Al Islami Foods and Mitsubishi Forge Strategic Alliance
Mitsubishi Corporation has acquired a minority stake in Dubai, UAE-based Al Islami Foods, a halal food manufacturer ranked as one of the leading frozen product distributors in the Emirates and GCC markets. Established in 1970, the company operates three warehouses and employs over 350 people at a manufacturing facility in the Al Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah.
The decision to partner with Tokyo, Japan-headquartered Mitsubishi came after a study by Al Islami to assess strategic options to enhance new product development that will boost its frozen food market share in the GCC and wider global markets, particularly in Asia. Furthermore, it is expected the collaboration will help Al Islami Foods to increase its footprint in the HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant and Catering) sector and other foodservice segments within the UAE.
Al Islami Foods, which supplies over 100 items, claims the second largest share in the retail frozen meat products market in the UAE. Its extensive lines includes chicken, burgers, franks, seafood, vegetables, french fries and fruits. In addition to the flagship Al Islami brand, products are sold under the Greens and Aladdin labels.
“This association with Mitsubishi Corporation is another step in ongoing efforts to accelerate growth,” said Saleh Saeed Lootah, founder of Al Islami Foods and chairman of the Dubai Cooperative Society. “Mitsubishi provides our company and brands tangible solutions to help with added production capacity that will accommodate the growing demand for frozen halal food both locally and globally.”
He expects that the relationship with Mitsubishi will help stimulate a double-digit growth rate over the next five years through a combination of the expansion of product ranges and greater exports. The Japanese multinational company’s capabilities and expertise in the frozen food business will be tapped to deliver back-end technology and advance processes in the front-end.
“HORECA is a wide-ranging market. More recently, Al Islami Foods has focused on the high-end and bespoke segment consisting of airline catering, five-star hotels and premium QSRs,” said Lootah. “This positioning is consistent to our retail brand offering. In this segment, you need a quality product that meets the exact requirements of the customer. This requires disciplined new product development and a quality production process that gives the customer confidence to build a long-term partnership with you. While we have demonstrated success in building our HORECA business over the past two years on these principles, the knowledge and product sharing with Mitsubishi will take our capability to a whole new level.”