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Tue 10 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

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JIG fuels ‘original’ CSD threat

Dubai-based company firms up its strategy for ‘truly unique' IRN-BRU after expanding distribution reach and signing Syrian filling deal.

Dubai’s Jeffrey International Group (JIG) has signed a contract filling agreement for the Scottish beverage brand IRN-BRU with UGARIT Trading Company in Syria, “a strategic location for manufacturing.”

The move to capitalise on its “quality control procedures to ensure the consistency and the high standards of IRN-BRU” is part of wider ambitions for the group to “endorse our position” in the CSD sector, said Jina Aouini, managing director, Consumer Products Division.

“Through manufacturing here, Jeffrey International Group is offering better options for distributors and importers in the Middle East through cheaper shipping costs and shorter lead times to different destinations.”

According to Aouini, the expansion of the Scottish CSD brand into new Middle East markets would bring new consumers into and grow the category, after signing exclusive distribution agreements for the UAE, KSA, Syria, Egypt and Bahrain.

“IRN-BRU does not cannibalise any current brand in the market, if anything it complements current CSD products. Effective communication about the uniqueness of the brand is vital.

“This is being achieved by extensive below the line marketing activities in each country where IRN-BRU will be available. We envisage our above the line activities to commence in early 2009.”

IRN BRU’s arrival will bring “for the first time in years, a truly unique CSD that will appeal to retailers as IRN-BRU will occupy its own segment.”

The “extensive market development strategy,” which will result in full availability across the MENA region by mid 2009. “This is realistic and achievable by giving focus to 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.”

Success will be reliant on “clear and targeted communication, which we are able to achieve with the help our creative and marketing team as well as regular input from focus groups and market insight information,” and the group has already targeted the UAE’s Scottish population.

She revealed that the group is also set to launch an in-house brand by the end of this year.

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