20 MEA MARKETS / UAE BUSINESS AWARDS 2017 , is laid on empowering people. Each member of the team is encouraged to express ideas, disagree decisions, prove points, suggest, implement, execute etc. regardless of their position within the company. In fact, often the best suggestions come from the lower levels of hierarchy. “All of us are constantly engaged in field work, shop observations and brainstorming on site. There is a specification in the job description no member of the team respects. That is working hours. Midway’s team work around the clock, yet everyone is content and happy. The reason behind this is because everyone enjoys what we do, and for all of us this serves a higher purpose than just a job position. All of us have a job we do not need a vacation from. In the team creation, we hugely respect and trust in gender as well as age diversity. We have equally man and women associates with age starting from 21 onwards. The main reason behind this is each demographic group can be best understood and approached by someone belonging to the same. And to repeat our point mentioned earlier, our intent is to provide healthier & happier society for EVERYONE. In addition to, having a pretty demographically diversified team adds to the team’s culture quality and definitely destroys any chance of work monotony. All in all, the recipe is quite simple. Find people that extract fulfillment from the brighter change they are responsible for rather than the pay check they receive. Structure their motivation in the right way, and the positive results are inevitable.” Working with clients around the world, Midway Middle East is perfectly located in Dubai as the region offers a dynamic hub where many leaders in the food and drinks market are based, as Katarina is eager to emphasise. “Fundamentally, the UAE is a very constructive, useful and beneficial place to be. The nature of our business is complex and challenging for a variety of reasons. To begin with, we carry very extensive portfolio, which is introduced to the region for the first time and majority of people are not completely familiar with. Secondly, we operate in significantly wide region, which although extends in close geographies, yet every part of the region differentiates in numerous ways. “What we find great about UAE regarding our industry is that it serves as an excellent test market and a perfect indicator about the region’s Food & Beverage preferences. All products we carry are first introduced in UAE. Based on the feedback from the UAE market; subsequently, we have clearer picture about the product regarding the region and better indication how should we proceed with launching the product in the rest of MENA. Speaking of the challenges and opportunities, I will cite His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum vice president, prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai to best illustrate our methodology: “The pessimist will see a difficulty in every opportunity, whereas the optimist will see an opportunity in every difficulty”. This is the exact logic we apply in our everyday work and we lead our actions by. “Our main objective is encouraging society to pursue a balanced lifestyle. We continuously engage not only existing customers, but the whole society in activities designed to illustrate how big of a role do the nutritional habits play in our lives and portray the advantages associated with pursuing a healthier diet and balanced lifestyle. If we compare the base of Organic consumers in UAE and USA, we would see tremendous difference although both countries have almost exact GDP per capita figures. Being one of the pioneers in bringing Organic and other added benefit products in a region with a notably small base of Organic consumers means we must pave the road for ourselves alone. However, at Midway, we decide to see this as a great opportunity rather than a difficulty. “Being part of such a dynamic society, it is very hard to get the attention of the wide mass. Together with Carrefour, we implemented a concept of Healthy Kitchen inside Carrefour Mall of the Emirates. We did a complete revamp of the Organic category within the shop, giving it a French Kitchen appearance. Healthy Kitchen has the intent to provide enhanced shopping experience to customers that want to pursue a healthy and balanced lifestyle, raise customer awareness of Healthy Foods and Beverages, better educate customers of the importance of eating healthy through different sorts of digital marketing activities and help people how to search and select healthier food alternatives easier. Healthy Kitchen immediately won the hearts of everyone, bringing handful of excitement, joy and interest for the customers. As part of our other customer engaging activities, we provide sessions for our customers to get free nutritionist advices, we award our customers with gift boxes through our digital marketing engagement, we provide support for a variety of sport events, we maintain the Healthier on a Whole New Scale movement that is present trough facebook, instagram and a web blog as well as many other sorts of customer engagements.” “We work very closely with the Organic Trade Association of United States in creating activities together which are supporting our mutual objectives. The OTA work on programs how to get the products from farm to marketplace and we are collaborating on a few projects together. OTA deserves every respect for their activities and efforts they are performing all around the globe to boost the organic produce and sales of US companies.” “One of Midway’s core strengths is our engagement in raising customer awareness through customer education, working on a very close basis with prominent nutritionists in the region, enhancing shopping experience for healthy eaters, giving healthy eaters recognition for their efforts, rewarding healthy eaters, supporting sport events and giving education to the participants at the same, a variety of digital marketing activities, campaigns encouraging for pursuing a balanced lifestyle. We measure our true success through the impact on society we create. Having said all of this, for us UAE is the perfect place to be.” In order to offer the very best products and services to its clients, Midway Middle East is constantly seeking to develop and grow its offering and adapt around the ever changing requirements of the market it operates in. Dushko concludes by highlighting the various future trends that the company will be focusing on as it looks towards the future. “Midway Middle East base our strategies in line with the global food trends, and as such our future revolves around meeting the ever evolving needs of our clients. The need for clear label, significant growth of organic and GMO free statements has been very much popular, therefore we make sure that our portfolio follows this requirement. Another trend is free-from foods which has become more attractive for consumers without food allergies and we have introduced a few new lines of this product type. Super leaf ‘Kale’ is booming and a lot of different products containing Kale has been created. In our range, we do have different snacking propositions containing this awesome superfood such as organic multigrain kale chips, organic dehydrated kale and different smoothies. Products with protein positioning are becoming mainstream these days. Our portfolio offers a variety of sources for protein. “Health conscious consumer’s wellness goals have become more prominent and they are looking for permissible indulgence. We offer healthier, guilt free organic, vegan, gluten free snaking products such as Hi I’m Skinny, Luke’s G.H Cretors and many more.