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Vitaene C drinks to good health

Distributor NTDE hopes to increase sales of health drink Vitaene C by 60% in some GCC markets.

National Trading and Developing Est (NTDE), the sole UAE distributor of Japanese health drink Vitaene C, is planning to enter new markets across the region and to reposition the product as a family drink, in a bid to drive sales increases by up to 60%.

In the initial stages of the marketing strategy, NTDE, which distributes Vitaene C in Iran and all GCC countries except for Saudi Arabia, is concentrating on the UAE market and is promoting the drink through a marketing strategy including product samplings and advertising through cinemas and high-street posters.

The campaign, which started in April 2006 with the slogan ‘Healthy Boost’ aims to target consumers of energy drinks who are looking for a healthier alternative. “We have already reached about 500,000 people so far through sampling in universities, and supermarkets across the UAE,” Hussain Al Zubaidee, director of NTDE’s consumer division, told Retail News Middle East.

“We are investing huge budgets in the UAE market. This is the third year we are going on full-fledged marketing with a movie campaign and lamp post advertising. We have a plan to go on TV in 2007,” he added.

Furthermore, the new advertising campaign, which will follow on from advertising carried out last year will be instrumental in positioning Vitaene C as a healthy family drink. “Last year, we had an advert featuring a family of mother, father and son. This year is father and son,” Al Zubaidee added.

NTDE also plans to promote the drink for its healthy ingredients. “It’s [Vitaene C] manufactured in Japan and contains a mix of vitamins that are prepared based on the average daily requirement,” Al Zubaidee said. “The drink contains the daily recommended requirement of 100 mg of vitamin C, B2, B6 and niacin.”

Al Zubaidee is convinced that the 60% growth experienced by Vitaene C in the past year can be sustained, largely by tapping markets across the GCC where the drink lacks a significant presence. While the UAE is the biggest market for the drink in the GCC, followed by Oman, NTDE is in the process of launching the drink in Yemen, Jordan, and eventually Egypt.

“So far the product has grown by an average of 60% a year,” Al Zubaidee said. “Our expectation is that we can keep the momentum of this percentage of growth. We are already ahead of the category growth. We will be in Yemen within six months. Jordan in one year and Egypt in about three years time.”

NTDE is also looking at the Saudi Arabian market, but is being careful to ensure that it has its strategy for Vitaene C perfected before launching in the country. "The plan is to position the product well and we feel that we have to strengthen our base," Al Zubaidee said. "We don’t want to go to Saudi Arabia with a humble entry. It’s a very big market and a big investment, and we are waiting for the right time to go ahead with it to make it a success."

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