The building of a new plant in Oman is underway and construction is expected to complete in the next five to six months.
The firm, which was founded 15 years ago, is currently operating three plants in Iran. Its main products include 70 types of cheese, milk powder, cream, and butter.
FoodNavigator-Asia spoke to Ali Khani, export manager at Dorin Poudr during the Gulfood Manufacturing show to find out more about the firm’s ambitions.
He said that the new plant in Oman would not only serve the local market, but was also a strategic move for facilitating smoother export procedures.
“We are looking for easier ways to export to other countries…Exporting from Oman is easier."
“For example, from Oman to Iraq, they are both Arabic countries, and there is no custom tariff (between the two countries). It is very easy for us.”
At present, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan are the firm’s export destinations.
Iraq the biggest importer
Iraq is Dorin Poudr’s largest importer and is responsible for up to 90% of its exports, Khani revealed.
Seen as a breakfast option, processed cheese, cream cheese, and cheddar are the most popular products amongst Iranian consumers.
“Sometimes, we make a new product only for the Iraqi market, and we can gain an extra market with that new product,” he said.
In contrast, mozzarella cheese is more popular in the Iranian market.
Product popularity could be attributed to the types of sales channels that the firm engages. For instance, while the firm mostly works with pizza chains and restaurants in Iran, supermarkets are their only partners in Iraq.
On the other hand, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain a small export market for the firm, with each contributing only about 5% of its total exports. Whey and milk powder are the only exports to the two markets.
Khani explained that the difference in products exported could be attributed to the issue of affordability, especially for Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan is a very price sensitive country. As quality is very important to us, we don’t want lower our quality because of price pressure. We make the top quality products and the price is more expensive, but the wholesalers in Afghanistan are not interested to pay more for quality.”
He pointed out that the cheese produced by the firm could be 50% to 60% more expensive than those sold in Afghanistan.