Elrashidy El Asly Company is preparing to open a factory to increase production capacity before the end of the year. The company aims to expand its production of sweets and snacks to support the increase of exports during the coming period.
The company’s CEO and managing director, Mohamed Kandil, said that the plant’s investments are EGP 250m, and it will contribute to doubling production, as part of the company’s plan until 2022. He added that the company aims to increase its exports by 10% during the current year, noting that, during the past year, the food sector faced the challenge of an increase in costs all while trying to maintain the domestic consumer and expanding to overseas markets.
He pointed out that, despite the hike in raw material costs, the company still offers many products, such as halawa bars at EGP 1. He explained that the high costs pushed producers to adopt new ideas and offer new packages and products to attract consumers.
Kandil pointed out that the flotation of the Egyptian pound had a positive effect on Egyptian products. He explained that the flotation scaled down imports, which encouraged domestic producers to expand and produce more products to compete in the local market.
He pointed out that the company seeks to open new markets continuously, especially that current traditional markets for exports, such as Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Sudan, are facing political instability and security issues. The company is hence planning to expand in Africa, he added.
He said that efficient market rules impose non-closure, but should be open to competition through imports and exports, which creates a climate of competition that encourages competitors to produce better quality products with lower prices.
Exporting companies are keen to raise their quality continuously so that they can compete in foreign markets, Kandil said. He explained that the decision of the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading to write the prices on packages is difficult to apply in practice, especially that profit margins vary from wholesalers to retailers and major chains, next to the difficulty of changing the packages, which could lead producers to lose funds.
Kandil pointed to the importance of the Food Safety Authority and its effective role in improving the image of the Egyptian product in international markets by converting small factories to meet Egyptian and international standards required to provide high-quality products capable of competing in foreign markets.
He stressed that the Egyptian market is attractive to investments, especially in the food industry. This is due to the high population of Egypt and the increase in the demand for foodstuffs of all types. This means that investment in food is an investment in a large and promising market.
The company is keen to participate in domestic and foreign exhibitions, Kandil stressed—but recently, many exhibitions have lowered the space available for Egyptian exhibitors, including the Gulfood next year.
Elrashidy El Asly was established in 1888. It is still based in the area of Sayeda Zeinab in downtown Cairo. The company offers a variety of products such as halawa and tahini.