Dubai firm keen to bring Brazilian drink to Mideast

Raheb Industrial Group eyes joint venture to produce Guarana Antarctica drink in the region
Dubai firm keen to bring Brazilian drink to Mideast
Brazilian soft drink Guarana Antarctica.
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 20 May 2011 11:31 AM

A Dubai food and beverage company is keen to set up a joint venture with the producer of a popular Brazilian soft drink to bring it to the Middle East.

Raheb Industrial Group said it wants to set up a production unit in Dubai to manufacture Guarana Antarctica, Brazil's second best-selling soft drink brand behind Coca-Cola.

CEO Shahram Raheb said he was interested in making the UAE the fourth production base for the drink after Brazil, Portugal and Japan.

He plans to meet representatives from Ambev, the producer of the drink, to make a formal proposal.

"We have millions of dollars to invest in this project,” he said, without elaborating.

"I want to introduce Guarana to the market in the Middle East, as it does not yet know the drink,” said Raheb in comments published by the Arab Brazil News Agency.

He said importing the product was not an option because freight costs from Brazil, where the company is headquartered, would make Guarana more expensive and "would make sales impossible".

"The idea would be to import the concentrate, the Guarana essence, and from there produce the beverage,” he said.

Raheb's comments came at the 27th edition of the Management Congress and International Supermarket Business Fair in Sao Paulo.

Guarana was developed in Brazil by Antarctica in 1921 but is not yet sold in the Arab world.

Raheb said he believes that Guarana would be very successful in the Middle East and Africa region.

“We drink Orangina there and the taste is similar to that of Guarana. Our company bottles mineral water, and also sells concentrated juice. We know the sector and have all that is necessary to be successful there,” added Raheb.

Guarana Antarctica is one of the 15 best-selling soft drink brands in the world and is the official sponsor of the Brazilian national football team.

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