IFE Manufacturing 2023: Dina Foods taps authenticity & premiumization with range of Mediterranean & Asian flatbreads
21 Mar 2023 --- Mediterranean foods supplier Dina Foods is showcasing its range of authentic breads, savories and confectionery items at the ongoing International Food & Drink Event (IFE) Manufacturing this week in London (March 20-22). FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Wilda Haddad, project director, from the show floor about the company’s latest launches, including artisanal flatbreads, vegan-friendly products and its premium Baklawa.
Some of Dina Foods’ best-selling products include its traditional artisanal flatbreads, ranging from pitta to its signature Paninette wraps and Lavash bread.
Consumers may already be familiar with the Paninette range, which is a traditional Lebanese bread, it is two-ply and very versatile, explains Haddad.
“This year, we launched the Tanour bread and Oregano and Sourdough flavored Paninette wraps,” she highlights.
“The Paninette wraps products both come with added health claims. The idea was generated during COVID-19 when the government recommended we have more vitamin D to protect us against different strains and viruses.”
The items are rich in vitamin D, low in fat and also low in sugar. “They also have no artificial colors or flavors and are a source of protein,” Haddad underscores.
New packaging for a new range
Intertwined with the launch of Dina Foods’ products, Haddad tells us that the company also revamped the packaging of the Paninette range to include QR codes.
“We reviewed our whole range, including the packaging, to make it more user-friendly,” she explains. “So consumers can simply scan the QR code, to enjoy new and delicious recipes, ideas and serving suggestions for the ultimate dining experience.”
“Sometimes, consumers aren’t sure what to create using the Paninette flatbreads, they might need some inspiration, so this is a convenient and quick way to create a flavorful meal idea. Our Paninette products are completely versatile so they can be used as a wrap, a pizza base, a quesadilla – the options are limitless.”
“So we created some generic ideas for snacks, wraps and meals. We did this for the whole Paninette range,” she notes.
Haddad tells us that a large proportion of Dina Foods’ range is vegan.
“One of our factories specializes in Lebanese savory products. Notably, the Mediterranean diet is renowned for having various vegan products. We produce nine different kinds of falafel and an array of other products.”
Nine products from Dina Foods’ range are registered with The Vegan Society.
“We’ve just trademarked a new savory product which is also vegan. It’s the falafel sausage, and it’s unique because, traditionally, falafel is fried,” notes Haddad. “So we innovated this falafel sausage, it’s the first of its kind. It’s ideal for grilling, baking in the oven, you can cook it on the BBQ, so it is very versatile and you can cook it in many different ways.”
Dina Foods’ vegan savories – including falafel, a sweet potato version of this, and hummus and dips – are also being exhibited in London at IFE.
Baklawa appeals to UK appetites
Dina Foods’ is also presenting its premium layered filo pastry Baklawa, which are “gaining traction with a UK audience,” according to Haddad. The traditional Baklawa assortments are available to sample in food-safe individually packaged portions.
“Our best sellers are most definitely the confectionary range, the Baklawa. We stock in independent retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.”
Haddad says that Dina Foods has come a long way since the family brought Lebanese food to the UK in the 1970s.
From the start, the company was a key supplier of Mediterranean flatbreads in the UK. Now in its 31st year, the company is BRC AA+ certified.
Dina Foods is also working toward a zero-carbon footprint by 2030 and expanding its authentic Mediterranean products in Europe and beyond.
By Elizabeth Green, reporting live from London at the IFE
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