Spinneys' F&B Incubator Program Selects 24 Winners As It Aims To Enhance The UAE Food Security System Through Innovation The supermarket chain aims to help boost innovation among small food producer and manufacturers in the UAE by reducing barriers to entry in the supermarket industry.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

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A scene from the Spinney's incubator program.

Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has announced the 24 winners of its incubator program for micro food and beverage suppliers in the UAE. 22 of these brands will be fast-tracked onto Spinneys' shelves, and the remaining two companies are set to be accepted into its product development program.

In line with its commitment to supporting made-in-the-UAE food and beverage companies in an effort to enhance the UAE food security system, Spinneys witnessed the participation of over 160 local businesses in this program since launching last May. The initiaitive has already been recognized by the UAE government's Food and Water Security Office for its contribution to the country's National Food Security Strategy.

The 24 winners include Lil Tots, Sprout, Melange, Madar Farms Growing Of Vegetables LLC, Crumb & Co. (Annikakes), Honest Badger Foods, Honest Kitchen, Yogashi Bakery, Indoguna Production FZCO, Akiba Dori/Aegis Hospitality (Brightwater Industries), Doughlicious, Mamalu Kitchen, Louie's New York Food Co., Kimri, Bottled Up, Olivier's Beefarm, Naksha Collections, Kakaw Manufacturing Co LLC, Namastea, Brw Society, The Skin Concept, Ecochain Detergents & Disinfectants Trading LLC - The Botanist, Nick & Scott Holdings FZ LLC, and Plantful - Silvena Rowe.

Each of the 24 winning brands will be provided with the required level of support to facilitate their supermarket listing through assistance with production and distribution, monthly coaching sessions with senior management as well as marketing resources. As part of its "Eat Well, Live Well" mantra, the Spinneys team is set to add additional micro suppliers as product development partners for its "Spinneys Food" label.

Related: Rising to the Challenge: The UAE's Innovation-Driven Food Security Movement

According to the Middle East and North Africa EY Future Consumer Index, 84% of surveyed consumers now have an increased commitment to consume locally made products. This was a key factor in Spinneys' decision to award more local suppliers in its incubator program.

H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, noted the significance of the Spinneys program in that a leading objective for the UAE Food and Water Security Office is to support local food production, which includes helping innovative startups 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 recognizes the importance of local tech-enabled production to strengthen the UAE's food security," she said.

Meanwhile, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, added that SMEs are a major driver of the UAE's growth and economic development and therefore, the Ministry of Economy remains keen to encourage and promote all initiatives aimed at advancing their efforts in this direction. "It is a promising trend that already established businesses are lending a hand to young and upcoming entrepreneurs through offering mentorship and knowledge-sharing," he added.

Shoppers can expect to see products from the winning brands on Spinneys' shelves from October 2020.

Related: It's Time We Support Our Communities Through Conscious Consumerism And Wise Investment

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Writer, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Writer at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is keen on pursuing and writing stories on people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

A bibliophile, chai addict, and photography enthusiast, she can be often found (animatedly) talking about Kdramas, BTS, cricket, novels, and comic book films.

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