50% Increase in Consumers’ Willingness to Purchase National Products
“Excerpts from an article published in Al Khaleej”
Translated By: Benoi Nair
A number of hypermarket officials and merchants confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic actually strengthened consumer confidence in the local products, compared to imported ones, wherein the demand for purchase increased by at least 50%. The reason for such increase in demand is due to the product characteristics such as ‘price stability and ‘quality, due to tight control over farms in UAE. Meanwhile, the suppliers have turned into mediators between farms and the hypermarkets, which spared them of any losses.
Mr. Yaqoob Al Balooshi, Fresh Category Trade Dept. Manager, Union Coop, confirmed that the percentage of demand for national products is 100%, as sales increase annually from 60 to 70%, due to their high quality and competitive pricing, compared to imported products. Moreover, harvesting and placing them on the shelves does not take more than 8 hours, in addition to the continuous development in the production of new produces, enhancing the method of packaging and the use of new agricultural means and methods, such as hydroponics, organic and aerobic.
He pointed out that one of Union Coop’s priorities is to support and market Emirati products, as it has allocated open and expandable spaces in all its branches, based on the availability of the required items and quantities, according to the consumers’ desire, as it displays the products according to the classifications, which are traditional, aquatic and organic products.
He added that at the present, the number of farms that we contracted with in the country has reached 62, including 15 traditional, 20 hydroponic, 25 organic, and 1 farm for each of fish and aerobic. Union Coop is also keen to increase these numbers and cooperate with any new model farm that has commercial capabilities, such as continuity, packaging, transportation and delivery. A frequent obstacle that Union Coop faces is that the farms are not able to supply continuously, taking into account the production seasons and weather conditions.