In the Gulf States, food products must be certified as halal, meaning that they must meet certain requirements which are then checked by the government. In order to meet this requirements, employees must be well trained and quality management must be flawless. "In order to be able to supply halal products, the company has to be certified and the audit is carried out once a year. Corresponding documentation ensures compliance with the guidelines," says Christof Züger, CEO of Züger Frischkäse AG, from experience.
The Scandinavian countries also display distinctive features. In Switzerland, lactose-free means that only 0.1% lactose can be detected in the final product. In Finland, however, this amount is 0.01%. "The north is not a monolith. Every country has its own individual dynamics and should thus be examined individually," advises Monika Remund, Export Consultant at S-GE.
Trends are heading in similar directions
"In Scandinavia, natural food products with as little processing as possible are popular. The trend is also heading towards lactose-free and gluten-free products," adds Remund.
Healthy above all! But convenient at the same time. "In a globalized world, trends are also global," says Philipp Straehl, Marketing Consultant in Dubai. "There is a split in demand between cheap and high quality food products. Certified and functional food products are very popular."
Swiss SMEs in the premium segment
In both GCC countries and in Scandinavia, the high-price and low-price segments for food products are growing. There's no longer much room in middle class products. "Swiss products in the Gulf States have no chance against the competition in the low-price segment," says Straehl. Redmund adds that in exports to the Scandinavian market, Swiss companies have always scored points with their quality. And quality of course has its price.
Impulses: Food Innovation from Tradition
Trade fairs 2016/17: