Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading general manager Daniel Chidiac. Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading general manager Daniel Chidiac.

Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading are upping the ante with major developments on the cards, starting with the company shifting base to Dubai Investment Park from Sharjah.

Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading general manager Daniel Chidiac told Caterer Middle East: “We are introducing many new things in 2016, which is all part of our wider expansion plan. In May, we are going to be moving to our new premises in DIP.”

Chidiac spoke about the company's modus operandi: “We like to promote multi-national brands and we prefer to act as a distributor on an exclusive basis. We are brand builders and put a lot of efforts and invest heavily in our brands [we distribute].”

“However, we have our private label, 365. The name grabs attention, and makes them feel like using our products all through the year. Under 365, we are developing several generic products such as mayonnaise, canned vegetables and tuna, we are growing this private label slowly but surely,” he added.

Chidiac says that the product line does not clash with the ones they import. “We only do products that do not exist in the current portfolio of our principles. We try to avoid this clash.”

He explains: “The reason we started our private label was because when we went to any client we found that we were lacking in some convenient products, although we wanted to work with multi-national brands. More specifically, they wanted to source products that were lesser in quality and affordable in price.”

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Chidiac said the market conditions are a little different now: “The market is become very tough in the UAE, people have become cost-conscious and procurement managers are under a lot of stress. So we had to change our strategy which was always directed towards high-end.”

He says the private label presents the best alternative for the clients preventing them from paying the marketing of the international brands.

Chidiac also shared some of the trends prevailing in the market: “We have a growing trend of organic, gluten-free and healthy eating in the market. Hence, we recently introduced a new Spanish brand that manufactures organic biscuits and cereals. We are doing more to introduce healthy products in the market.”

In other news, the company has added a new product category, he informed Caterer Middle East: “We are going to include a new category to our portfolio: Lebanese food. This is in addition to all our other categories such as bakery and pastry ingredients, Italian food, Asian food and groceries. This gives you an idea of how we have many categories and we progress by adding categories to our business.”

He feels that demand for Lebanese food is on the rise in the market. “In most hotels you find a Lebanese restaurant will open first followed by an Italian outlet and a Thai restaurant. These are the three most famous cuisines not only in the UAE but across the world at this moment.”