Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar has secured an exclusive retail partnership with LuLu Hypermarket to stock its products across the Middle East, with support from TIQ.

LuLu Hypermarket is the first retailer outside of Australia to stock Bundaberg Sugar, with products to be carried in 185 LuLu stores across the Gulf region.

LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain in the Middle East and Asia, serving more than 1.1 million customers daily.

Its partnership with Bundaberg Sugar was launched with a red-carpet in-store event in Abu Dhabi last month, coordinated by TIQ Middle East.

Bundaberg Sugar Group Chief Executive Guy Basile said LuLu’s commitment to the company was exciting.

‘LuLu taking our product on board and the way they launched it was significant in the sense of how they see relationships with direct suppliers of particular premium brands like ours,’ Mr Basile said.

‘We expected the in-store launch event to be a little more low-key, but it was quite the opposite!

‘The event launched Bundaberg Sugar while showcasing LuLu Hypermarket’s entire range of Australian products, which was phenomenal.

‘It has reinforced our strategy to build our brand presence in the region and partnering with a company such as Lulu is vital to achieving this.’

Bundaberg Sugar international representative Dean Nelson said TIQ’s expertise in bringing companies and individuals together was invaluable in securing this retail partnership.

‘Having TIQ on the ground in Abu Dhabi was great as their team were really good at supporting Queensland business by introducing us to fantastic contacts,’ he said.

‘TIQ was instrumental in delivering the in-store launch with LuLu Hypermarket and providing an extremely well-connected guest list – a real who’s who in Abu Dhabi.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said that the Middle East represented a unique export opportunity for Bundaberg Sugar.

‘It’s a market where quality products with a “clean, green” reputation can do particularly well,’ she said.

Mr Nelson agreed.

‘The Middle East has quite a high per capita consumption of sugar and there is a growing identification with Australian products as being the best in the world when it comes to quality, traceability and sustainability,’ Mr Nelson said.

‘Consumers today are becoming more aware of traceability and sustainability, and they want to see brands and corporations having a greater social consciousness.

‘These values are an integral part of Bundaberg Sugar’s offering.

‘A major selling point for Bundaberg Sugar is that we’re a company with a fully-integrated production chain – we grown our own cane, process it and export it ourselves.

‘We plan to take the same approach with our other agricultural products.

‘The Bundaberg Sugar Group is investing heavily in expanding their product range and corporate farm footprint with a recent purchase of macadamia nut farms.’

Mr Nelson said getting Bundaberg Sugar on Middle Eastern supermarket shelves was the first step in the company’s retail export plans.

‘The idea was to firstly launch with our with sugar products and build out our product suite, which now includes macadamias and sweet potatoes, into Middle East and other regions from there,’ he said.

‘We’re looking forward to working with TIQ on further export markets.’

The official launch was held at Lulu’s flagship store in the World Trade Centre in downtown Abu Dhabi on 17 December 2019.

Helping Queensland exporters expand into new markets is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2020.

If you’d like advice or support to export your product to the Middle East, connect with TIQ’s Middle East office.