The firm, which is run as a farmers’ co-operative, has launched its cranberry and mixed-juice drinks across the GCC, offering 1 litre, 1.89 litre (64 Oz) cartons, and 250ml and 200ml Tetra Packs. Juice imported to the region will be produced in Europe or the US, and Ocean Spray’s distributors are currently ramping up distribution across the region.
“We are very excited to bring Ocean Spray brand products to the GCC where we believe people will be very receptive to the brand, especially in the UAE. This multi-cultural society enjoys an eating out lifestyle and at the same time is becoming more and more health conscious,” said Tara Levine, EMEA managing director for Ocean Spray.
According to the company, Ocean Spray products will be stocked in major supermarket chains including Panda, Lulu, Carrefour, Tamini, Almaya, Spinneys, Waitrose, and Co-Op. The firm also plans to introduce its drinks into petrol station forecourt shops, as well as cafes, restaurants and hotels.
The new distribution agreements replace Ocean Spray’s previous arrangements, where its products had limited availability in only a small number of retailers. With the increased availability in the region, the company is now making a bigger push to promote its products.
“Ocean Spray has only made its grand splash recently in the GCC- increasing distribution levels, product range and product availability. The company is also hugely focused on investing and growing awareness of the benefits of drinking Ocean Spray Cranberry juice and feel it is essential that the consumers recognize the unique properties and health attributes of cranberries,” said Rob Newman, business development manager EMEA at Ocean Spray.
Growth, and competition
He added that the GCC was an attractive market for fruit juice brands: “According to market data shown from Canadean, in 2013 the fruit juice category within the GCC region was previously at around 400 million cases – this number has been growing at close to double digit levels in recent years. Therefore, Ocean Spray’s focus at this stage is to expand the distribution and availability of Ocean Spray products within the Middle East.”
However, in markets such as Saudi Arabia, Ocean Spray may face a tough fight. Research firm Euromonitor reports that while volume sales of fruit and vegetable juice grew an average of 5% per year up to 2012, the value of the market grew barely 1% year-on-year, due to heavy competition between local producers such as Al Rabie, Abuljadayel, Aujan and Almarai.