Plant-based snack food startup expands in Saudi Arabia

Plant-based snack food startup expands in Saudi Arabia
Plant-based snack food startup expands in Saudi Arabia

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Plant-based snack food startup Freakin’ Healthy, which was established in 2018 by Saudi-born Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur Roy Koyess, plans to quadruple the number of stores it serves in the Kingdom by the end of this year.
Koyess came up with the Freakin’ Healthy concept in 2017, and it was launched in the following year.
Containing no wheat, dairy, refined cane sugar, gluten, preservatives, artificial colors, flavoring or soy, the brand has been distributing 10 product lines to around 250 locations in Saudi Arabia, including supermarkets, gyms and cinemas.
By the end of the first quarter of 2021, the company is on target to distribute 20 products lines in the Kingdom, with the aim of reaching 30 by the end of the year.
“The Saudi consumer is still highly sensitive to price change. Nevertheless, they’re willing to pay more for premium quality products,” Koyess told Arab News.
“These socioeconomic factors lay the foundation for Freakin’ Healthy to enter the Kingdom and serve the unmet demand for healthy, premium quality at value pricing snack products.”
At the beginning of 2019, it delivered to approximately 250 outlets or touchpoints in Saudi Arabia. By the end of 2021, it aims to increase this to 1,000.
It is currently at 700, including notable retailers such as Danube, Al Nahdi, Kottouf and Manuel.
“The outlook for 2021 looks very promising. As we’re coming off a year that had its many challenges, we managed to take the situation as an opportunity to optimize our business and drive efficiencies. This in turn has set us up to reap the benefits in 2021,” Koyess said.
“As more Saudi consumers are getting well versed in online grocery shopping, we’ve also made our range available with the major food aggregators in Riyadh and soon in the Western Region,” he added.
“The Saudi consumer is really becoming very literate when it comes to health and wellness, and we’re proud to be part of the health movement in the Kingdom.”
While it did not give specific financial details, the company said it is already profitable and reinvesting its profits back into the business, not needing to actively seek new funding to meet its ambitious 2021 targets.
“Our staff count from a sales and marketing perspective hasn’t changed from 2020 to 2021. What has changed are some of the roles and job requirements — for example, more expertise in digital and social media marketing,” Koyess said.
Once Freakin’ Healthy has reached its targets in the Gulf, it is looking to expand its product range to major European cities, as well as the US and Canadian markets.

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