Can chocolate-covered dates become UAE national export?

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Chocodates prove their worth as the "star" product drive company growth forward
Chocodates prove their worth as the "star" product drive company growth forward

Related tags United arab emirates Saudi arabia Arabian peninsula

Dubai-based confectionery company Notions Group is eyeing new export markets for its flagship product Chocodate, which it claims can lure consumers looking for authentic Arabian confectionery. 

Notions Group has been manufacturing the chocolate covered, almond stuffed dates for more than 20 years, yet it is only recently that the now global company has seen its most significant growth. 

Fawaz Masri, Founder & CEO of Notions Group told ConfectioneryNews: “Our aim is to have Chocodate shipped globally and we are in talks with more than 30 new markets to add to the standing 40.”​   

The company is currently investing around $10 million in the expansion of its Dubai and Saudi Arabia manufacturing units in an attempt to create space for future growth.

The changes, which will double the size of the Saudi snack food factory from 50,000 ft² to 100,000 ft², are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“Mainly it will be for adding more capacity and adding more categories in snack foods and dedicating a special area for a very sophisticated logistical handling of our export activities,”​ said Masri.

In light of these developments, the company expects to see 30% growth in 2013 and witness a 50% growth in operations by 2014, mainly because of this additional capacity.

'Taste of Arabia'

Notions has built a solid global market with Russia, China, Malaysia and the Far East making up some of their biggest markets. The branding of Chocodate as an essential “taste of Arabia” has been vital in their export success.

“The date is very synonymous with Arabia and is perhaps one of the healthiest natural ingredients in the world. When we developed the Chocodate concept, the main aim was to create a product that would symbolize Arabia and make westerners, who would have otherwise not been familiar with this ingredient, want to ship it home with them,”​ said Masri.

Masri sees this branding as essential in the global progress of Chocodate, and aims to create a similar effect to that of Turkish Delights for Turkey.

“We wanted to create that effect with a brand from Dubai, home of the Chocodate. Our biggest sales generate from the Dubai Duty Free which confirms that consumer do enjoy the idea of taking a piece of Arabia home with them,​ “ said the CEO.

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1 comment


Posted by Elisabeth,

Great idea. Please ship a giant box to Wisconsin. Some with milk chocolate, some with dark, some stuffed with pistachios, some stuffed with almonds, some unstuffed. For value-added, use the leftover bits and dip those in chocolate, like raisinets.

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