With extensive leadership experience in Middle Eastern food manufacturing, Edward Hamod recognized the region’s need for wholesome and locally sourced food. Fueled by a passion for food security, source diversity and Middle Eastern-friendly alternative meats, Hamod established Switch Foods. We learn more about the company and its unique product offering.
How was Switch Foods able to create plant-based products that prioritize sustainability while celebrating local culinary traditions?
We were able to do this thanks to two years of dedicated research and development in collaboration with experienced food technologists, food scientists, universities, research organizations and culinary chefs from three continents. Our team worked extensively on experimenting with different plant protein sources and natural ingredients to mimic the flavors and textures of meat used in local traditional dishes. We then continued our R&D work in the UAE and extended our collaborations to include local chefs and culinary experts to ensure that our products pay homage to the rich culinary heritage of our region.
The most significant challenge was striking the right balance between taste, texture and a healthy offering. We were committed to making products that contribute to a healthier planet without compromising on taste. It required extensive experimentation and testing to achieve the perfect combination.
Switch Foods is dedicated to crafting guilt-free alternative plant-based meats that resonate with the local community’s discerning palates and beloved culinary tradition, committed to providing customers with a wide range of delicious and environmentally sustainable meat alternatives, which are unmatched in taste and quality, and boast a deliciously satisfying texture that harmoniously blends the vibrant flavors of the region.
What can you tell us about Switch Foods’ product line and the firm’s bestsellers?
Switch Foods offers a diverse product line, featuring local, traditional foods in healthy, plant-based versions. Our product line includes kafta, kabab, soujuk, minced meat and burger patties. Our products are available in the biggest retail stores, including Spinneys, Carrefour, Waitrose, Union Coop, Grandiose, Organic Foods and Café, Al Maya and Sharjah Coop, as well as major online e-commerce platforms, such as Kibsons, Talabat, Careem and Noon Minutes, making them accessible to an even wider audience.
We are continually innovating and exploring new plant-based options. We believe in staying at the forefront of culinary trends and customer preferences. You can
expect exciting new additions to our product line soon.
How does Switch Foods empower chefs and restaurants to cater to vegans?
We offer chefs and restaurants high-quality, ready-to-use plant-based products that offer a seamless transition from conventional meat. Chefs can incorporate our items into their menus, adding diversity and meeting the demands of health-conscious and environmentally aware customers.
We also offer chefs a full-fledged kitchen setup at our facility where they can come to learn about the products, see how they are produced, discuss the process with our chefs and experiment with the products using different cooking equipment and techniques. We can also adjust the products according to their needs and produce recipes proprietary to them.
How has the plant-based market in the Middle East evolved?
The plant-based market in the Middle East is rapidly growing and evolving at 20-22 percent per year. There is a significant increase in awareness regarding both the health and environmental impact of food choices, and people are more willing to embrace plant-based diets. The region’s rich culinary heritage presents a unique opportunity for us to offer locally inspired plant-based products that resonate with the local audience. We see immense potential for further growth in this market and are excited to be part of this positive change.