By Roger Field
Major food producer, Al Ghurair, plans to capture 15% of the noodle business by marketing it to children.
Al Ghurair, a leading UAE-based food producer is aiming to capture a 15% share of the region's noodles market in the next five years, with the launch of its Jenan Instant Noodles range. The noodles, which are available in fried chicken, onion chicken, curried chicken and vegetable flavours, are being launched in the UAE, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, and will appear in Saudi Arabia in a couple of months.
Unlike its main rivals, Al Ghurair is aiming its noodles range specifically at children, and to this end the brand has an animal theme, with each variant represented by one of four characters, a lion, an elephant, a camel and a giraffe.
The decision to design the brand for children is based on research indicating that children are the biggest consumers of noodles, according Mr A. Rami, noodles marketing manager, Al Ghurair. The product is also fortified with vitamins and minerals including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, making it more healthy for children.
"People started buying noodles for their kids, who got used to them," he said. "Then the whole market grew. If you look at the market annually it is growing by about 10% a year, which is considered to be very high." He added that the noodles market started in the Middle East about 10 years ago and that about 27,000 metric tonnes of noodles, worth about US $65 million a year, are sold in the GCC and Levant.
The product launch is being backed up by a media campaign consisting of TV advertising and print media, aimed at families. Al Ghurair will also be offering some consumer promotions.