Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Palms and Dates (NCPD), the gateway to the Saudi dates market, exhibited at the 67th Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty food show in North America. The Specialty Food Association organized the event on June 25-27 in New York.
The NCPD’s pavilion included seven Saudi producers and exporters of dates. This is the second year that the NCPD participated at the show with the purpose of introducing dates and date derivatives, some of which were new products, to the U.S. market and meeting with existing customers as well as new potential distributors, retail buyers, and foodservice providers. The seven Saudi producers and exporters at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food were:
- Jomara: a brand of Bateel that offers luxury organic dates. Jomara offers date products such as Sukkari and Khidri, dates with chocolate, etc.
- Mazare Company: manufacturer of dates since 1990. Offers date varieties including Mabroom, Khadari, Sukari, Ajwa, Sawafi, as well as bakery products.
- Yousef Abdul Latif and Sons Agriculture (YALA), producer of dates since 2010. Uses organic farming techniques to cultivate 2,600 hectares of organic dates in varieties that include Mejdool, Sukkari, Khlas, Sagai, Sawafi, and Ajwa.
- Siafa Dates produces not only a variety of dates such as Mabroom, Ajwa, Khadi, Sukkari, but also dates coated with chocolate, rose, coconut, and bakery products.
- Nakheel Alya: located in Madinah, the company produces a variety of stuffed dates, snack packs, date truffles, energy balls, and cookies.
- Zadna Company: in business for over 20 years, Zadna offers dates (Sukkari, Khadari Sukaai, and Safawi), derivatives, and bakery products.
- Riyadh Dates Factory: in business for over 25 years, Riyadh Dates Factory produces dates such as Muftal, Sakaai, Ajwa, and derivatives.
The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) has been supporting the NCPD in its efforts to increase exports of Saudi dates to the U.S. market since 2021. This year, we facilitated introductions for the NCPD to U.S. industry associations and provided logistical and business development assistance prior to and during the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show. During the event, the USSBC helped generate new connections, identified relevant exhibitors, and walked the show to introduce the NCPD and the delegation to exhibitors as well as potential distributors and retail buyers.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest producers of dates (over 1.5 million tons/year on 123,000 farms) and date derivatives (jam, cream, butter, syrup, sugar, vinegar, yoghurt, and milk) used in bakery products. Varieties of Saudi dates, considered a superfruit, include Sakaai, Sukari, Khlas, Ajwa, Khadari, Khidri, and Mabroom. They differ in terms of taste, texture, size, softness, and color. The Kingdom exports dates to 107 countries.
The NCPD’s services include applying the quality Saudi Dates Mark, providing a directory of Saudi dates producers, as well as logistics services to support the sector and exports and coordinating between the various entities that contribute to facilitating export operations. In addition, NCPD has launched saudidates.sa, an e-commerce platform for all dates products carrying the Saudi Dates Mark, and the Saudi Business Dates (business.saudidates.sa), a platform that connects business owners with Saudi dates exporters.