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Patchi (UAE) CEO Oussama Choucair Talks of the Brand's Growth Plans

06 Dec 2017 - With chocolate sales in the Middle East growing at a healthy rate, luxury chocolatier Patchi UAE and Franchise CEO Oussama Choucair talks of the brandís plans to leverage the Middle Eastís sweet tooth.

How has the year 2017 been for Patchi as a company?

We have seen a year-to-date growth compared to 2016, and overall it has been a very positive year for us. For example, we announced our Halal certification and we had a groundbreaking launch event for our new production facility. Furthermore, we are moving soon to our new offices, workshop and storage facilities in Al Quoz, and we have new boutiques in the Northern Emirates set to open between December and within first quarter of 2018.

Patchi has been present in the U.A.E. since 1984. How has the journey been for the brand?

We have been very blessed with our sizeable presence in the U.A.E., and it has opened up so many opportunities to expand and promote our brand to international markets. We started with our first boutique in Muraqqabat Street in Dubai, which opened in 1984. This was closely followed by a flagship boutique in Abu Dhabi in Khalidya and in few other locations. In 1992, we inaugurated Patchiís first factory in the U.A.E., and in 2001, we opened a larger factory in Al Quoz to accommodate the increased demand for our chocolates and with the expansion of our retail network. Furthermore, between 2009 and 2016, we opened 19 boutiques in the U.A.E. as a testament to our belief in the market and its potential. Today, after more than 33 years since launching in the U.A.E., Patchi has become the leading premium chocolate brand in the region with a strong retail network across the Emirates.

Patchi is building a new facility in DIP. How much of an impact will it have on your production capacity?

Our current factory can produce up to four tons of chocolates per day, especially during the high seasons and festivities. The new facility will have a daily production capacity of up to 10 tons and will accommodate the increasing demand from our new retail boutiques. These are set to open as part of our expansion plan, and our new factory will provide the corporate division with products, which supplies around 80% of the luxury five stars hotels in the U.A.E. and many more businesses and governmental entities.

What are your expansion plans for the brand? Are you entering any new markets this year or the next?

Locally, we have three new boutiques that are scheduled to open between December and within the first quarter of 2018, in addition to others that will be announced during the year. Internationally, we have a new boutique that A SWEET DEAL With chocolate sales in the Middle East growing at a healthy rate, luxury chocolatier Patchi UAE and Franchise CEO Oussama Choucair talks of the brandís plans to leverage the Middle Eastís sweet tooth. is opening this year in Thailand and we plan to open many more across Asia in the future.

In terms of sales, how has Patchiís growth been in the region?

Patchi has had consecutive growth in the past few years especially in the U.A.E., where we have witnessed a healthy increase in our sales figures in both our retail and corporate divisions every year. The highest growth was in our travel retail division in Dubai, with sales in Dubai Duty Free growing by more than 30% compared to last year. Furthermore, Patchiís ranking rose to number five among all chocolate confectionery brands sold in Dubai Duty Free and we were also named the number one among the luxury brands.

How is the demand for chocolates in the region? Is it constantly on the rise?

According to industry reports, the Middle-East is one of the fastest growing regions for chocolates especially the U.A.E., KSA and Egypt. Euromonitor International recently reported that the chocolate sales between 2010 and 2015 grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.60%, and TechSci Research predicts that the sales for chocolates will grow at a CAGR of 8% in the U.A.E. between 2016 and 2021, with a strong demand for luxury and premium chocolate.

Who is your biggest target market in the region?

Our main target audience in the region are the nationals. For instance, in the U.A.E. we mainly focus on the Emirati community and we have set our expansion plan for the coming years to align with the new developments and the expected urban and demographic shifts. However, Patchi has a great presence in all the major malls, which have a diverse customer base.

What is the future you envision for Patchi in the next five years?

We have major plans for Patchi in the coming years and we are excited about our new direction. In the U.A.E. we are building a state of the art production facility, spanning over 122,000 square feet in the Dubai Industrial Park. This project is aligned with the 2020 vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, to make Dubai and the U.A.E. a top touristic destination with the best innovative concepts and facilities. Whatís more, our new factory will be a destination for tourists and residents to visit, and it will be a great attraction for the younger generation, who will be introduced to the art of chocolate making in a fun and educational environment. Furthermore, we will also be introducing new concepts in our boutiques that will offer our customers a unique and exciting retail experience


Forbes Middle East

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