More than 200 globally prominent investors and venture capitalists will gather in Saudi Arabia this October as part of the first edition of InFlavour – the new, Riyadh-based food sector showcase that aims to become one of the world’s leading industry summits and with an inaugural theme exploring sustainability, technology, and social impact.
The consortium of local, regional, and international food industry heavyweights will gather at a dedicated InFlavour Investor Programme to leverage emerging opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s food service market – a sector the Kingdom’s Ministry of Investment conservatively forecasts will grow six per cent annually over the next five years to be worth US$30.47 billion by 2029*. Among the more than 200 globally prominent investors and venture capitalists set to attend are His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed Al Saud, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures; Andrew D. Ive, Founder & Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures; Manav Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of Brinc; and Bjoern Witte, Managing Partner and CEO of Blue Horizon.
“Competition is fierce with startups finding funding opportunities harder amidst growing investor caution. Here, in the wider GCC and specifically in Saudi, there is continuous momentum carrying over from 2022, and we are seeing tremendous activity. InFlavour is shaping up to be the Kingdom’s strongest F&B industry summit, gathering key players from investments to logistics and manufacturing. I look forward to hearing the finalists pitch in Riyadh,” said HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud.
Saudi Arabia’s potential to transform the food industry is being attributed to huge increases in tourist numbers and spending, as well as major government-backed national development programmes such as The Red Sea Project, a US$500bn project expected to create a new tourism destination on the coast of the Red Sea with more than 50 resorts and 200 hotels, and Qiddiya, a US$200bn project featuring more than 300 attractions including theme parks, water parks, an opera house, and theatre. Both projects are expected to be complete by 2030.
According to Saleh Bindakhil, spokesperson for MEWA, InFlavour underpins the remarkable growth of Saudi Arabia’s food industry, which has been boosted by significant investments in hotels and resorts, an influx of food and beverage entrepreneurs, and a commitment to technological development and adoption. These factors are set to revolutionise the food service experience within the Kingdom, with InFlavour as the hub and driving force behind this convergence, playing a vital role in shaping the industry’s future.
Additionally, Bindakhil emphasised that the Kingdom is actively working towards achieving food security through the implementation of national strategies. This commitment is evident in the remarkable growth of the agriculture sector, which in 2021 recorded its highest-ever contribution to the country’s GDP, at SAR72.25 billion riyals (US$19.27bn), expanding at a rate of 7.8 per cent.