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EME A LY A S R A F O O D S

A fresh take on foodservice


A LY A S R A

F O O D S

Championing

Change

One of GCC’s foremost foodservice providers, Alyasra Foods is embodying excellent customer experience and optimised operations, owed to extensive digital transformation efforts Writer: Jonathan Dyble Project Manager: Matthew Selby

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eafood has long been a staple of Kuwaiti diets. A small Middle Eastern landmass hugging the upper reaches of the Arabian Gulf, the country’s arid climate and desert-based terra firma has long dictated that fresh water, arable land and, resultantly, traditional land-based agricultural has been hard to cultivate. As such, many of Kuwait’s longstanding household favourite foods and dishes, from Muttabaq Samak to Murabyan, are strictly fish based. However, culinary diversification has began to sweep across the country in the past three decades.

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“Up until the 1990s, fish was the primary source of protein in the GCC region. Back then, a family in Kuwait identified this relatively linear national diet as a major opportunity – they began importing frozen chicken from Brazil,” reveals Niels Miles Frandsen, introducing Alyasra Foods. “They sold this in supermarkets across Kuwait, capitalising on a shift in consumer tastes as chicken gradually came to the fore of people’s diets. Indeed, Alyasra Foods established itself as one of the pioneers of this shift.” The statistics speak true of Frandsen’s depiction. In the 20-year period between 1991 and 2011, annual domestic poultry consumption rose from 23 million tonnes to 143 million tonnes, while the country now imports over 96 percent of its food. “Leveraging this base the family quickly diversified the company’s portfolio, incorporating frozen meat, frozen vegetables, frozen fish and

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[Alyasra] now houses operations spanning Iraq, Saudi Arabia and more recently the UAE, has launched its own in-house brands range and is heavily focused on the ongoing development of a particularly successful foodservice business serving hotels, restaurants and caterers (HORECA)’

an array of other products into its distribution channels that served many major supermarkets, allowing it to become the largest supplier of frozen foodstuffs in the country,” he adds, eluding to the 70 percent market share that the company once had in the frozen category. Fast forward to the present day and with Frandsen as the current CEO, Alyasra Foods has changed drastically since this time having explored both new regions and subsectors. It now houses operations spanning Iraq, Saudi Arabia and more recently the UAE, has launched its own in-house brands range and is heavily focused on the ongoing development of a particularly successful foodservice business serving hotels, restaurants and caterers (HORECA). It is the latter that now accounts for the majority of Alyasra’s business, the firm having sold its retail distribution division in 2014.


Your health starts from within


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“Alyasra Foods made this sale as I arrived as the Chief Executive Officer,” Frandsen explains. “It was in fact a major reason why I felt the role would be a good fit for myself. “I had no prior knowledge of the food and drink sector, but it was evident that the company was at a crossroads. It was clear that some bold decisions were going to be made, and it was set up to be a fantastic opportunity where I could help take the business to the next step together with the owners.”

An operational evolution

Alyasra Foods has achieved much in these past five years, largely owed to the ongoing transformation that has swept through the enterprise during this period.

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“Selling the retail business marked a monumental change, but equally outlined the perfect opportunity for such a transition to happen,” admits Frandsen. Indeed, the past half-decade has witnessed substantial consolidation practices from Alyasra Foods while its major revenue streams have shifted. However, more recent times have seen the business turning its attentions towards the pursuit of growth – ambitions that have been accelerated by operational digitisation. For the Chief Exec, the resultant benefits have been twofold. “It’s enabled us to differentiate ourselves through great customer experience, providing our customers with a really easy way to transact through multiple channels,” he states.


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“Our sales staff, for example, will soon be able can sit down with a tablet and chat with any client, tapping into the company cloud database in order to leverage information and provide greater insight in a seamless manner. “Secondly, we’ve been really looking at how to accelerate our customers’ profitability. We’re no longer purely

interested in providing them with a product and service; we’re also hoping to cut their costs, help them become more profitable and raise their profiles in the eyes of consumers.” And while customer experience has been a core benefactor of these technological efforts, providing Alyasra with numerous competitive

PARTNER POWER A big part of Alyasra’s success over the years can be attributed to the company’s powerful, long-standing relationships with suppliers and partners. Frandsen explains: “We are highly dependent on partners that think like us. We cherish fruitful, win-win collaborations and try to not always go for the best and biggest in foodservice, instead looking for partnerships that sustain for a long time where relationships as a value become important. “We don’t take these for granted, and make sure that our suppliers are involved in our success. It doesn’t matter if they are bigger or smaller than us – we ensure that each and every one of them feel like they’re part of the Alyasra family.” As such, the company spends extensive time and resources to ensure that its prospective partners speak its own language, a process which has proved to be fruitful in providing the company with numerous competitive advantages.

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LAMB WESTON

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amb Weston is a leading supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetiser and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers around the world. For more than 60 years, Lamb Weston has led the industry in innovation, introducing inventive products that simplify back-of-house management for our customers and make things more delicious for their customers. From the fields where Lamb Weston potatoes are grown to proactive customer partnerships, Lamb Weston always strives for more and never settles. When we look at a potato, we see possibilities. Learn more about us at lambweston.eu Recently, Lamb Weston / Meijer launched a new fries concept, Hot2Home, which ensures fries are delivered hot and crispy to the consumer at home, every time. A stunning combination of product and packaging innovation, Hot2Home™ is set to boost repeat sales from happy consumers and in turn drive profits for operators across the industry. Hot2Home upholds outlet standards with a revolutionary type of fry and specially developed packaging that keeps fries hot and crispy for 20 minutes. Customers want hot and crispy fries with their meal and Hot2Home is the first overall solution for delivering fries with the guarantee that they stay in optimal condition for up to 20 minutes. Our research team has been listening to both our customers and their consumers and we know the size of the challenge. The team spent months developing and testing both the fries and the packaging until we knew it would deliver!


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advantages, they have simultaneously provided a multitude of other enhancements. Frandsen continues: “We’re also bettering our own operational excellence. We’ve been able to cut costs by bolstering as many operational processes as possible using technology, be it efficiencies in our warehouses or the productivity of our workers.”

Employee excellence

The latter is a point that Frandsen is quick to emphasise, highlighting that the aforementioned overhauls and optimisations have allowed the firm’s employees to take greater pride in their work. “Our staff have definitely seen the benefit,” he adds. “Initially our plans caused a level of uncertainty, but the workers have come to recognise that these changes are serving to help them rather than causing them to fear for their jobs.” Offering the opportunity to work with industry-leading technologies, Alyasra Foods has equally been benefitting from bolstered talent retention as a result, crucial in enhancing client relationships and providing a host of other circular benefits to the business. “Aside from our customer experience efforts, we’re working hard to build a pool of talent at the moment,” Frandsen explains. “It’s something the GCC has traditionally struggled with, particularly when compared with the likes of the UK or US.” The firm’s management have largely been tasked with this, those most familiar with the company’s cultures and inner-workings responsible for upholding the businesses training practices. However, the enterprise readily uses external resources in necessary cases. “We have to be very specific when doing this, but in areas where we’ve lacked competency that have occurred

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during this digital transformation phase, we’ve leveraged external resources on occasion to provide our staff with the best insights possible.”

Leapfrogging into the future

Embedding this revitalised, transformation-driven culture throughout the four markets that it currently operates in will be Alyasra’s primary emphasis moving forward. In turn, Frandsen is confident that this short-term goal will provide grounded foundations for achieving the company’s long-term ambition of becoming the largest foodservice distribution company in the GCC. “In summary, I’d say we’ve undertaken a radical 360-degree change in how we conduct business,” he states. “But this is just the beginning, and it’s our inspiration to become the go-to company for foodservice in the region. “We’re not uniquely progressive from a global perspective, but I’d consider us a foodservice innovator in the GCC, definitely.” Positioned ahead of the regional curve, Alyasra’s future looks bright. The CEO concludes, drawing further optimism from the current economic climate: “The GCC is experiencing dramatic change; mindsets are shifting and it’s having huge impacts on many sectors including our own – the HORECA industry is going through a boom again, for example. “Our eyes will remain firmly focused on Saudi Arabia, and with positive prospects on the horizon, I’m confident about the region and our direction.”

Alyasra Foods Tel: +965 222 49100 www.alyasrafoods.com

TOSCHI

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oschi is an Italian food company founded in Vignola in 1945 that produces syrups, candied fruit in syrup, toppings and products for gelato. The experience gained over the years has led Toschi to create a wide range of products for all types of markets and consumers. Toschi produces high quality syrups, 100 percent made in Italy, that are perfect to prepare flavored coffees, mocktails and much more. Toschi succesfully exports in more than 50 countries in the world and it is now available in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with Alyasra Foods.

www.toschi.it


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P.O. Box 3228 Safat, 13033, Kuwait. T: +965 222 49100 F: +965 222 9699 www.alyasrafoods.com

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Alyasra Food Company  

Alyasra Food Company business brochure - EME Outlook - Issue 31

Alyasra Food Company  

Alyasra Food Company business brochure - EME Outlook - Issue 31