SIG Combibloc Obeikan strengthens market position in KSA, Middle East and Africa.
SIG Combibloc Obeikan FZCO and SIG Combibloc Obeikan Company Ltd., the joint venture companies created between SIG Com-bibloc, Germany, and the Saudi-based Obeikan Industrial Investment Group, are rapidly strengthening their positions as leading companies in KSA, Middle East and Africa providing aseptic beverage carton and the corresponding filling machines.
SIG Combibloc Obeikan FZCO, responsible for market operations, is based in Du-bai. SIG Combibloc Obeikan Company Ltd., responsible for sleeves operations, is located in Riyadh.Two major milestone initiatives have been accomplished in 2005 by the joint venture companies which are the foundation for its growth strategy within these emerging markets.
The first is the recent announcement of the alliance with Almarai Company Ltd., one of the largest food exporters in the Middle East and a leading brand name for milk and juice products throughout the Arabian subcontinent. The second is the completion and start-up of the state-of-the-art packaging plant located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Partnership with Almarai
The partnership with Almarai has given birth to an agreement for a total of eight new filling machines from SIG Combibloc to be installed and commissioned in the manufacturing plants of the Almarai Company Limited – six in 2005 and one in 2006 and another one in 2007.
The CEO of Almarai Company Limited, Abdul Rahman A. Al Fadley, recently stated: “Our decision is based on the level of innovation, flexibility and cost efficiency of the packaging systems offered by SIG Combibloc.” Almarai is one of the biggest food exporters in the Middle East. Amongst consumers in the Middle East, the products of Almarai - which means “green meadows” - are a synonym of freshness and qual-ity. The company employs close to 4,000 people.
W. Walter Schäfers, Head of Global Market Operations at SIG Combibloc, regards the expanded cooperation with Almarai as an important step towards consolidating the business activities in Saudi-Arabia and the neighbouring Gulf states. “The con-tract awarded by the Almarai Company Limited confirms once again that our joint venture in Dubai is running smoothly and that our packaging systems are a re-sponse to customer needs worldwide”, comments W. Walter Schäfers.
Almarai’s long life product range contains milk and milk mix products along with a range of juices - from exotic to the classic. The drive towards true positive differen-tiation has led Almarai to re-launch its long-life juice and milk products in a variety of package formats from SIG Combibloc.
For its full range of long-life juices, Almarai has selected combifitPremium (1.000 ml). The combifit package format series from SIG Combibloc offers a great scope of eye-catching appearance on the shelves. The combifitPremium with the screw cap combiTwist clearly goes further in differentiating the Almarai milk products and juices from those of its competitors in the market.
In total, combifitPremium package formats in one litre sizes highlight Almarais’ juice range which includes juice classics such as Orange and Apple as well as the exotic juices, Mango Mix and Mixed Cocktail. To fill products into combifit a tried-and-tested combibloc filling machine and an ACF applicator are needed.
The applicator shapes the carton and applies the screw cap after aseptic filling. Since the applicator is installed downstream of the filling machine, the system can be used to fill products into both combifit and combibloc formats with the same base dimensions. A format changeover at the filling machine and applicator can be completed in about five minutes as long as the filling volume is the same.
For the smaller formats Almarai has chosen to package its Apple, Orange and Mango Mix within combifitSmall (330 ml).
For its long-life UHT milk range, Almarai has chosen the elegant combiblocSlim-line package format (1.000 ml). This package format, sleek in appearance and easy to handle, is completed by the combiLift spout.
The combiblocMini (200 ml) package format has been selected for the full range of milk and milk mix products (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, banana).
Riyadh Packaging Plant
SIG Combibloc Okeikan Company Ltd. has completed the construction of a new packaging plant and training centre in Riyadh. This new plant will supply aseptic beverage cartons to markets throughout the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, the Levant and Africa. SIG Combibloc Obeikan Company Ltd. is investing over 37 mil-lion USD in machines and systems for the new packaging plant, which has a pro-duction area of approximately 45,000 square meters and will employ about 140 people in 2006.
"The construction of a local production plant is a logical consequence that takes ac-count of the needs of this fast growing market. The new production plant in Riyadh will strengthen our relationship to our customers in KSA, Middle East and Africa. As a result we can foresee our market share, in Saudi Arabia alone, will to rise to a significant percentage", says Abdallah Obeikan, CEO of both joint ventures and the Obeikan Industrial Investment Group.
According to the management of SIG Combibloc, the new packaging plant in Riyadh will make it easier to react more quickly and is tailored to local customer needs. Furthermore, it will lead to service improvements and shorter delivery times in this dynamic market. In addition, the training- and R & D-centre will offer the company's own staff as well as customers' employees, all the necessary training for the SIG Combibloc machine systems.
Abdallah Obeikan has stated: “Our joint venture in Dubai has prospered partly be-cause of the dedicated teams we provide to strategically serve each target market, and partly because of several key technological advantages we provide, which in-clude the ability to utilize one machine for different stock keeping units or package sizes; low product waste coupled with high machine efficiency; variety in formats; and high printing quality derived from our state-of-the-art rotogravure printing tech-nology.”
Abdallah Obeikan goes on to predict: ”Tremendous opportunities lie ahead. Con-sumers throughout the region are moving rapidly to adopt long-life packaging prod-ucts for reasons of quality, hygiene, safety and convenience. In addition, our new production facilities will allow us to deliver the finest carton packaging from central locations in this region. Finally, our efforts to understand our customers’ needs and to gear our work ethos towards them, will help us grow our brand and market share as the region grows and prospers.”
SIG Combibloc announces the alliance with Almarai Company Ltd., one of the largest food exporters in the Middle East and a leading brand name for milk and juice products throughout the Arabian subcontinent. Almarai’s long life product range contains milk and milk mix products along with a range of juices. The drive towards true positive differentiation has led Almarai to re-launch its long-life juice and milk products in a variety of package formats from SIG Combibloc.