Mazola eyes major growth after factory upgrade

By Eliot Beer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Middle east, North africa

Mazola eyes major growth after factory upgrade
Following a major manufacturing upgrade, Mazola in the Middle East is targeting 25% growth in sales over the next two years, and plans to extend its range of products.

Mazola, which is owned by the Rubaiyat Group in the Middle East and North Africa, and manufactured in the region by Basateen Foods Saudi Arabia, completed a project to quadruple its production capacity in December 2013. With the additional capacity in place, the firm intends to capitalise on its brand value and history.

Moving beyond corn oil

What we’re seeing now, over the past five or six years, is a change, from Mazola being the oil in the yellow bottle, to changing for modern consumers, looking not just at corn oil, but at sunflower oil, olive oil – more modern trends in the oil category that we need to move into, while keeping this quality, healthy image. We’ve moved out from being just a corn oil, yellow-bottle brand, and gone into sunflowers and olive oils, we’ve gone into mayonnaises with corn oil in, so they have health benefits​,” said Simon Gottfried, vice-president of Basateen Foods.

So that’s happened over the last few years, and as a result of that we’re having to invest heavily in a bigger factory now – we were at 105% production capacity there, because of new products, increases in market share, and so on. Late last year we completed a major expansion, which allows us to quadruple our production over the years to come. Hence the 25% growth – this is the growth we’re looking for over the short term​,” he added.

Gottfried said a certain amount of the growth has come organically, simply from moving production of certain products in-house following the factory upgrade. Before this, Mazola’s lack of additional capacity meant it had been outsourcing some production to third-party suppliers.

But the main element of the company’s growth plans is a move into new products and new product categories. In addition to the relatively new olive oil, sunflower oil and mayonnaise ranges, Mazola is looking to make the most of its brand capital and expand its reach.

Mazola is one of those brands with a great trustworthiness – everybody trusts Mazola, so we feel we’ve got a great brand that we can move into other product categories. Mazola is not just going to be an oil brand – it will be other products people can trust in. It will continue to be around a quality, health-conscious image, but there will be other areas, primarily in the cooking, ingredients side​,” said Gottfried.

North Africa plans

The company is also looking at expansion into North Africa, although Gottfried said the region offered a number of challenges, including instability and historically low prices. Despite this, Mazola is working on plans to enter these markets in the near future. 

Historically Mazola has been a core brand in the Middle East with limited development of the North African region, which falls under the [Basateen Foods] management operation for Mazola based in its head office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. While these markets are difficult to enter with various import protective tariffs, economic instabilities and supply chain issues, Mazola are planning launches into large consumer based countries by the year end​,” Gottfried said. 

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