As providers on turnkey consultancy services for FMCG and HORECA industries in the region, Consultorium FZE have been helping companies develop their business, finding distributors, creating and managing a route to the market and more. We spoke to founder, Rui Martins, about his opinion on the market as a veteran professional.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your experience with FMCG and HORECA in the market.
I grew up in Dubai and have been active in the FMCG field for over 20 years, working in distributors and Global MNC manufacturers, in both food and non-food segments. I have worked with all the markets in the MENA region and Indian sub-continent.
What is your opinion on the demand for organic and natural products in the region?
The demand for organic and natural products is accelerating across the region. This segment has achieved different levels of penetration in each of the markets within the region but the common factor in all of the markets is that there is greater awareness from consumers and therefore distributors and retailers.
What is the primary advice you can give to organic/natural product companies who wish to enter the market?
There are three key points I would like to convey…
Firstly there are various different route-to-market options, which provides great opportunities to enter the market, which are less viable in the non-organic segment, so consider the ultimate objectives and prioritize the launch methodologies and investment priorities according to those.
The second point is that there is much more interest in this region from producers and manufacturers around the world, so enter sooner rather than later…
Finally, seek good advice from experts in the region. It ultimately saves a lot of money, time and effort.
Which countries can you see the main product influx of organic and natural products from? How important are certifications?
Some European countries such as Italy or UK, then the United States, Australia and also very active now, India. Certifications (although a bit confusing to consumers) are extremely important at every step of the value chain and are routinely requested by all key stakeholders.
What are the future trends of FMCG and HORECA in your opinion?
The FMCG are HORECA fields will move towards greater awareness and interest in healthier products and in sustainability. The data around the world indicates this quite strongly and we see it also begin to take shape in our region.
Do you also export/import products yourself? In this case what type of products?
Not yet, but will move in this direction in future. Currently I assist companies in entering the region, in both Private Label and Branded products and they have enjoyed really great results.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager