The deal will see Chocodate for sale in all UK Tesco stores by Christmas this year. Up to this point the supermarket had been carrying Chocodate products on a limited trial, which saw sales of 150,000 boxes of the Dubai-made chocolate-covered dates.
“We are very pleased with our partnership with Tesco and are confident that the transparency and business ethic of both teams will only reap positive results for all,” said Notions founder and CEO Fawaz Masri.
Global brand building
Including the UK, Notions has completed distribution deals in nine international markets in 2014, and is aiming to add another before the end of the year. Its new export markets include Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland and the USA – in total the firm now distributes Chocodate to more than 50 countries around the world.
“Structured export markets are fairly new for the Chocodate brand; we began the exercise a few years ago when we started noticing an increase in demand across various parts of the Far East. The UAE remains our biggest market to date and represents 50% of our total sales volume; we hope to replicate the brand equity established here over the last 20 years in other markets around the world,” said Masri.
“Whilst global export currently accounts for 50% of our sales, our projections to bypass GCC markets by far in the coming years as we eventually transform Chocodate into a global brand,” he added.
Notions, which also makes other snack food products, is investing heavily in its production facilities in anticipation of global expansion. Along with its Dubai factory the firm also operates a plant in Saudi Arabia, its second-largest market, producing savoury snacks.
“We have already invested more than US$13.6m in expanding our UAE operation and have more than doubled our production capacity to meet the growing demand for our Chocodate brand. Our new facilities in Dubai Investments Park are much larger and more sophisticated and have enabled us to boost our output exponentially to cope with our team’s global expansion efforts,” Masri said.
“This was an essential part of our strategy, which involves dealing with some of the largest retailers and distributors around the world. Our current facilities are well equipped to accommodate further expansion in the future – up to triple our current capacity; these will be activated based on further increases in global demand,” he added.