Al-Rawabis Dr El Tigani optimistic about prospects for functional dairy

Al-Rawabi's Dr El Tigani optimistic about prospects for functional dairy

This week, Wrigley confirmed it is building a new gum plant in Kenya to help expand in a number of African markets. US confectioner BBX Sweet Holdings announced the acquisition of local peer Kencraft Candy, while FrieslandCampina revealed plans to close its cheese packing plant in Lochem. We also interviewed the general manager of Al-Rawabi, Dr Ahmed El Tigani, who told us about the UAE dairy company's recent move into functional dairy. Here is the week in quotes.

"We are keen to leverage on Africa’s rising economic prospects and to further expand our footprint on the continent. With the rapidly expanding middle class and youthful population, we see our products becoming more and more integrated into people’s lifestyles" - a spokesperson for Wrigley comments on the announcement the Mars Inc owned company is to build a new gum plant in Kenya.

"As we focus on continuing to extend our reach into the confections industry, the acquisition of Kencraft Candy is a great strategic fit and expands our unique and growing number of product offerings in the confectionery category" - Jarett Levan, the CEO of US confectioner BBX Sweet Holdings on the firm's latest acquisition of Kencraft Candy.

"When we started, people only looked on the product for production and expiry dates. Nowadays they look at everything, ingredients, vitamins and minerals" - Dr. Ahmed El Tigani, general manager of Al Rawabi, the UAE dairy making a foray into functional food, says people are demanding much more from their foods today.

"There are opportunistic, profit-driven initiatives involved in the halal market. That caused many problems in non-regulated countries, as anyone can set up a body to be halal, and off you go, with no good auditing or accreditation, which hurts the industry" - Rafi-uddin Shikoh, CEO and managing director of researchers DinarStandard says the lack of a single, consistent halal certifying strategy is a real bone of contention within the halal industry.

"Hot sauces and bold flavours are rapidly growing in popularity and the Original Louisiana hot sauce products have helped drive that growth. We’re excited about this addition, as it strengthens our retail portfolio and gives us more products to sell to our foodservice and industrial customers" - Linda Owens, president of US group Southeastern Mills, comments on the company's acquisition of Bruce Foods' The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce.

"We firmly believe that we have correctly claimed exemption of excise duty. We also firmly believe that our executives acted in good faith and within the law in the decision to claim excise benefit in respect of our plant in Baddi" - a spokesperson for Mondelez International says the snacks giant will appeal a US$92m tax bill in India, for what is alleged to be a "phantom factory".

"We will then thoroughly inspect the facility for any possible problems that may have led to the contamination of some of our ice cream products in the past few weeks" - a spokesperson for US firm Blue Bell Creameries confirms suspension of production at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma site in the wake of a listeria outbreak linked to three fatalities.

"By cutting costs and capitalising on the need for new packaging concepts FrieslandCampina wants to improve its competitive position on the growing European market for sliced and pre-packed cheese" - FrieslandCampina announces the closure of a cheese packing plant in Lochem, a move which sees 139 jobs axed.

"China has decided to sue the EU with the aim of defending the principle of free trade and the interest of our poultry businesses" - Chen Fuli, deputy director for China's department of treaty and law within its Ministry of Commerce says Chinese exporters "pay higher tariffs" to sell their products to Europe.

"Most consumers in countries like Egypt, Morocco or Tunisia are currently not aware of the concept and the benefits of organic food and large parts of the population in these countries are unable to afford these premium products" - Natalia Gorzawski, research analyst at Euromonitor International says the rise of organic food in the Middle East and north Africa has not been seen across the region.