Food manufacturing group IFFCO has begun operations at its new production plant, which is said to be the UAE’s first alt meat facility.
Based at Dubai Industrial City, the facility will produce a range of meat alternatives under the brand name THRYVE. These will include options tailored to regional tastes — such as koftas, shawarmas, and shish tawooks — along with more Western-style offerings like burgers and nuggets.
The meat alternatives are made from fava beans, using a technique described as state-of-the-art. Within a few weeks, THRYVE products will be available at supermarket chains Lulu and Carrefour UAE.
While the UAE’s plant-based market is still small, THRYVE says its consumer research has found a positive response to the concept of alt meats. The brand hopes to reach 5% of the market in the region.
Year of Sustainability
The UAE is set to host COP28 later this year, and has declared 2023 the Year of Sustainability in celebration. As part of the nationwide campaign, citizens will be encouraged to adopt plant-forward diets, along with wasting less food and eating appropriately-sized portions. Various initiatives will be launched to promote these choices, which could improve health outcomes as well as sustainability.
“The new 100% plant-based meat factory supports the UAE’s Food Security Strategy and our mandate to mitigate the impact of climate change,” said Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment. “The opening of this innovative new facility also supports our efforts to protect the country’s ecosystems and enhance its food and water security and diversify our food sources. By fostering such robust research and development focused on producing innovative food products, we seek to raise the UAE’s ability to move up the global food industry value chain and achieve first place on the Global Food Security Index by 2051. The new factory represents a significant contribution to sustainability in the food supply chain.”