The company said there was particular demand for equipment that could handle coated nuts as appetite for such products takes off in these countries.
“The snack industry and the nut industry are growing at an exponential rate: [potato] chips and different types of extruded snacks have been growing for a while and will continue to grow,” Bachar Ghadri, TNA general manager, Middle East, told FoodProductionDaily. “One emerging product is the peanut, and countries such as Lebanon have started to adopt coated peanuts.”
TNA offers what it calls ‘turnkey’ solutions to food processors that incorporate tailored end of line systems. Its specialities include bagging, packaging, weighing and seasoning systems.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia
Ghadri said TNA’s turnover in the Middle East as a whole had climbed by an average of 27% every year for the past three years. And the top two countries offering the most potential for TNA were Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Recent political instabilities in Egypt have been caused by events leading up to and immediately following the ousting of president Hosni Mubarak, aged 84, who had been in power for 30 years, in a coup last year. “In the region things are moving up and down and the situation is unclear,” said Ghadri.
However, he added: “In Egypt, business went down for a couple of months, then went up all over again. It’s still growing. The country is very big and its buying power is very strong. We have new projects happening all over the region.”
Growth rate phenomenal
TNA commenced business in Egypt seven years ago, but had seen the market take off in recent years, he said. “It’s one of those leader countries in new products and flavours. The growth rate is phenomenal.” The Sudan was also an area with big growth potential, he said.
In the Middle East as a whole, TNA’s turnover was expanding both because the market was expanding and also because it was stealing share off competitors, said Ghadri.
TNA recently announced the appointment of its first dedicated sales representative: regional sales manager Mohamed Hussein. Based in Cairo, he has been given the task of strengthening and maintaining relationships with existing TNA customers and capitalising on emerging business opportunities.
The move represented TNA’s aim to increase its focus on the Middle East, the firm said.