Riyadh-based Al Sadhan intends its private label products, which include cooking oil under the Baraka label, and cleaning products under the Lily banner, to compete with mainstream mid to higher-end products, rather than with low cost items. It also hopes to expand its range and make the products available outside its own stores and across the Middle East, Maher Assaf, Al Sadhan's private label manager, said.
"More than 25 items are now available, and other items will be added by next month," Assaf said. "This project was set up only six months ago to meet a growing need in the Saudi market for good quality grocery products at correspondingly good prices, it started with the idea to create a complete line of products for customers that are not only price conscious but also looking to satisfy their needs for high quality products.
'It was never about competing with the leading brand names already sold at Al Sadhan, instead our goal in creating these brands was to provide al Sadhan customers with a wide variety of guaranteed quality items at very affordable costs,' explained Maher.
The Saudi market has become more competitive than ever before, and is now more open to international, regional, and local retail and food chains. Many local players have responded to these new threats by exploring new fronts to effectively influence the consumers' preferences in any given category.
However, with the rapid influx of several international retailers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, these figures are soaring steadily; private label account for 17% of all goods sold.
"Lily bleach can cost up to half the price of other leading brands. The added bonus of buying store brand products is the great quality of customer service that comes with it. If any customer happens to be dissatisfied, the problem is resolved immediately. Both labels are currently in such high demand that the manufacturers are always in production. Baraka oil and Lily tissue are perfect examples of this since they currently sustain the highest sales within their product range."
Al-Sadhan has also a range of private labels for clothing, footwear, electronics and appliances, home center goods to personal care products.
Maher also pointed out, 'Although we are facing many fabrication, packaging and legal issues; we are still continually introducing new products, which are manufactured locally or in other Levant countries. Our customers will soon dash to a complete line of grocery products, made with only the highest components, all boasting the same top premium standards at a savings of 35% compared to name brands.'
Currently Al Sadhan in-house labels embrace these very successful brands: Bonito clothing apparel and footwear for men, women, and children, Force tech for Electronic appliances, Avenue for home center goods, Baraka food grocery items and lily home and personal care products.
'As for customers of these products', says Maher, 'they are very price conscious, very particular when it comes to value and accessibility, but unwilling to compromise as far quality is concerned. They are not brand focused but are fully aware of food trends and safety regulations.'
What is the future for this successful venture? Maher affirmed that selling these very promising products overseas is definitely a future prospect, but it will take some time before the foundation to run our private label as an independent group is set up. "We will also soon launch many new food products: meat tuna, honey, tomato paste, powdered juice mixes, powdered milk juice syrups, pasta, rice, oats, dry fruits, and canned foods."