Bangladesh could become a potential market for quality foreign foods as its economy has been witnessing consistent growth for over a decade.
The growing upper middle class who travel abroad like to enjoy foreign food and expect best hospitality services which act as one of the growth drivers of the sector, according to participants of a three-day food and hospitality fair ending yesterday.
“We started importing foreign food targeting the foreigners in Bangladesh 20 years ago. Now local affluent class has become potential consumers of quality foreign foods,” said Parvez Ahamed, general manger of Foodex International. Foodex started its journey in 1997 and has become one of the leading sellers and distributors of foreign foods, including potato chips, energy drinks and juices.
Ahamed said his firm supplies foreign food items to hotels of different star ratings and posh restaurants in Dhaka.
Echoing Ahamed, Golam Siddique Ali, chief operating officer of Noor Trade House, said there were opportunities for this business in Bangladesh as the demand was growing with the pace of the economic growth.
He, however, said they had no reliable data regarding the market size of the foreign food demand and growth rate.
He said his company imported food items from the US, Australia and Europe and supplied it to cafés, hotels and superstores in the country. “Safety and quality of foods matter,” Ali said.
Mohammad Mominul Haque, manager (sales and marketing) at the Beans and Berries, said quality and safe food could bring consumers to restaurants.
Also, there is a relationship between food and hospitality that helps to improve the tourism sector as well, he said.
Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden, Hotel Sarina and Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka took part in the fair. Representatives of the hotels said they joined the show just for branding and building up business relations with other players in the market.
Transcom Beverages and Seagull Hotel were also there.
Md Mohsin Hoq Himel, secretary of Bangladesh International Hotel Association, said the fair brought a number of food and hospitality service providers under a common platform, which would help expand their business.
Similarly Nasimur Rahman, director for marketing at Wem Bangladesh Ltd, co-organiser of the fair, believes the event increased networking among entities of related fields.