Lebanon’s agrifood industry has long been known for its excellence, with some of the world’s most delicious and unique foods originating from the region. However, with the recent economic and political crises facing the country, many businesses have struggled to keep afloat. That is where QOOT Cluster comes in – a leading agrifood cluster that aims to catalyze sustainable growth, enhance capabilities and competitiveness, and open world markets to Lebanese agrifood businesses.
What better way to showcase the best of Lebanon’s agrifood industry than by participating in one of the biggest hospitality and food service events of the year – the Horeca Show in Beirut?
The QOOT Cluster booth in the show hosted a selection of 10 of its members. The participating brands included Kanafar, Kwikeez Healthy Bites, Bustan El Zeitoun, Bites of Delight, Cave Des Ours, Darmmess, GoBaladi, SOLER’S, The Good Thymes, and Wata Cider. Each brand brought its unique flavors and innovation to the table, with products ranging from sun-dried tomatoes, dried apples, apple wine & arak, global awards-winning olive oils, Zaatar liquor, Apple cider, goat-milk-based dairy products, to healthy and gluten-free crackers.
“QOOT includes the best brands in the market with many award-winning companies”Anthony Rahayel, No Garlic No Onions
The booth received significant traction, welcoming thousands of visitors who were curious to learn about and try the products on offer. The participating members allowed the visitors to first-hand the quality and excellence of Lebanese products and left them with something to take home with them.
The event provided these brands with an opportunity to showcase their high-quality and innovative products to thousands of visitors, as well as engage in business meetings to distribute their products in major outlets across the country. The Horeca show has a dedicated section for innovative products called Horeca Innovations, which assesses all participating products to display the top 25 innovations. It is worth mentioning that 18 out of the 25 products belonged to QOOT Cluster members.
“Being part of a cluster like QOOT is critical for small businesses like ours, not only because it exposes us to a multitude of buyers and a supply network, but because it brings you closer to like-minded entrepreneurs where you can share your concerns, challenges, or best practices. It’s an amazing support system.”Soha Frem Karam, Wata Cider
In addition to the showcase and Horeca Innovations section, more than 40 B2B meetings with international buyers and local mega players took place, holding potential for international export to QOOT Cluster members.
The Lebanese and international community rallied behind the agrifood cluster, with notable figures such as Senator Elias Hankash, Brahms “Daddy Foody” Chouity (who is also serving as a jury member in the upcoming QOOT Agrifood Innovation Award), the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mr. Hans Peter van der Woude, the Belgian Ambassador HE Mr. Koen Vervaeke, Brazilian counselor of trade promotion and cooperation, the Minister of Industry HE Mr. George Boujikian, the association of the Lebanese Industrials, the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries, the global award-winning Food Influencer Anthony R
eahayel (No garlic No Onions) and the elite Chef Joe Barza visiting the QOOT booth and showing their support.
“QOOT Cluster is a group for agrifood producers from different backgrounds, bAra Salkhanian, Soler’s
but living the same challenges. We continuously exchange opinions, investigate options, and explore synergies. We also go on local and international exhibitions together. Most importantly, we complete the value chain among each other instead of relying on large external corporations.”
QOOT Cluster’s participation in the Horeca show was a testament to the resilience and excellence of Lebanon’s agrifood industry. By highlighting the best of Lebanese flavors and innovations to the world, QOOT Cluster is helping to put Lebanon’s flag on the map of world food innovation and trade. We cannot wait to see what QOOT Cluster has in store for the future and look forward to the continued success of our members.