With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating consumer interest in buying safe, nutritious and high-quality ingredients online, the European Union has partnered with UAE-born grocery delivery platform el Grocer to bring ready-to-cook recipe boxes to residents in Dubai.
The partnership forms a part of the EU’s ‘More than Food’ communications campaign and addresses increasing consumer demand for European food imports. In the first quarter of 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, EU farm exports to the GCC grew 25% compared to Q1 2019.
As more UAE consumers look to online channels to buy essential items, the ‘More than Food’ recipe box initiative aims to make it easy and convenient for customers to incorporate EU foods into their daily meals. According to Visa’s COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker, two-thirds of UAE consumers surveyed said that COVID-19 has led to their first online grocery purchase.
Working with celebrated food blogger and cookbook author Zahra Abdalla to create recipes using European ingredients sourced from importer and grocer EuroMercato, the ‘More than Food’ recipe boxes promise easy-to-follow cooking instructions and delicious, authentic European flavours.
Available on the el Grocer app until 17th August, customers will have five recipe boxes to choose from: Mediterranean Puff Pastry Tart; One Pot Summer Pasta with Salmon; Roasted Chicken Salad with Spinach and Roasted Peppers; gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies and Tiramisu. All recipe cards link to instructional videos from Zahra Abdalla in which she explains the quality, safety and authenticity merits of each EU ingredient being used.
“As an e-marketplace, el Grocer was able to match the European Union with EuroMercato, a top performing buyer and seller of European produce on our platform. We worked closely with all partners to create a campaign that would make their products stand out while also satisfying our users’ dual interest in exclusive offers and convenience. This is the first collaboration of its kind for el Grocer and we believe it will allow both exporter and grocer to test local customer interest in specific product categories,” said Xavi Nunes, Chief Marketing Officer, el Grocer.
“EuroMercato is committed to bringing to UAE customers the highest quality European food and beverages so it made perfect business sense for us to partner with the EU on their ‘More than Food’ recipe box campaign. The health and wellbeing of our customers is always our priority and we are as conscientious in our delivery as we are in our sourcing of the finest quality natural, organic and healthy food. This partnership not only allows us to reinforce these attributes to our UAE consumers, but has connected us to even more producers across Europe,” said Shirin Saleh, Business Development Manager, EuroMercato.
The EU will now look to run similar initiatives in other GCC markets.