Scotland's mystery blend will be available across the region by next year, reveals Jina Aouini from Dubai's JIG.
How did the company assess the brand's appeal in this market?
After our successful participation at Gulfood this February, Jeffrey International Group gauged the true market potential for the launch of the IRN-BRU brand into the Middle Eastern Market and was inundated with potential distributor enquiries from many countries in the region.
This led to successful orders being taken, and the signing up of strategic distribution partners in a number of key countries.
We are just filling the gap of a deprived sector with no new major brand entries into the region.
What are your plans for IRN-BRU's expansion in the future?
Jeffrey International Group has embarked on an extensive market development strategy, which will see the brand being made available thought the MENA region by mid 2009.
This is realistic and achievable by giving focus on below the line activity in the region. IRN-BRU will be a key player in the region and a recognised brand given the level of support we plan to offer to our distribution partners in the region.
Once 2009 is reached then above the line activity would further endorse the awareness.
How will the firm maximise brand awareness?
We have a wide range of consumer promotions planned throughout the year, and are working closely with strategic marketing partners on cross promoting IRN-BRU extensively. We run a joint promotion with Grand Cinemas at 22 locations this summer for the second year.
As for customer purchasing behaviour we have a focus group which meets once a month and reviews our activities and plans. This gives us an unprecedented insight into the consumer trends.
The group has members from different backgrounds, ages and cultures, and reports back with comments and suggestions, which shape our plans for the activities.
In addition, we subscribe to various data insights and take regular note of current affairs of the region and use them to the benefit of offering the customer with a lifestyle to go alongside our product.
How will IRN-BRU stand out in the CSD category?
IRN-BRU is a soft drink with a taste like no other thanks to its unique blend of mixed fruit flavours and plant extracts, which has kept the world in mystery for many years.
The recipe is a highly guarded secret and only two people in the world have access to it. IRN-BRU'S original and indescribable taste offers the consumer something different from the normal range of conventional soft drinks on offer and allows incremental category sales in a crowded marketplace.
Why has the brand proved so popular among consumers?
There are now more than 20,000 Scottish citizens in the UAE and with our close relationship with the Dubai Caledonian Society, we have been able to ensure the awareness of the availability of their native Scottish product is known. Furthermore, consumers tell us that IRN-BRU's unique formulation makes it an excellent and refreshing drink to accompany spicy food.
IRN-BRU is also drawing Middle Eastern customers, as it is an ideal accompanying drink with a Shisha. Furthermore IRN-BRU is an alternative in a fairly dormant market. So we are just filling the gap of a deprived sector with no new major brand entries into the region.
What is the scale of the company and its background in the Middle East?
Jeffrey International Group has a team of over 4000 employees worldwide, and our filling partner Ugarit Factory of Syria boasts a multi-line, multi-filling site amongst one of the largest in the region.Primarily a family business, Jeffrey International Group (JIG) is one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in Dubai.
Established in 1991, the company boasts annual revenue in excess of AED 14 billion (US $3.8bn) per annum. JIG operates from Dubai, London, New York and Damascus, with an emphasis on Middle East growth, and the Dubai office is the main hub of all international activities.
Where is the brand now available, and what are your strongest markets?
IRN-BRU, our best selling brand, is available in Oman and Iraq, and we signed exclusive distribution agreements recently with companies that are distribution leaders in their territories, including the UAE, KSA, Syria, Egypt and Bahrain, and the first shipments were dispatched last month.
All our markets are equally important, but since our sales and marketing office is operating from Dubai, we give a certain importance to the UAE. Despite being the toughest market, it is the one looked upon for the success of brands regionally.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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