Agthia Group has signed a franchise agreement with Yoplait Group, France, for exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute fresh dairy products under the Yoplait brand, starting in UAE and expanding eventually in the rest of GCC.
In line with Agthia’s business diversification strategy, the partnership with Yoplait Group represents Agthia’s entry strategy into the dairy segment with a leading global partner through a manufacturing and distribution franchise agreement.
Agthia will commence manufacturing and distribution of Yoplait branded products by the end of 2011, joining Yoplait’s network of franchised partners like General Mills in the USA, National Foods Ltd in Australia, Ultima Foods in Canada, and Bing Grae Co Ltd in Korea who have been manufacturing and distributing Yoplait branded products.
Yoplait is the number two brand world-wide in the fresh dairy product category, with a number one position in key markets like the USA and Australia, and a number two position in France, Canada, Korea, and Ireland. Through its franchise system, over the past 40 years, Yoplait has developed the brand globally with well established local partners. Yoplait branded products are currently marketed in over 75 countries.
Rashed Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Agthia Board says: “With the goal of becoming UAE’s leading food and beverage company, we believe Agthia’s entry into the dairy business category is in line with its expansion and diversification strategy. We are happy to welcome the global brand of Yoplait to the Agthia Group as well as to Abu Dhabi and the region.”
Commenting further, Agthia CEO, Ilias Assimakopoulos says: “Yoplait is an ideal strategic fit for our entry model into the dairy segment. Yoplait brings global brand recognition, extensive international expertise and know-how in marketing, technical and R&D areas, and continuous access to Yoplait’s network of partners all over the world. With Agthia’s historic presence and understanding of local population’s taste preferences, together with our production and distribution capabilities and our ongoing commitment to supporting and building brands, we are looking forward to a long-term mutually profitable partnership with Yoplait.”
“We are wholeheartedly committed to providing food and beverages that help families lead lives full of vitality. Dairy is an important part of the people’s diet in this region and is considered essential for a nutritional and healthy diet. Beyond the traditional segment of plain yogurt and laban, we believe there is room for innovative new categories for kids, teenagers, and adults.” added Mr. Assimakopoulos.
Yoplait CEO, Lucien Fa said: “Yoplait is the number two brand in fresh dairy product market world-wide. International development is strategic for us, therefore we chose Agthia as a partner in the GCC. We believe Agthia has a solid local footprint and a professional management team and we share a common vision of business perspectives. We have no doubt this new relationship will be efficient to develop the presence of our brand in the GCC region.”