United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based dairy processor Al Ain is expecting a sales increase of around 30% during the religious holiday compared to the rest of the year.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar – a time when Muslims across the world fast during hours of daylight.
During the festive period, just two meals are eaten per day – Suhoor (the meal just before sunrise) and Iftar (directly after sunset). Because Ramadan is a time to spend with friends and family, the fast will often be broken with more than one family in attendance.
Al Ain PR manager April Dawn Hobbs told DairyReporter.com that this means that food is often bought fresh and in bulk.
“Ramadan represents a period of spiritual reflection, of giving, fasting and then celebration across the Muslim world. This is a time when traditionally more food items are bought and consumed that at any other time of the calendar year,” said Hobbs.
“Buying habits change for consumers during this time especially, when they are more selective about the items they are purchasing, and whilst cost is an influence to the consumer, quality and convenience are the primary influences when it comes to shopping during this time.”
“Consumers are purchasing food and drink items to enjoy in the breaking of their fast such as dates and dairy produce. For their Iftar and Sahoor feasts they will also be selecting quality and luxury food items,” said Hobbs.
Hobbs added that the firm fully expects this trend to continue in years to come.
“Sales generally increase for us at the rate of around 30% during this time so Ramadan represents one of the best periods in the calendar year so we certainly expect this Ramadan to continue the normal trend.”
“Generally for us we see sales increased across the board in flavoured milks, laban, plain yogurt as well as juices, particularly our popular lemon mint juice.”
Laban, which is a type of yogurt popular in the region, is one of Al Ain’s best-selling items during Ramadan, Hobbs revealed.
Ramadan export demand
Al Ain currently operates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) exclusively.
However, Hobbs told DairyReporter.com earlier this year that Al Ain intends to move into the exports market in the near future to meet demand from as far afield as the US, Canada and the European Union (EU).
This could lead to even greater sales during the month of Ramadan, Hobbs added.
“For the companies who do export, I am sure they anticipate demand increasing during this particular time and will therefore fulfil that demand, Al Ain Dairy does not currently export, however, this is something we eye with active interest for the future,” she said.