Good coffee is not good enough anymore. The recent boom on the specialty coffee market was clearly visible at SIAL Middle East 2019 – one of the biggest and most important food industry events in the region. The current situation on the market is especially promising for smaller, craft roasteries, such as KawePale, who shared their impressions on the event and coffee business.
The 10th edition of SIAL Middle East expo was held in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 9th to 11th December and hosted 23,000 industry experts and 1,143 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. The organisers estimate that the event facilitated trade deals accounting for an astounding amount of AED 7.2bn (USD 1.96bn).
Two young coffee maniacs Piotr Wilczewski and Piotr Mietelski, who run KawePale, a craft roastery from Warsaw, Poland, joined the crowd and showcased their products there.
“When we started in 2014, naturally we were focused mainly on the Polish and Central-European markets. However, in order to develop our business, we need to look for inspiration and learn constantly. We’ve always been curious about the centuries-old coffee heritage in the Middle East, so when it came to our attention how fast this market grew and evolved, we decided to go there and discover it. It was our second time in the United Arab Emirates this year and now we are confident that we want our products to be present on this market” – said Piotr Wilczewski, founder and CEO of KawePale.
The numbers behind the Emirati market are strong – according to Gulf News, sales at the local coffee shops grew by 70% compared with 2018. However, it’s not only the volume that’s remarkable – it’s also the way people drink coffee. Because of the constant hot weather, cold brews are becoming mainstream, while in Europe it’s mostly a seasonal product. It was particularly interesting for the roasters from KawePale.
“We are extremely happy to see that specialty coffee, not only in its typical form, is gaining worldwide recognition. During SIAL Middle East 2019, we shook hands with many industry experts and the awareness of craft roasting among them is really high. We also had the pleasure to meet members of the Specialty Coffee Association from UAE and the referees of the UAE championships in latte art and cezve/ibrik that we could watch during the show. Their sterling work creates even more opportunities for non-mass producers like us” – commented Piotr Mietelski, vice-president and barista at KawePale.
In 2020, KawePale will exhibit at the most important specialty coffee event of the year, World of Coffee, which this time is held on their home turf in Warsaw.
Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the operational program Smart Growth.