ACCBC was founded in 2012 following The Coca-Cola Company’s $1bn acquisition of 45% of Aujan Industries’ beverage business. The company runs three manufacturing sites in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Lebanon – a fourth plant is under construction in Egypt.
Announcing the new investment yesterday, ACCBC said it would spend the $500m on adding capacity, packaging innovation and ‘consumer occasions’ and IT upgrades.
Political and economic disruption fails to check growth
CEO Nicolaas Nusmeier said: “Despite political and economic disruption over the past few years, the regional beverage market has continued to grow, and we expect this to continue.”
ACCBC delivered double-digit volume growth in 2014, while late this January it acquired an 80% stake in the National Beverage Company (NBC), which manufactures and distributes Coca-Cola, Pampa and several other brands in Lebanon.
As the average age of the population across MENA comes down, Nusmeier said this created “opportunities for new categories and fresh consumer-focused innovations mean significant growth prospects”.
Euromonitor International analyst Sarah Boumphrey wrote in a January 2015 company blog post: “The Middle East and Africa is the world’s only remaining region with a traditional population pyramid – the wide base tapering towards the top.
“The average age is low, having surpassed 20 for the first time in 2009 and in 2015 38.4% of the population will be under 15 years of age,” she added.
Joy in Algerian juice – Strong growth for Rani
Euromonitor data sent to this website shows that Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest soft drinks market in the region, with just over 6bn liters sold in 2014, followed by Iran on 3.298bn liters, Egypt on 2.684bn, then UAE, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria in order of size, but all at around 1.7bn liters.
Summing up, Boumphrey described MENA as a dynamic region that would be home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies this year.
“ACCBC is putting in place a strategy to become one of the biggest beverage operators in the region – growing from a company within a single category and a limited geography into a total beverage, multi-country powerhouse,” Nusmeier said.
ACCBC describes Algeria as the biggest juice market in Africa – 233.2m liters sold in 2014 - although Afro-Asiatic country Egypt leads the way with 373m liters.
But Algeria is currently a key market for ACCBC, since flagship brand Rani has grown over 300% there in the last four years.
Rani Float - ACCBC's flag brand
Launched over 30 years ago in Saudi Arabia, regular Rani is a smooth fruit juice, while Rani Float contains real fruit pieces or chunks; produced in Dubai, as of 2012 the brand was sold in 56 countries worldwide, bringing in an annual revenue of $600m.
Nusmeier said he believes the brand can become market leader in Algeria (thus overtaking current leader Ibrahim & Fils Ifri) within the next 3-5 years.