“This is to achieve food self-sufficiency for Qatar”, Maher Eldaly, the firm’s senior market director told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Qatar has the 2030 vision and all companies take part in it. One team, one dream,” he added.
Qatar was slapped with an economic and trade blockade from its Arab neighbours since the middle of 2017, which prompted the nation to beef up its food production capabilities.
For Baladna, it is boosting the nation’s food sector by diversifying its product range. It currently sells fresh milk, laban (fermented milk derived food or beverage) and ayran (yogurt based beverage), cheese, sweets and UHT milk.
Its new addition – fruit juice – will come in six different flavours, namely orange, apple, pineapple, pomegranate, fruit mix, and tropical fruit mix.
The fruit juices, said to be 100% natural without added sugar, colour additives or preservatives, have been available for sale in Qatar since early April.
“We have lots of innovations coming to the Qatari market, especially with regards to juice. We have just started the journey with regards to producing juice…The products are available in many supermarkets and hypermarkets, including Lulu.
“Before the beginning of this holy month of Ramadan, our juice products will be available in almost all retail outlets across the country,” Eldaly told local media The Peninsula.
The firm has already achieved 100% self-sufficiency in fresh milk production and have acquired nearly 95% of the market share.
As for other dairy products, such as laban and yogurt, the firm has met nearly 51% and 49% of the local market share respectively.
Two months ago, it also launched the nation’s first locally produced UHT milk.
According to the World Food Security Index, Qatar ranks 22th in the index, higher than some of its neighbours, including the UAE (31st), Oman (29th), and Kuwait (28th).
Besides supplying the domestic market, Baladna are also plans to export its milk products.
To which, Eldaly said that everything was still “work in progress.”
According to Al Jazeera, the company is already shipping dairy products to Afghanistan. The report added that shipments to Afghanistan was just the beginning and the firm plans to reach large number of markets outside of Qatar.
As for exporting its fruit juice products, Eldaly said that that would “depends on the need from the overseas markets.”