DMI’s partnership will focus on about 300 locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with a goal of increasing US cheese sales.
Amy Wagner, DMI executive vice president of global innovation partnerships, said the checkoff will offer technical expertise on menu development and marketing support to Alamar.
“This is an extension of an already strong Domino’s partnership and a tremendous opportunity because pizza is a lesser developed category in the Middle East,” Wagner said.
“As we looked to increase dairy sales internationally, we knew American cuisine is very popular there and pizza is loved. We see an upside to grow even more pizza sales that will use US cheese through innovation and marketing support from DMI.”
This is DMI’s first venture into the Middle East with a partner, but it’s not the checkoff’s first in the international marketplace. In 2019, DMI began a partnership with Domino’s Japan where the volume of U.S.-sourced cheese has doubled since its launch, Wagner said.
“These partnerships illustrate the importance of export growth to US dairy and how our work supports the US Dairy Export Council’s efforts to diversify growth into new regions of the world,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI chair Marilyn Hershey.
While DMI is building its international presence, Domino’s has long been established outside of the US. It is the top pizza company worldwide with 11,000 of its 17,000 stores in 90-plus international markets. Domino’s had global retail sales of more than $14.3bn in 2019, split almost evenly between its domestic and international businesses.
“As a global pizza brand, we love nothing more than selling delicious pizzas with lots of cheese to our customers worldwide,” said Joe Jordan, executive vice president of Domino’s International.
“Connecting DMI with our master franchisee, Alamar Foods, provides a great opportunity to deliver even more dairy goodness to pizza menus around the world.”
Wagner said, “We have aspirations to have an even larger partnership presence throughout the Middle East and Africa where populations are increasing. We’re beginning with two very strong markets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”