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Scottish food and drink brands begin UAE retail promotion push



A new collaboration between Scottish Development International (SDI), Scotland Food & Drink and Spinneys will see the products of 19 Scottish brands sold and promoted in the supermarket’s United Arab Emirates (UAE) stores for two weeks.

Between 17 and 30 January, Middle Eastern consumers will be able to purchase Walkers Shortbread, Nairn’s Oatcakes, Baxters soup and chutney and Barrs’ Irn Bru.

Ali S. Ali, food and drink specialist for SDI in the Middle East, said: “This exciting partnership with one of the region’s largest retailers will further highlight our food and drink industry and increase international sales for companies participating on this project.

“Covid-19 and other pressures have undoubtedly caused difficulties for Scotland’s food and drink exporters, however, the appetite for Scottish products remains strong, particularly here in the Middle East.”

As part of the initiative, approximately 120 tasting sessions of Scottish products will take place during the two weekends of the campaign.

Warwick Gird, general manager for marketing at Spinneys Dubai, said: “We work hard to maintain the highest quality standards for our customers, and the products we source from Scotland are indicative of these standards.”

The project is part of the Scotland Food & Drink Recovery Plan, a multi-partner initiative, funded by the Scottish Government, to support the sector with a smart recovery from the coronavirus crisis and Brexit.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, added: “We are hugely ambitious to drive food and drink export growth from Scotland.

“Our reputation is growing globally and projects like this – which form part of a three-year continuous programme of action – are designed to help reach that international audience looking for premium and climate-friendly food and drink.”

The food and drink industry is worth around £15bn each year to Scotland’s economy, with more than 17,000 businesses employing approximately 120,000 people.

Food and drink remains Scotland’s top international export sector, with the latest HM Revenue & Customs statistics showing these exports to be worth £6.7bn in 2019.

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