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Recently foodtech sector has been growing increasingly fast in the MENA. Investment funds are eyeing expansion into the region of which the recent $170 million dollar investment in Saudi-based Foodics is the best example.
With the investment funds come global food companies. The Sao Paulo-based company JBS SA announced it bought two plants in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to produce frozen food including beef, chicken, vegetables and fruits. The company aims at becoming a leader in the halal market (food that adheres to Islamic law). In January JBS’s rival BRF SA rival announced a joint venture with PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Today, entering the Halal food market requires more and more investment, as the certification procedures become increasingly tough.
This may require the use of new technologies. Some say blockchain technology can be a viable solution for ensuring Halal food authenticity.
Another issue is management of supply chain, which has become increasingly difficult due to the recent crisis in the food supply chains. Halal supply chains can be even harder to manage because of additional requirements.
However, entering the market at the current stage may bring much profit. The global halal food and beverage market is projected to grow to $3.3 trillion in 2028 from $2.1 trillion in 2021.
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