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Fizz drink brand eyes record Ramadan sales

Manama, August 10, 2011

Sales of UK-based soft drink brand Vimto are set to rocket 20 times higher than normal during Ramadan in Bahrain, with 480,000 bottles have already been sold since early June.

Sales are expected to reach 720,000 before the end of the month, as against sales of around 36,000 a month outside the holy month.

Stocks of 18,000 bottles are arriving from Saudi Arabia and the UAE every second day to meet demand, according to the Al Aujan Industrial Company, the sole dealer of Vimto in the Gulf and parts of the Middle East.

"Vimto is Ramadan's favourite drink and its sales across the GCC and other parts of the Middle East were around 25 million bottles last year," said the firm's Bahrain senior sales supervisor Yasser Baqer.

"We don't expect less this year across our regional market, especially during this season, and speaking about Bahrain, we have already sold 40,000 cartons (480,000 bottles) since early last month. This is expected to increase to 60,000 cartons (720,000 bottles) by the end of Ramadan,” he added.

Vimto was first introduced in Bahrain and the region in 1928 and has become traditionally associated with Ramadan. It is also regularly consumed during weddings and other religious occasions.

Explaining Vimto's popularity, 27-year-old Bahraini Hussain said it had been his favourite Ramadan drink since his childhood.

"It is a refreshing drink especially if served cold and I love breaking my fast with it," said the private sector worker. To be honest, I never thought about checking its history on the Internet, but it would be interesting to know about my only favourite Ramadan drink."

Bahraini Sadeeqa, 29, said Vimto had a distinctive taste.

"We got used to it being a Ramadan regular in our tender age as we sat for Iftar, we only knew it was tasty, but never asked for details," she said. "Vimto is a special drink that has a unique taste and I can distinguish it from amongst many drinks that are trying to imitate it in the market.”

Vimto was created by John Noel Nichols in 1908 in his hometown of Cheshire, England. It was originally a health tonic named Vimtonic and in 1913 became a cordial - a non-alcoholic fruit drink concentrate.

It is made of grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants, flavoured with a mix of secret herbs and spices.

The Al Aujan Industrial Company produces the drink under licence in Saudi Arabia.

Customers were previously restricted to buying no more than two bottles per head at some Bahrain supermarkets, but Al Aujan yesterday confirmed that was no longer the case.

"LuLu and Ramez Hypermarkets decided a day before Ramadan to sell Vimto below cost price, which is BD0.825 ($2.25)," said Baqer.

"When customers went there to buy their Ramadan stock, they were shocked only two bottles were allowed. It was just for one day as we immediately acted, telling both to end this because it was affecting our sales as one carton is bought per household regularly in Ramadan," he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Sales | Ramadan | Vimto | Fizz drink |

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