March 6, 2021

Plant-based burgers with meat-like texture & flavor

Sharjah-based leading food and beverage manufacturing firm widens Al Areesh market reach as it addresses the dietary needs and cravings of flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans for tasty and nutritious burger patty options

Global Food Industries (GFI), a world-class value-added food manufacturing firm and part of Albatha Holding – one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE, has taken its frozen food product portfolio a notch higher with the introduction of plant-based burger patties made from pea protein.

A product of GFI’s Frozen Division, the all-new Al Areesh plant-based burgers is 100 percent produced from plant-based ingredients and does not contain whey or egg-based protein powders, which makes it ideal for vegetarians, vegans and a fast-growing number of flexitarians. It is also soy-free, antibiotics-free and gluten-free, which likewise makes it safe for people who need to stay away from food that contains such ingredients.

Al Areesh plant-based burgers are proudly made in the UAE and are processed and manufactured utilizing cutting-edge technology that builds meat from ground up. As it is made with pea protein, the end-product is an uncompromisingly delicious burger with taste and texture like meat and comes in either chicken or beef flavor options.

The launch of Al Areesh plant-based burgers will coincide with GFI’s participation in Gulfood 2021 happening on 21-25 February at the Dubai World Trade Centre as it showcases its innovative lineup of products to the B2B market. In May this year, the Al Areesh plant-based burgers will be available to consumers across various retail outlets.

“GFI, through its Al Areesh brand, has been known for many years and is well-loved by consumers for its delicious and nutritious offerings that are quick and easy to prepare,” Tina Siegismund, Head of Marketing & Innovations at GFI’s Frozen Division, said. “With the ever-changing dietary requirements from an increasingly discerning and health-conscious consumers, GFI and Al Areesh’ priority is to always be there and ready to provide for their healthy and safe food needs.

“It is clear that healthy living has been a growing trend for quite some time,” Siegismund added. “And, under the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, global studies indicate that this has further pushed this trend forward as more people are now looking at healthier food options and alternative protein sources that help increase their stamina and resistance and reduce risks against infection and disease. The introduction of our plant-based burgers is testament to GFI and Al Areesh’ responsiveness to our customers’ needs and to the changing times as it also signals the start of more products to come from us along this line.”

According to a report published by S&P Global Market Intelligence in December 2020, there is a “surging consumer demand for alternative protein sources” that have triggered even some of “the world’s biggest food companies to rapidly increase investments in plant-based products.” The report further cited data from the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return, which showed that in the first half of 2020, more than US$1.1 billion of venture investment flowed into alternative proteins compared to US$534 million in 2019.

The S&P report also stated that “the pandemic has accelerated those shifts” as “many consumers are altering their diets for health reasons.”

A market research blog for Euromonitor International written by Maria Mascaraque last year supports such findings as it stated that, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) is expediting some of the key trends that have developed during the last few years in the food industry. One of these is plant-based eating, which has gained momentum during the pandemic, driven by health concerns and disruptions in the meat supply chain.”

In an earlier report, Euromonitor International indicated that the plant-based meat market is projected to expand at an annual rate of 6.7 percent until 2024, with the Middle East’ forecast growth placed at 4-5 percent in the next four years.

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