King of honey

Honey King intends to grow its Middle Eastern sales by 30% in the next few years.

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By  Roger Field Published  February 1, 2006

HONEY King International Fze, a UAE and India-based refiner and marketer honey, is planning to open a new production plant in Ras Al Kama, Dubai, to help grow its Middle Eastern sales by about 30%. The new plant, which will cover 10,000 sq ft and have a workforce of about 75 people, will be capable of refining some 3000 metric tons of honey in its first year. Honey King already has a sales and marketing team of 12 people in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, and has its main production plant in India. “In the last year we had a US $6 million turnover in the Middle East,” Rudi Hertogs, managing director, Honey King, told RNME. “We want to increase that to at least $8 million or $9 million, which we hope to achieve through new innovations. “This will make us more flexible to import more types of honey and do different types of blendings, which will also help us to further expand our business in the region.” Hertogs added that Honey King, which produces honey for wholesalers’ own-label brands, including Al Maya Group’s Golden Glory brand and Lals Group’s Classic brand, will continue to concentrate on this market. “What we provide is basically a business solution for a lot of other importers, because each of them are looking to build their own brands,” he said. “Our marketing budget is more limited, so we will do it on a soft approach,” he added. “We have no intention to bring the Honey King label on the market. We want to fill in the niche market, which is personalisation for each client. We already have 38% of the region’s own-label honey market, and we’re aiming to reach 50% by the end of 2006.” The fractured nature of the market is particularly suitable for Honey King, which sources, blends, and packs honey, often in containers its own designers have created. Hertogs said there is a niche for producers such as Honey King in the Middle East, owing to significant differences in the honey markets of various GCC countries. In Saudi Arabia there is a big market for honey marketed in special packaging, such as beehive style mugs, and some of the larger branded honey producers are unable to tap this market owing to economies of scale. “A niche market was created, which we successfully filled in,” Hertogs said.

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