Nabil Foods experiences a surge in demand of up to 60% annually during the Holy Month of Ramadan, and ensuring product availability throughout this period is a feat of logistics planning that starts many months in advance.
“Ramadan is a very important season for us,” says Fabiano Luz, division head, retail, Nabil Foods. “We have a dedicated Ramadan line-up made up of our top selling items like our Kubbeh Balls and Sambousik. We see a massive demand surge of 60% for these products during Ramadan, so the preparation starts several months in advance.”
“For Ramadan this year for example we started planning in December, looking at the demand we anticipate and the volumes we therefore need to have with our distributors and how they need to be loaded and shipped to be available in the market but at the freshest quality,” he adds.
“Then the logistics and sales operation really kick into high gear about 50 days before the start of Ramadan. We have to ensure we have the products available at the right levels across the GCC. And this has a knock on effect throughout the supply chain because all the ingredients for the factory need to be available as well,” Luz explains.
Adding an additional complication is the fact that Nabil Foods has its entire supply chain for the GCC operated overland, exporting from its main factories in Jordan throughout the GCC via truck.
“In Jordan we have our own distribution and throughout the GCC we have 3PL partners that distribute our products across all six markets overland,” says Luz. “That trucking operation gets the product onto retail shelves within three to seven days from the date of production.”
The supply chain is managed from its regional office in Dubai in JLT.
“This export office handles the exports across the region, so everything in the Middle East outside Jordan. We changed some of our distributors to increase our availability in the market and make our operation more efficient. We’ve seen growth in the double digits, more than 20%, in the last two years,” Luz adds.