After a short interval of a couple of years, Lulu Hypermarket has again set the stage for Sri Lankan festival under the theme ‘Taste of Sri Lanka’ this week from February 6 to February 11, 2022. The festival aims to bring alive the unique culinary heritage of Sri Lanka, which is a blend of many colonial influences like British, Dutch and Portuguese as well as pan-Asian with Indian, especially Southern, and Indonesian influences.
Sri Lanka and the Arab world share a rich culinary experience that nurtured the spice trade of the olden days and is still a vibrant presence in Arab kitchens today.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar HE Mohamed Mafaz Mohideen inaugurated the festival on Sunday at Lulu Hypermarket, D-Ring Road branch, in the presence of Lulu Group International Director Dr Mohamed Althaf and many other distinguished guests from banks and Retail/FMCG sectors including a gathering of shoppers and officials from Lulu outlets.
Addressing the media, Ambassador said that Lulu is one of the top supermarket brands in the region and the world offering Sri Lankan foods and non-food items.
“Sri Lanka and Lulu have a long-standing relationship as it has an export distribution centre in Sri Lanka for sourcing the goods. The facility provides opportunities to Sri Lankan farmers to market their products,” the ambassador said.
He said that over 350 range of items imported from Sri Lanka is being sold at Lulu outlets across the country enabling the Sri Lankan community in Qatar and other consumers to get the products.
“Most of the famous Sri Lankan brands of foods are available at Lulu outlets where Sri Lankan expatriates can buy as per their needs,” the envoy said.
He said that apart from the food items, Sri Lankan textile like Sari and other cloths are being displayed under the festival which is a great addition and give opportunities to another sector to join the market.
Speaking about the festival, he said that the festival offers a wide range of Sri Lankan products from groceries to supper foods not only to the Sri Lankan community but other people in Qatar who want such types of foods.
Speaking on the occasion Althaf said that Lulu opened its sourcing office in Special Economic Zone at Colombo in Sri Lanka.
“Now we are sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables through the facility for the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Qatar and other consumers,” said Althaf.
He said that plans are afoot to add more products both food and non-food items to the list of export from Sri Lanka.
“We enhance the efforts to import more products from Sri Lanka under Lulu plan to diversify its source of import as growing demand because of rising population and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Althaf.
He said that Sri Lanka is good from the food security point of view for Qatar as the country has food products similar to those produced in other Asian countries.
Speaking about the festival, Althaf said, “The festival offers a wide range of Sri Lankan food and non-food products. First time under the festival we introduced high-quality textile products.”
The festival mainly exhibits Sri Lankan ethnic, grocery items and agricultural, organic produce, LuLu Group has said in a press statement, noting that it highlights the “diverse culture and culinary heritage of Sri Lanka.”
“LuLu Group has organised the festival in co-operation with its export unit YAS Lanka in Colombo. The unit was set up in the year 2017 with a view to boost sourcing operations and bring in high-quality products for LuLu’s chain of hypermarkets across the world,” the statement noted.
Lulu Group has a huge amount of imports in the categories of fruits, vegetables, groceries, spices and other commodities from Sri Lanka annually, and the quantum of YAS Lanka’s exports has gone up considerably since its opening. LuLu Group has similar export distribution centres in 22 countries, including the UK, US, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, China and Africa.
The festival offers its shoppers the opportunity to stock up top-quality spices like cloves, pepper, cinnamon, and all packaged for hygiene, aroma and convenience. There will also be a variety of tea and tea-based herbal infusions with turmeric, chamomile and other herbs and amazing teas from signature plantations around Sri Lanka. A wide range of Sri Lankan commodities and agricultural produce are offered on display at discounted prices, and special counters were set for facilitating tasting and sampling for customers.
Many varieties of organic and healthy coconut products such as coconut cream, coconut milk and virgin and cold-pressed coconut oil are showcased on the special deals section while the vegetable racks will be bursting with the goodness, colour and juicy flavours of Sri Lankan farm produce.
Leading Sri Lankan Radio Stations namely Suno Lanka and QFM Sithula had broadcasted the event.