UAE dairy firm Al Ain Farms seeks to make a splash with first bottled water release
It is marketed under the brand name H20. The water is sourced from Hatta, a town in UAE.
Milana Boskovic, the head of marketing at Al Ain Farms told FoodNavigator-Asia it is the first water product the company has launched, alongside other categories already being retailed.
The company produces mostly dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, camel milk as well as poultry, juice and sports drinks. Largely known as a dairy company, Al Ain Farms hopes to be a leading local food and beverage company by 2021, with new product launches such as bottled water.
Low sodium water
Boskovic told us the motivation behind the low sodium water was the increasing health awareness among consumers.
“As health concerns are rising, people are more aware of what they are consuming, and generally we consume a lot of sodium in our diet.
Water is the purest form of liquid with natural benefits for the body, and making it low sodium can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, and contribute to complete hydration of the body for it to function optimally,” Boskovic explained.
Al Ain Farms H20 water contain less than 5mg/L of sodium. In comparison, an article on Gulf News in 2017 found most bottled water in UAE contain sodium below 20mg/L.
Sodium levels in Evian was 6.5mg/L, Voss (5mg/L), Masafi (10mg/L), and Aquafina (3mg/L), according to the article.
Al Ain (not associated to Al Ain Farms) released a low sodium version water (Al Ain Zero) which contained less than 1mg/L. Its original water product contained 8mg/L of sodium.
Boskovic said Al Ain Farms bottled water can be found in farms shops owned by Al Ain Farms, as well as all major convenience stores in UAE.
It retails for 0.45 AED (330mL), 0.5 AED (500mL), and 1 AED (1.5L). This corresponds to US$0.12 to 0.27.
The company is currently working on optimising its juice range on the back of the recently introduced sugar tax.
Al Ain Farms runs four farms under its brand, its dairy, juice, camel milk, and poultry (chicken and eggs).
The company will open a new farm in the Al Ain area by the end of 2020 which can hold more cows, and increase its dairy production.
In terms of increasing food security in the country, the UAE government is extending its support to local manufacturers to help them transit into a fully scale self-sufficient enterprise.
It is investing heavily into the local production of fruits and vegetables, supporting locally based dairy, especially camel dairy where it wants to promote and preserve it as part of the local history and food habits of UAE.