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Kraft Foods announces Saudi plant expansion

Dammam, May 30, 2012

Kraft Foods, the global snacks powerhouse, has announced the expansion of its Nabisco Arabia biscuit plant in Dammam in partnership with Saudi-based Olayan Group as part of plans to double its production capacity.

The Nabisco Arabia plant is a joint venture between Kraft and Olayan Group has been operating for almost a decade, providing regional consumers with some of their favorite products. This year marks The Olayan Group’s 65th anniversary.

The expansion spans 8,500 sq m and includes a new production facility that adds more capacity to production of Oreo, in addition to the range of Nabisco biscuits, infrastructural enhancements enabling maximization in floor space utilization, improved ergonomics in equipment usage, and eco-friendly refrigerant gas air-conditioning units, said a statement from Kraft Foods.

In addition, the plant has undergone a remarkable increase in the employees’ facilities space from 450sq m to 1350 sq m to provide them with a better working environment.

Following the expansion, the Nabisco Arabia plant has a capital investment of around SR60 million ($16 million). The plant employs approximately 170 people from six different nationalities, of which around 30 per cent are Saudi, it added.

The new Oreo production line was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Lawrence MacDougall, president of Kraft Foods Middle East and Africa, Jean Marc Delpon De Vaux, president of Consumer Goods Division, Olayan Financing Company in the presence of Vishal Tikku, managing director GCC and Middle East Shared Services, Kraft Foods, Hamad A. Olayan, director of corporate affairs, Olayan Financing Co.

Commenting on the launch, MacDougall said: 'This announcement marks the expansion of our operations in the region and is a reflection of the increasing popularity of Nabisco brands, reinforcing our positioning as ‘a global snacks powerhouse’ not only internationally but also in the region.'

'Saudi Arabia is one of our strategic markets in the Middle East and Africa region. The expansion is also a manifestation of our decade long partnership with the Olayan group which is steadily growing,' he stated.

The new production line more than doubles the plant’s production capacity to better serve consumers in Saudi Arabia and the GCC region, and reflects on the popularity of Oreo cookies. Besides Oreo, the Nabisco Arabia plant also produces Ritz crackers, and Belvita biscuits, remarked MacDougall..

“We are very proud that our iconic brand Oreo, which has turned 100 years old only a few weeks ago, is witnessing unprecedented growth around the world, from the US to China and Asia, and from Latin America and Europe to Saudi Arabia and the other Arab countries.'

'Only a couple of weeks ago, the annual revenue of Oreo globally hit the $2 billion mark,' said an elated MacDougall.

Delpon De Vaux said: 'I’m pleased to celebrate another milestone in business growth today. We are proud of this factory’s achievement and our 50-year business relationship with Nabisco - Kraft.'

'We’re happy that the success of our joint business relationship led us to invest in doubling the capacity of this plant to meet the increasing demand of preferred biscuits - Oreo, Ritz and Belvita, in Saudi Arabia and the region,' he stated.

As one of the foremost manufacturers of biscuit products in Saudi, Nabisco Arabia continues to invest in increasing the production capacity of its plant. This expansion is one of the many significant milestones that the plant has achieved over the past decade.

Kraft Foods has been present in the GCC region through its products for many decades. In the last few years, the company invested heavily in broadening its snack platform, particularly chocolates, biscuits, gum and candy.

Today, Kraft Foods produces and markets some of the best brands in the world such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Flake, Trident, Ritz, Barni and of course the world’s best-selling cookie: Oreo.

Olayan comprises more than 40 companies operating in Saudi Arabia, GCC and Middle East and employs approximately 15,000 people led by the best national and foreign experienced professionals.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Saudi | Kraft Foods | production | plant | snacks | Olayan Group | biscuit | Nabisco |

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