Kraft facing challenges with 'careful pricing'
Manama, December 28, 2011
Despite the high increases in food prices globally, Kraft Foods is managing to face the challenge in the GCC through efficiency and careful pricing, said a senior official.
"We have not seen a slowdown in the food market in any of our product categories," said Kraft Foods GCC managing director Vishal Tikku. "We do not have any decline in our market," he added.
For the past four years, Kraft has been producing cheese products and Tang powdered fruit drinks at its state-of-the-art plant in Bahrain.
"We have now been selling cheese across the region for 100 years and Tang for 40 years and these are now all produced at our Bahrain plant for the whole of the GCC and further afield," he said.
"In cheese products, we have between 20 and 25 per cent of the regional market and in powdered fruit drinks we dominate with 80 per cent of the market and our sales of the total drinks market is also expanding," he added.
Since the company invested $40 million in its plant in the Bahrain industrial area, it has been expanding its workforce and providing high quality jobs for Bahrainis.
Of the company's 600 regional employees, 230 of them are now working in Bahrain.
"We are one of the anchor investors in the Bahrain industrial area and we continue to upgrade our facilities here," he said.
"We will continue to invest both in technology and packaging upgrades and upgrade the plant on an ongoing basis. We are committed to Bahrainisation and we are keen to invest in local labour.
"We not only train Bahrainis and other staff who work here but also continue to provide in-house training and education so people can upgrade from their existing jobs sustainably," he added.
Developing markets and the GCC continue to be of growing importance to Kraft with the market worth more than $12 billion in annual revenues, with developing markets achieving annual organic growth of nearly 13 per cent and operating income of 24 per cent.
"Kraft will continue to drive innovation to reinvigorate product categories," Tikku added.
"These are exciting times for Kraft with innovations this year in cheese and powdered fruit drinks that are produced in Bahrain.
"Kraft Cream Cheese Spread revolutionised the spreadable cheese segment in the GCC with the first-of-its-kind squeeze bottles that are simple and hassle-free for children to manage. Last January, Tang made one of the biggest changes in 50 years with new easy grip plastic containers to replace the iconic best-selling tin formats," he said.
"Tang also launched Tang Singles last year which provide the product in a one drink sachet which equally offers a format that makes it easier for children to serve themselves," he added. – TradeArabia News Service