Saudi beverage giant eyes global market
The Saudi-based Aujan Group, which entered into a USD 1 billion deal with Coca-Cola Company in December 2011, has announced its plans to actively pursue growth opportunities in the global market.
Under the joint venture agreement, Aujan has split into two businesses. One of the companies, called Rani Refreshments, will market and develop products of the Rani and Barbican brands. The manufacturing and distribution of products will be handled by Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company (ACCB). The deal does not cover Aujan’s Vimto brand, which will also be distributed by ACCB.
Currently, the company maintains a 14 per cent market share in Saudi Arabia and a nine per cent share in the UAE. However, Roland Ebelt, general manager of Rani Refreshments, believes that, “ beyond this, there is also the international market. We have seen that having fruit pieces in juice is extremely appealing in Asia and Africa and our aim is to expand in those markets. In all these markets, Coca-Cola is already sold through a local butler on the ground and we are looking at partnering with them to help us expand”.
Although the company does not plan to launch any new brands in the coming months, it will seek to consolidate its position in the market by introducing line extensions of existing brands, with new flavors and options. The company will invest in research technology from its own R&D center in Dubai and Coca-Cola’s R&D centers from across the world for this purpose.
The joint venture is being viewed as key for streamlining business operations and benefiting from the company’s experience in undertaking future innovation projects. By developing a greater partnership with Coca-Cola, the Aujan Group is poised for rapid regional growth in a highly competitive and dynamic market.