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Mon 1 Jan 2007 03:53 PM

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Lipton completes expansion plan

Unilever Arabia, one of the region's leading FMCG producers, has doubled the production capacity at its Jebel Ali, UAE-based Lipton tea factory, after completing a two-year expansion plan

Unilever Arabia, one of the region's leading FMCG producers, has doubled the production capacity at its Jebel Ali, UAE-based Lipton tea factory, after completing a two-year expansion plan. The plant, which produces tea under the Lipton and Brooke Bond brands, is set to become the second biggest tea manufacturing factory in the world, according to Unilever Arabia.

Unilever, which is the single largest producer of well-known brands of packet tea in the world, views the development as a milestone for its business in the Middle East.

Tea plays an important role in Unilever's business, as it is the single largest producer of well-known brands of packet tea in the world through the Lipton and Brooke Bond brands. Lipton, the world's leading tea brand, is available in more than 120 countries. In the GCC, the brand is the undisputed market leader, with more than 70% share of the market.

The facility now produces a variety of black, green and specialty teas in numerous formats, including premium-flavoured tea made with pyramid shaped tea bags.

Unilever established the first fully automated tea factory in 1998 in Jebel Ali Free Zone and the site's production capacity has increased from 10,000 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes since that time. About a third of Unilever Jebel Ali tea bag's production is exported to more than 45 countries, including Canada and Eastern European countries.

Jan Zijderverld, chairman, Unilever Middle East, said: "We are very proud of the success of this factory and its position as one of the worlds' largest supplier of branded tea. Our investment to build a state of the art Lipton Tea factory is a testament of our continuing confidence in the future of this region and reinforces Dubai's reputation as a global tea hub.

"After water, tea is the most popular non-alcoholic beverage in the world long appreciated for its unique ability to refresh, relax and revive.

"Today, more tea is drunk around the world than coffee and carbonated soft drinks combined," Zijderverld went on to explain.

"Understanding the role that tea plays in people's lives and creatively applying our consumer insights have helped drive our factory to become one of the world's largest suppliers of branded tea."

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