Scotland’s leading exporter of craft beer and spirits has announced an expansion into ambient Scottish food and drink amid rising demand from customers in China and the Middle East.

Glasgow-based family firm JW Filshill International said it is taking part in this week’s Gulfood food and drink expo in Dubai’s World Trade Fair, where it is looking to forge a series of major export deals on behalf of Scottish craft food and drink producers.

The export business will be exhibiting at the Scottish pavilion of Gulfood. It said it would be promoting a range of Scottish products, showcasing businesses such as Grower’s Garden, Drinks Bakery, Start Up Drinks Lab, Natural Fruit and Beverage, For Aisha, Golden Casket, and Rose Marketing.

As well as the food products, JW Filshill International, which also trades under the Craft Beer Clan, is sponsoring a VIP drinks reception for Scottish Development International at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

Chris Miller, group commercial director, said: “Gulfood is the world’s largest food and drink trade fair, and is always a fantastic opportunity to work with Scotland Food and Drink and Scottish Development International to promote Scottish craft products. For the past couple of years we’ve used the event to champion Scottish craft beer and spirits but this year, due to growing demand, we’re using the event to showcase some outstanding food producers from Scotland, who’d normally find these types of major trade fairs inaccessible.”

He said: “The Scottish Producers Showcase drinks reception at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers is always an event that attracts key influencers, buyers and trend setters. It’s a perfect opportunity to get our Scottish craft products into the hands of these people. We’ll be pouring the likes of Makar gin and the 1770 Glasgow Single Malt Scotch Whisky alongside beers from award-winning breweries Williams Brothers, Brewgooder and Tempest, which will beautifully complement the finest food from the Scottish larder. It’s always a good night where we can really shine a light on the best of Scotland.”

Gulfood 2019 expects about 100,000 delegates from almost 200 countries, with the Scotland Food and Drink pavilion, located at S-N34, expected to be a major draw.

Mr Miller said he and fellow director Simon Hannah will be meeting potential new buyers offering a range of services including sourcing Scottish products as well as export consolidation for importers and retailers. Mr Hannah is also managing director of parent firm JW Filshill.

He added: “When we launched JW Filshill International in 2014 it was always our intention to bring a collaborative model to our craft brewing and distilling industry and work to grow exports. And of course, Scottish food, renowned globally for its superb quality, is a natural strategic alignment of that.

“China in particular has a great hunger for Scottish craft food and drink products, and we are in a prime position to support smaller producers to reach these exciting markets.

“Our business model is collaboration and offering importers full service consolidation with a single point of contact and administration. We work with dozens of Scottish producers, and as a trading company we source, consolidate and ship to market.”

He added: “Moving to food products was a natural progression for JW Filshill International. Our UK arm distributes both food and drink, and for the international arm to follow has always been part of our long-term strategy.”

Mr Miller said he and Mr Hannah were already in “advance conversations” with retailers and importers for the products, adding: “These high-profile trade events enable us to promote Scotland’s craft producers, and put our country's world-class craft products into the hands of key influencers, buyers and distributors.”