BMB group is a driven brand catalyst in the snacking industry. Beyond manufacturing and private label, they empower brands to think innovatively, manufacture efficiently and grow globally. Over the years, they have been key players in the private labelling of Chocolates and Mediterranean Sweets across the GCC and MENA region, with 2 state-of-the-art factories that produce 53 tons of products daily. Recognizing the current health movement and the conscious eating habits people are developing, we expanded our functions and penetrated the market through providing powerful, healthy and delicious snacks that are functional and wholesome.
Building up on the rise of healthy food, and in support of the entrepreneurial community, they recently launched Snack Vision, the first Healthy Snack Accelerator in the region. Through this program, they provide three comprehensive tracks for entrepreneurs and support them with all the business functions needed for them to create and accelerate their brand. Through Snack Vision, brands have the opportunity to plug into BMB Group’s vast retail network and have opportunities to partner up with other key players in the market. This new platform will be a game changer for entrepreneurs looking to create their healthy snack brand.
From where do you source your ingredients from for production?
To guarantee the highest quality ingredients, we do comprehensive market research and product testing to determine the most favorable source for ingredients, which is not limited to supplier quality audits. This allows us to source globally and efficiently. Naturally, we try to source every product from its place of origin, reaching over 20 countries of import. To name a few for instance, our Agave, Cacao Nibs and Chia Seeds are sourced from specific growers in Latin America, our Cocoa Beans from West Africa (Yes, we make our chocolates in-house!) and our Apples from a little town in Bulgaria. The search for quality ingredients might seem difficult, but it is definitely worth it, as it pays off and gives your brand that top-notch delicious taste.
Why is eating natural/organic so important in today’s day and age?
With a fully saturated and crowded food market, brands are fighting for the number one spot, sacrificing on the quality of ingredients in order to cut costs as they go along. Other brands tend to inject their products with hormones and chemicals to increase their profitability and numbers. These factors, along with many others, created an increase in “junk” being added to our food intake, and causing countless health problems to our bodies, physically and mentally. For that, people nowadays are more educated about the health risks around highly processed and chemically induced foods and are conscious about what they consume and feed their body. There is an inclined level of awareness about the ingredients we consume, and the search for natural, organic and healthy food sources remains on the rise.
What initial advice would you give companies trying to enter into this space?
There is an increased demand for healthy food, which goes hand in hand with an alarmingly large number of brands to supply the market. The main advice we would give is to be mindful of what you are providing your customers. There might be a lot of competition in the market, but the brand should never compromise on quality and sourcing of wholesome ingredients. If you want to stand out and deliver your brand’s full potential, you need to guarantee the highest quality, cleanest ingredients and brand authenticity. Be true to your customers. We also preach playing the long game, instead of taking shortcuts, as it results in a more powerful and stable positioning for the future.
What advice would you give startups in general in terms of funding?
Starting up your own business can be a bit scary, but the fact is the journey is much smoother than it was 10 years ago. With the rise of digital platforms and online communication, people are more connected than ever, allowing them to share their expertise, experiences and recommendations. Platforms such as Snack Vision, the first healthy snack accelerator in the region, provides entrepreneurs with easy and feasible solutions for their funding, along with support of other business functions such as production, sourcing, certifications and others. Our advice for entrepreneurs is to get yourself out there, dive in the industry, connect and network with people, and sign up for Snack Vision and have a go at it! You will be surprised by the amount of support and facilitations it provides for entrepreneurs in the healthy snacking business.
What are the future trends that you foresee in the sweets industry?
The main future trends we have been noticing fall in-line with the rise of health awareness. People now are seeking healthier options not only when it comes to their food, but also their sweets and chocolate. New trends that brands are quickly adapting include using raw chocolates made form pure cocoa beans, vegan chocolates with no dairy, and all-natural sweeteners such as the Agave and coconut nectar to replace the traditional highly refined sugar. Another recent trend is the inclusion of superfood ingredients in dessert, such as goji berries and chia seeds, which have been receiving high levels of acceptance among the health-conscious community. As trends come and go, brands are encouraged to adapt to them and even set the standards for innovation in the market. We also see regulation and policy changes in the immanent future, thus it is vital that you set your business up correctly to succeed in the new environment.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager