Tina Siegismund: Consumers’ growing preference for convenience set to drive frozen food products

With a successful 18-year career experience in the FMCG sector, Tina Siegismund has taken her accumulated professional expertise to help grow Global Food Industries’ Frozen Division as Head of Marketing and Innovations.

Tina has an MBA from the University of Oxford, a BA in Marketing from the Accadis University of Applied Sciences, Bad Homburg, Germany, and a BSc in Marketing from the Florida Atlantic University.

Having pursued her career in the UAE for 17 years now, 10 years of which were mainly spent in successfully driving considerable growth of the frozen foods and frozen animal protein food products for a leading multinational food company, Tina’s vast and extensive knowledge of the industry and the market has given her valuable insights on trends that present valuable opportunities for growth. And, at this time, Tina believes that a growing consumer preference for convenience will be key in realizing GFI’s growth aspirations of doubling its business over the next five years and expanding GFI’s frozen food products’ market share, not just in the UAE but also across the region.

“This market is definitely full of opportunities,” Tina says. “With people’s fast-paced lifestyle, everything that is being driven by convenience is growing. Consumers now want convenience. Even the rapid advancements in technology have contributed a lot to that. It seems that everyone wants to have everything at the touch of their finger or something that would require the least effort to access or achieve.

“Somehow, this also applies to food,” Tina adds. “This trend has also been the key factor that has driven the success of food ordering apps and food delivery, especially at a time when people’s outside of home movement were strictly prohibited. With things slowly getting back to normal, people have now started to go to groceries and supermarkets to buy food supplies. However, the preference for convenience seem to not have changed. And now that they have a much wider choice and option, people’s craving for delicious and tasty meals is back, along with a steadily increasing trend for health and wellness.

“This presents huge opportunities for products like Al Areesh,” Tina explains. “So, my focus at this point is to build the brand and bring it closer to the consumers. This is to be achieved through innovation that will bring a range of products that addresses their need and satisfies what they want. This includes tailoring our products even more by providing NFM based on health concerns, while simultaneously emphasizing on continuing to build and expand our range of tasty products.

“Zing has been a big hit in the market and consumers love Zing because its taste is simply sensational. At the same time, it presents the food preparation convenience that consumers are looking for. So, this combination is like bringing the restaurant to your home instead of ordering. It is a delicious pre-cooked meal that you either fry or bake quickly.

“There is also massive opportunities within food service sector, particularly in the lower HORECA and quick-service-restaurants or QSR. So, we will also continue pushing the Al Areesh and Arctic Gold brands on the B2B level. We are also doing research, listening to what the market wants, and trying to understand the market even better by reaching out and interacting to both our B2C and B2B customers. Based on this, we will be developing a lot of new products.”

With the new management and leadership team in place at GFI, as well as the necessary investments that have been put behind its brands, Tina is very optimistic that GFI’s Frozen Division will definitely achieve its growth targets.

“Through the expert leadership and guidance of our CEO, Ahmed Baoyumi, the management team has successfully put together a vision, a strategy and a plan that is absolutely doable,” Tina reveals. “And already, we are growing at a very fast pace within a constant rate of double digits. With the commissioning of our cooked line facility and production, our expansion into the vegetables and fruits categories, and push to further expand our presence across the UAE, KSA and other export markets, I am extremely confident that we will achieve our growth aspirations for the frozen division even much earlier than what our five-year strategy envisions.”

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