Middle East and Africa
LFL growth at constant currency
Above-average growth potential in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region comes from the young and growing populations in countries where GDP per capita is on the rise. Urbanisation and disposable income growth are also industry drivers. Changing lifestyles and consumption habits favour processed and packaged food where our aseptic carton packaging solutions play an important role. As household incomes remain low in many countries, the ability to provide affordable solutions is also a key success factor.
Since the end of February 2021, the MEA business has been fully consolidated within the SIG group. The business continued to seize new opportunities and win new orders despite the ongoing impact of COVID‑19, with consumption of non-carbonated soft drinks affected by lockdowns, school closures and generally lower social interaction.
In 2021, SIG celebrated 20 years’ presence in the MEA region. Starting from scratch in 2001, SIG now has a market share of over 25% with more than 70 customers. In 2021 our plant in Riyadh, which was established in 2005, became the first SIG plant to achieve ISO 45001 certification.
We placed our first food filling machine in the region in 2021, with Arla Foods Saudi Arabia. This is the first time that Arla has produced and filled its food portfolio in aseptic carton packs locally. SIG’s CFA 812 aseptic food filling machine provides a range of formats and volumes together with unmatched flexibility – volume changes can be made in just two minutes. The packs will be used to fill a variety of soups and sauces.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve our product offering.”
Henrik Lilballe Hansen
Vice President, Managing Director of Arla Foods, KSA
Henrik Lilballe Hansen, Vice President, Managing Director of Arla Foods, KSA: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve our product offering. Choosing aseptic carton packs from SIG ensures we stand out on shelf and provide our MENA consumers with highly convenient, attractive and sustainable packaging solutions.”
We entered into an agreement with Lactalis-Halawa, a major producer of dairy products in Egypt with a presence across all dairy categories. Lactalis-Halawa will fill various products under the brands “Lactel” and “Santal” in different formats and volumes, using a single machine. We also entered into a project with Baladna, the leading dairy and beverage producer in Qatar, to add white cheese to its growing product portfolio in partnership with SIG.
A growing focus on sustainability in several countries is driving interest in cartons as a more sustainable form of packaging. And the sustainability of our filling system goes beyond just the cartons. By utilising SIG’s water-saving technology in its filling lines, Algerian milk producer Tchin Lait was able to cut operating costs and reduce environmental impact.
The Gulfood Manufacturing annual event and award ceremony returned live in November at Dubai World Trade Centre and attracted a large number of food manufacturing industry connoisseurs. SIG received the “Top Futuristic Technology” award for its next generation filling machine, SIG NEO (see Investing in innovation).
On the eve of the Gulfood Manufacturing event, SIG inaugurated a first-of-its-kind innovation Technology Centre in the MEA region, at Dubai Silicon Oasis (see Technology and innovation). The Centre has been granted a Platinum LEED certification by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings, and LEED certification is a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.
SIG’s business in MEA covers 17 countries. And yet the region comprises 70 countries, offering significant scope for expansion. SIG’s experience in establishing a business in new markets will support growth in the region, with expansion projects already underway in Iraq, Turkey and Mauritania.
1 Core revenue for the last ten months of 2021 (since acquisition).