Sunflower is one of the most important oilseed crops in the world. Studies have shown that global production has grown rapidly in last 25 years (PS&D - USDA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization expects the total world output to reach approximately 60 million tons towards the end of 2050. Contributing to this growth, Mazola has been at the forefront of Sunflower Oil production in the GCC. The brand is one of the pioneers of healthy food products in the gulf and was recently awarded the prestigious Product of the Year Award (POY) for its Sunflower Oil in the cooking oil category.
In 2013 itself, the number of factories operating in this region increased from 24 in 2003 to 37 in 2013, cumulative investments in this sector increased from 278.6 million USD to approximately 646 million USD for the same period of time as well as per recent news revealed by the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting. The industry is at an all-time high and KSA was ranked first with cumulative investments of 285 million USD, 44.1% of the total GCC investments in this industry. This sector in Saudi Arabia employed 2415 workers and achieved 59.5% of the total GCC design capacity. The UAE was ranked second with 11 factories and cumulative investments worth 225.4 million USD (39%), a labor force of 2343 workers (42.2%) and 29.1% of the total GCC oils and fats design capacity. Thus, KSA and UAE shared about 88.6% of the total vegetable and animal oils and fats design capacity in GCC countries.
To expand the sunflower world’s value chain, a lot of scientific and agro-technological work needs to be put in for the next 20 years. Orientation for sunflower breeders should be lighted by the urgent need of improving the crop competiveness versus other substitutes (canola and corn oil), both, on production costs and quality differentials. These improvements will be vital to the future growth of the sunflower oil market’s share towards the total oil world output and consumption.
“Despite all challenges we face in the production of sunflower oil, Mazola continues to deliver high quality sunflower oil across the GCC markets. And our Product of The Year Award is a testimony to our hard work”, said Kevin Baxter, Deputy President of Basateen Foods Saudi Arabia – the brand owners of Mazola in the Middle East & North African region.
Mazola has recently made a multimillion-dollar investment in the development of its new factory, which will further increase the brands capacity and enhance its development of products. Mazola continues to invest in the latest equipment to ensure that the best products are produced to meet its high quality standards.
In addition to the new refinery in 2015, Mazola has purchased additional high speed filling lines from the top manufacturer in France along with advanced bottle making equipment from Japan. “The demand for our products has been growing and it is important to ensure that these demands are met, that’s why we’re taking all steps necessary to further enhance our production and efficiency to cater to the growing demand”, Kevin added. All this work has been completed in the Middle East and North Africa regional manufacturing operation based in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Mazola is also focusing on the expansion of an additional project in co-operation with the Yanbu Royal Commission.
The past season has also been a time of recognition and awards for Mazola. Apart from the Product of the Year Award, the brand has been honored with various awards in media and product development, including the prestigious OCAA Media Award. What’s more, Mazola witnessed added share growth in various categories across the GCC region, further strengthening its leadership position. The brand is now the number 1 corn oil in Kuwait and Lebanon, the number 3 sunflower oil in Kuwait, and the number 1 mayonnaise in Kuwait.