MONTHER T. AL HARTHI, CEO, CHATS WITH BEVERAGEDAILY.COM

Saudi Arabia beverage giant Al Rabie reveals global growth ambition

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The CEO of Saudi Arabian food and beverage giant Al Rabie Saudi Foods tells BeverageDaily.com that the company is keen to expand beyond its powerbase in MENA to the Europe and the US.

Speaking with BeverageDaily.com during a press tour of Tetra Pak’s R&D facility in Modena, Italy yesterday, Monther T. Al Harthi began by telling Ben Bouckley about the company’s history to date.

“The company is about 35 years old now. We started about 1980 in Saudi Arabia…focusing mainly on dairy and juice products at that time in long-life packaging,” he said. Al Rabie manufactures short- and long-life juices and nectars, UHT whole milks and flavored milks, as well as other RTDs.

“We’ve seen there is potential in new markets with some ethnic groups who are really looking for products from back home – in terms of taste form, flavor format.” (Monther T. Al Harthi, CEO, Al Rabie Saudi Foods)

“We’ve expanded since then to cover almost the entire MENA (Middle East & North Africa) area.”

“We’ve seen there is potential in new markets with some ethnic groups who are really looking for products from back home – in terms of taste form, flavor format,” Monther T. Al Harthi added.

“There are some ethnic groups looking for our products and buying them in Europe as well as in the US,” he said.

“We get a lot of requests about having our products in Europe and the US. We see this as an opportunity – we can expand our market share, our geographical segments…demand is already created there for us, so we need to look at how we can serve those consumers.”

Monther T. Al Harthi also discusses:

  • The importance of packaging innovation, which he says has been integral to Al Rabie’s growth in Saudi Arabia, “one of the most competitive markets in the world” and MENA.
  • Pending launch of the Tetra Pak Prima Aseptic 500ml with DreamCap in 2015; Al Rabie hopes to commercialize this premium package, with the precise brand in question and product still to be decided.
  • The importance of his company’s close relationship with Tetra Pak; the company’s cartons comprise 97% of Al-Rabie’s packaging mix.

Click here for our photographic tour of Tetra Pak's Modena R&D facility!

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