Manny Pacquiao’s coffee brand packs a punch in the Middle East as distributor expands Filipino range

Oh So Healthy (OSH) is a Philippines-based healthy snack company that produces fruit crisps. Pacquiao 3-in-1 Coffee is a brand co-owned and developed by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, which only launched in the Philippines in April of this year.

SandBox hopes to launch them in supermarkets and health food stores across the UAE by June and July respectively.

For OSH and Pacquiao 3-in-1 coffees, SandBox supports manufacturers with halal certification and relabelling work, including Arabic translation.

Pacquiao himself worked on the product development process and on the manufacturer to produce his coffee. The coffee is enriched with moringa extract (malunggay), which is rich in antioxidants.

We hope to capitalize on the wellness trend and at the same time expand our reach to a wider audience beyond Filipino overseas workers.”Said Lito German, CEO of SandBox.

There is talk of Manny Pacquiao fighting Mikey Garcia in the UAE in July, which could help build brand awareness for the coffee brand in the region.

Pacquiao 3-in-1 coffee is currently made in the Philippines and SandBox is working with the manufacturer to dedicate a production line including filling, packaging and labeling to meet demand in the CCG market.

We work closely with the manufacturer on a dedicated line to ensure we have a constant supply», Said the German FoodNavigator-Asia.

SandBox is also the exclusive distributor of other Filipino brands including Delimondo (corned beef) and Arce Dairy (ice cream).

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Its distribution network covers the CCG region as well as selected territories across Europe.

Currently, most of the products it imports and distributes come from the Philippines due to its existing connections.

Channel broadcast in United Arab Emirates

SandBox distributes its products on four channels in the United Arab Emirates, serving more than 300 establishments.

Its biggest channel are the mom-and-pop stores which are located on the ground floors of many apartment buildings. This chain represents more than 50% of its activity.

German says its presence in this channel is a unique selling proposition for brands.

Its second largest channel is through the major supermarket chains in the United Arab Emirates, which account for around 30% of its business.

The catering channel represents 15% and e-commerce, including Amazon, Talabat and Noon, represents 3%.

German said the e-commerce channel was just starting to grow, after being accelerated by the pandemic, with the initial reception of Filipino brands proving positive.

Delimondo became the new top-selling item during the first hour of trading on Amazon in February and is now ranked in the top 10 best-selling food and grocery products on the site.

German said its main consumers were the large UAE-based Filipino expat community, followed by South Asians such as Indians and Pakistanis.

Western expats, especially from the UK, were a secondary target group.

Unique challenges

German told us that the Middle East region has a unique food import proposition.

On the one hand, halal certification is necessary. In addition, excise duties on sugar are relatively high.

The packaging also had to adapt to the local culture, which includes the Arabic translation.

Business plan

Despite COVID-19 restrictions in the Philippines and production issues, Sandbox still projects gross revenue of US $ 10.2 million in 2021.

This will come from the total sales of all product lines in our GCC markets.», Said the German.

Despite the recent blockade of the Suez Canal, German said there had been no impact on its supply chain.

SandBox is currently in talks with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to introduce the four Filipino food brands to these markets in the near future.

It is also in discussions with brands in other markets and hopes to introduce GCC consumers to sauces from the United States, fruit from Egypt and coffee from Southeast Asia.

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About Jeffery L. Parker

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