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Masafi launches juice to expand Gulf presence

One of the region's best known bottled water producers hopes to gain a significant share of the GCC's juice sector.

Masafi, a UAE-based producer of bottled mineral water, has introduced a range of premium fresh juices to its portfolio as part of an ambitious plan to establish itself as a complete FMCG company.

Masafi, which is thought to have a 42% share of the bottled water sector in the UAE, launched its orange, apple, mango and tropical fruits juices at a launch party in Dubai in May.

The juices, which are available in one litre, two litre, 200 ml and 180 ml bottles, are already on sale in the UAE and will be available in other GCC countries including Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, in the next few months.

The juices differ from other products on the market by being free from additives. They are also bottled using a special heating process that kills any bacteria without affecting the flavour of the juice,” Tarek A. Megahed, a brand manager at Masafi told Retail News Middle East.

“We were focused to make a product that tastes as much like the real fruit as possible,” he said. “We are offering a premium product. We have spent six months just developing the different profiles to make them match the real fruit. I want people to taste our juices and see them as something completely different from whatever else is offered in the market.”

“We use a hot-filling technology that is the first of its kind in the region, so you have no preservatives and a full month’s shelf life."

This aspect of the juice could also help boost sales by allowing the drink to be displayed in the chilled and non-chilled sections of shops, increasing its visibility to the consumer.

“The juice can be put on the regular shelf as well as the cold shelf, unlike many of our competitors. That will give us much more visibility than anybody else in the market as of now,” Megahed said.

The juice will also have a strong presence across the UAE, not least because Masafi is distributing the juice to all of the retail outlets that stock its bottled water.

“The juice will be available from the top end of the trade such as the big supermarkets and hypermarkets to the lower end, which includes the groceries,” Megahed said. “We will also have the home delivery facility which we already have for water,” he added.

The launch is being supported by an AED12 million advertising campaign including billboards, cinema, newspaper and radio advertising. This campaign will initially be staged across the UAE, and will be rolled out across Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar in the next few months.

“We want to be one of the heavyweights in the juice industry. There are heavyweight players in the industry at the moment and we want to take a big share of that,” Megahed said.

Masafi plans to unveil more product categories to build further on its market reputation. Masafi, whose share in the local bottled water market is about 47%, exports 30% of its bottled water to countries including Oman, Kuwait, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria.

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