Innovation vital in growth of US food exports to Qatar, says top LuLu executive
November 26 2021 11:21 PM
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Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group International. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group International. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

The US is among the leading nations in food innovation, according to Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group International, who noted that LuLu has increased its food imports from the North American country.
“The US is a country where a lot of food innovation is happening. America is known a lot for its defence programme and other technology, but food is also one area where they did really well in the last several years.
“For example, they are now in a position to export cheese to cheese-producing countries. Also, the US is exporting Medjool dates to Saudi Arabia, so it has a lot of innovation and a lot of capacity to do that,” Dr Althaf recently told Gulf Times on the sidelines of its annual ‘Discover America’ promotion, which concludes in all LuLu hypermarkets today.
LuLu Qatar’s imports from the US has gone up substantially, Dr Althaf reiterated, saying the hypermarket chain is expanding and adding more US products to include not only premium brands but also a very decent range of products that customers will enjoy.
“Our Discover America event at LuLu is getting bigger every year and we continue to add more brands and other products being offered during this occasion. With every promotion, we are targeting to increase our product range by at least 10% and bring non-conventional products,” Dr Althaf explained.
Discover America 2021 was inaugurated by US embassy Doha charge d’affaires Natalie A Baker. She said the annual event “is a wonderful example” of the partnership between Qatar and the US, especially in the fields of trade and investments.
“Coming out of the Covi-19 pandemic, I think this is a very important display of the future of our partnership with even more varieties of American products that are available in Qatar through LuLu Hypermarket and in new areas, too.
“Discover America is also coming as part of the ‘Year of Culture’ between the United States and Qatar, which is an excellent example of the ways that we work together in the arts, culture, and educational exchanges, as well,” Baker stressed.
Baker said, “Also, we just celebrated the fourth annual strategic dialogue, which showcases the different aspects of our partnership; Discover America is part of that overall growth in the bilateral relationship. The strategic dialogue has demonstrated that we have so many areas of mutual interest globally and in the region.
“The strategic partnership and dialogue also focused on the economic relationships, so we are expanding our trade and investments in different sectors, not only Qatari investments in the different areas in the US but also US investments in Qatar; we are trying to attract even more businesses here.”
Asked about the role of the US in Qatar’s food security strategy, Baker said: “The United States is very proud to play a role in food security here in Qatar. Now, there are more and more products that are being directly distributed from the United States to Qatar.
“LuLu, for example, has a distribution centre in New Jersey and we hope that there will be another distribution centre and other partnerships in the United States to provide US products of all varieties, and so we do hope that in those areas trade will only continue to expand.”
 
 



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