UAE-based food manufacturing firm Global Food Industries (GFI) has invested more than 30 million dirhams ($8 million) to cash in on the growing demand for ready-made meals.

The capital will be used to boost production capabilities and launch the company’s first-ever cooked food line plant in Sharjah, GFI said in statement on Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered consumer behaviour, with the shift to home-working and learning spurring demand for greater customer convenience.

According to Ahmed Bayoumi, chief executive officer of GFI, a fast-paced work environment has presented a lot of households with the challenge of having little time to prepare meals at home.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a predominantly work-from-home setup for employees and distance learning for schoolchildren, plus the potential risk from food deliveries, presented yet another challenge of having to prepare home-cooked meals three times a day,” Bayoumi said.

“Such scenarios facilitated an increasingly growing trend of consumers’ preference for convenience in food preparation and rising demand for ready to heat and eat products.”

Such trends, he noted, serve as an opportunity for businesses like GFI to address the need for safe, healthy, delicious and budget-friendly cooked food products.

“Thus, investing in expanding and enhancing our production capabilities in this segment and addressing such needs certainly makes a lot of business sense for us.”

New investment

GFI’s fresh capital will also be used to acquire cutting-edge technologies and enhance manpower skills in food production.

The investment is in line with the company’s goal to double its business over the next five years, which will include expanding product offerings and market share across various B2B and B2C segments.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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