The QOOT Cluster, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the Embassy of Lebanon to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, proudly organized the Lebanese pavilion at the prestigious Specialty & Fine Food Fair (SFFF) 2023 held in the heart of London. Under the captivating theme of “Lebanon, the small country with big delights,” this outstanding campaign showcased the hidden treasures of the Lebanese agrifood sector and created unparalleled trade opportunities for its ten participating member companies. This event marked Lebanon’s second consecutive participation in the renowned exhibition, underscoring the immense potential of the United Kingdom Market for innovative and fine food companies from Lebanon. We should also note that QOOT collaborated for a second time with Export Partner; a Dutch company that helped us from an operational standpoint with the exhibition.
10 Diverse Producers Seeking Global Expansion
The Lebanese pavilion was a vibrant hub representing ten exceptional companies, each distinguished by its unique selling points: House of Zejd, The Good Thymes, Delta Group, Kazzi, Grapeful, Soler’s, Jun Lebanese Gin, Wata Cider, Atibaia Winery, and Cedars’ Premium.
These companies excelled in various aspects, including taste and blend, packaging and shelf-life, health and nutritional benefits, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability, aligning perfectly with the exhibition’s scope.
“We’re strategically targeting the UK since we know they mostly seek innovative products. That’s where our award-winning members come in.”Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan – QOOT Cluster Manager
Exploring the English Agrifood Scene
Over the two days of the exhibition, the exhibitors at the Lebanese pavilion had the privilege of engaging with a diverse audience of key players in the English agrifood scene. This included distributors, retailers, renowned chefs, influential food enthusiasts, and discerning consumers. The pavilion garnered significant attention from both English and international buyers, who exhibited a strong interest in the exquisite Lebanese products on display.
Distinguished Lebanese Delegation
The Lebanese public sector was graciously represented at the fair by esteemed officials, further enhancing the pavilion’s profile and facilitating invaluable public-private partnerships. Among the dignitaries present were Dr. Mohamad Abou Haidar, Director General of the Ministry of Economy and Trade; Mr. Marwan Francis, Deputy Head of Mission and Counsellor at the Embassy of Lebanon to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Mr. Ralph Nehme, the corresponding Economic Attaché. Their presence added a significant layer of credibility and helped foster deeper connections within the industry.
“For every Lebanese product sold internationally, there is a family being taken care of and a farmer and industrialist able to persevere in Lebanon.”Dr. Mohamad Abou Haidar – Director General of the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade
International Collaboration and Support
The success of the Lebanese pavilion was also bolstered by international collaboration. Norman and Dovile, representing the UK-based company “Lotus,” played a pivotal role in enhancing the pavilion’s PR and lead generation over the two days.
Furthermore, Sea Sky Services demonstrated unwavering dedication to identifying potential business leads, both before and during the exhibition. Their continued presence during the tour of local and international food shops underscored their commitment to facilitating valuable connections.
As well as the visit of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to London at our pavilion, recognizing the results of the support provided by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the QOOT Cluster and the Agri-Food Innovation scene in Lebanon.
An Insightful Market Tour
As part of the SFFF 2023 experience, a curated tour of prominent UK retailers and food outlets was organized and led by Daniel Haddad, a seasoned expert in startup development and commercial strategies. The tour included visits to renowned establishments such as Marks and Spencer, Boots, Amazon Fresh, Holland and Barrett, Al Dimashki, Waitrose and Partners, Jeroboams, Green Valley, Londis, and more. Mr. Haddad provided invaluable insights into the UK market, explaining market trends, consumer interests, and opportunities for collaboration.
The participation of the QOOT Cluster and its member companies at SFFF 2023 was an outstanding success, solidifying Lebanon’s presence in the global agrifood industry. This collaborative effort not only showcased the excellence of Lebanese fine foods but also fostered meaningful partnerships and laid the groundwork for expanded trade opportunities in the United Kingdom and beyond.