Gulf Bagel Factory (GBF) is now supplying four bagel flavours to Spinneys and Waitrose: plain, sesame, wholemeal, and ‘pro-protein’, a lower-carb, higher-protein recipe.
The new distribution agreement will see the supermarkets bake the previously-frozen bagels in-store, then offer them ready-to-eat through self-service bakery sections – in contrast to Carrefour, which sells the bagels frozen, for home-baking.
The bagel-maker has worked to differentiate its products by making them traditionally using kettle-boiling and without preservatives, before parbaking the bagels and freezing them for distribution.
GBF general manager Christopher Gauci said the firm sought to offer an authentic bagel at a lower cost to retailers, allowing them to offer freshly-baked bagels to their customers.
“Being able to confidently offer a good quality, tasteful product to customers is important to retailers. Our bagels and other baked goods are produced using an authentic recipe, strictly preservative-free, with a shelf life of up to one year, provided they are stored at -18 to -20 degrees Celsius,” he said.
“Our priority is to source out the best raw ingredients. For example, we carefully select and purchase different kind of flours from six different countries, guaranteeing the best quality final product,” Gauci added.
GBF is a recent arrival in the UAE, starting production early in 2015, with a production facility in Al Quoz with capacity for up to 30,000 bagels per day.
Along with the supermarkets, GBF distributes its bagels to outlets including Costa, Circle and French Bakery cafes, and Zoom convenience stores, which offer the bagels ready-to-eat.
An end to ‘corruption’
“Our main focus since launch has been to grow B2B distribution and educate the market about the importance of offering an authentic bagel. The key factors of our success are that we deliver what we promise, we never jeopardise the quality of our baked goods, and we offer good value for money.
"We are reintroducing the authentic kettle boiled, preservative free bagel, as the traditional bagel has been corrupted over the years, considering today’s mass-production methods,” said Gauci.
He said the next stage of the firm’s development will see it look internationally, and even go direct to consumers.
“Our main objective is to continue expanding B2B distribution in the greater GCC and to have our brand name synonymous with high quality products.
"For sure this will include additional channels such as supermarkets, and eventually we would like to be able to offer a unique B2C bagel dining experience.”