with the opening of a new facility in Saudi Arabia.
The 21,500-square-foot facility is Kerry’s largest in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region.
The facility is located at Kerry’s Jeddah operation and will produce sustainable food ingredients particularly for the snack, meat, and bakery sectors.
“The opening of our new facility at our Jeddah site is part of our commitment to continuing to grow our presence across the Middle East where we have invested over €80 million (US$90.3 million) since 2018,” remarks Edmond Scanlon, chief executive of Kerry Group.
“Our continued growth and investment reflect the growing number of consumers in the region who are adopting a more proactive approach to their health and well-being and want to be able to consume food and beverage products that support their goals while also being respectful of our environment.”
Kerry notes that the new facility, which currently employs 130 people, is FSSC 22000, HACCP, ISO 22000, and AIBI certified.
It is built on state-of-the-art Ready To Eat (RTE) standard of design and construction to uphold strict customer requirements for hygiene and food safety.
It has laboratories equipped with unique testing capabilities and will use robotics across the production line to enhance efficiency.
As part of Kerry’s Beyond the Horizon sustainability commitment, the new facility is also touted as highly eco-efficient.
Since its initial conception in 2018, the factory carbon footprint has been reduced by 35% and there has been a 40% reduction in water usage.
Annual taste chart reveal a consumer hungry for adventure
Kerry recently released its annual Taste Charts showcasing flavors and ingredients that are set to inspire F&B innovators across the Middle East, alongside taste trends in America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa.
The Global Taste Charts for 2022 displayed the return of consumers’ sense of adventure scouting for “new tastes paired with familiar flavors.”
This was a diversion from when people craved “familiarity” as they hunkered down to brave the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Kerry attributed the shift to consumer desire for something new that takes them back to the exploration of travel, another activity impeded by lockdowns.
Tastes that showcase novelty, over-the-top indulgence, and targeted health benefits are set to drive consumer preference in 2022, according to Kerry.
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