Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys announced the winners of its incubator programme for micro food and beverage suppliers in the UAE, which launched in May 2020.
Participation in the programme surpassed Spinneys’ expectations with more than 160 local businesses entering submissions. In response, the grocer has increased the number of winners, with 22 brands to be fast-tracked onto Spinneys’ shelves, and another two companies accepted into its product development programme.
The initiative has also been recognised by the UAE government’s Food and Water Security Office for its contribution to the country’s National Food Security Strategy.
Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, says: “A leading objective for the UAE Food and Water Security Office is to support local food production, which includes helping innovative start-ups to enhance domestic agriculture and re-imagine the UAE’s food sustainability landscape. This aligns with the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy and the directives of our wise leadership, which recognises the importance of local tech-enabled production to strengthen the UAE’s food security.”
“We’re dedicated to enhancing the food supply chain, boosting local production, and facilitating new and stronger connections between producers and retail chains in the UAE – in an effort to build an integrated, sustainable food ecosystem,” H.E. Almheiri added. “The Spinneys F&B incubator programme is a significant step in that direction. We applaud the company’s efforts to promote innovation and to identify and upskill the next generation of leaders in the UAE’s food security sector.”
The Spinneys incubator programme aims to boost and reward innovation amongst smaller food producers and manufacturers in the emirates by lowering barriers to supermarket entry and helping to accelerate an often challenging path to shelf listing.
Each winner will be rewarded with the level of support deemed necessary to facilitate their supermarket listing – be that production or distribution assistance; monthly coaching sessions with senior management; or marketing resources.
Of the 24 winners, eleven are from the fresh food category, nine offer shelf stable products and four are frozen goods. Among the winners are Honest Kitchen, which specialises in using only clean ingredients to cook fresh, ready meals, Crumbs & Co, which offers a twist on freshly baked doughnuts, and Sprout, which creates wholesome, ready-to-eat children’s meals based on nutritional science.
Increasing consumer demand to shop local was another factor in Spinneys’ decision to award more winners in its incubator programme. According to the Middle East and North Africa EY Future Consumer Index, 84 per cent of consumers surveyed have changed the products they buy with an increased commitment to consume locally made products.
Launched as part of Spinneys’ corporate sustainability initiative ‘Let’s Do Better Together’, where it’s taking the steps to become a truly sustainable organisation in the not so distant future, shoppers can expect to see the listed products on the shelves from October 2020.