Misunderstood by many in the West, the Middle East is
proving a lucrative and growing dairy market for Fonterra.
Agribusiness editor Neal Wallace reports that brands such as
Anchor, Anlene and Anmum are leading that growth.
Fonterra Brands managing director for Middle East, Africa
and CIS, Amr Farghal (left), and Mark Wilson, Fonterra's
regional managing director for Asia, the Middle East and
It is the size of the market and the growing wealth of the
region that excites Mark Wilson.
The statistics of the catchment roll off the tongue of
Fonterra's director for Asia, Middle East and Africa: 40
countries of which 15 are significant in size; total
population of 615 million with an average age of 25; market
size $NZ17 billion - and those figures exclude India and
While much attention has been focused on the potential of
Asia, Mr Wilson said Middle East and east African countries
which Fonterra regularly sells to, encompass a population of
41.5 million, and a potential dairy market of $1.7 billion.
They are wealthy, many are flush with petroleum exports and
like to drink milk.
The region is also an example of how Fonterra has a
horses-for-courses market strategy - tailoring its business
to particular markets.
In the highly competitive United States dairy market,
Fonterra abandoned initial plans of selling branded products,
avoiding taking head-on the food giants of Kraft and Nestle,
in favour of selling commodities and supplying food
In Asia and the Middle East (AME) it's policy is to
manufacture locally recognised products, sell commodities and
branded products, and Mr Wilson said Fonterra has
successfully built brand equity around its core products of
Anchor milk powder, Anlene, a calcium rich product that
enhances bone health, and the specialist maternal product
Mr Wilson said Anchor was the number two selling product in
its range in AME, Anlene and Anmum number one, and Fonterra
food services products rated first in dealing with bakeries,
and number two in casual restaurants.