DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Foodco has agreed an exclusive distribution deal with Russian healthy snack company BioFoodLab, run by former model Elena Shifrina.
The deal comes as regional food producers adjust to growing awareness around healthy foods, especially among younger consumers. Regional governments are also promoting the sector to combat high levels of obesity.
“The global healthy snacks market was valued at $78 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $108 billion in 2027,” Foodco General Manager Wassem Al-Halabi said in a stock exchange filing. “We are witnessing an upward curve in the segment here in the Middle East, too. More people are showing a preference for healthy over traditional snacks.”
He said that healthy snack companies had encountered challenges in the past in hitting the right price point for Middle East consumers.
Shifrina, a former catwalk model and oil industry executive, started her company nine years ago with $120,000 of her own savings according to Forbes.
She came up with the idea during an internship at MIT in Boston.
She made the first samples of her snack bars in her own kitchen before scaling up the company to become an international business.