Product Sourcing Case Study: Organic Baby Food

During one of our regular meetings with Spinneys, we met with the head buyer to discuss sourcing new products in the Health and Wellness category. Spinneys is a multinational supermarket chain active in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan and Egypt.

March 2019

Supplier Outreach

The buyer for Spinneys in Dubai had a specific request for our team to help them source a new European organic baby food brand exclusively for their supermarkets.

They were specifically searching for an ethical, premium baby food brand that wasn’t currently available in the UAE and would be a good fit for their Western expat shoppers

Thanks to our large international network of suppliers and manufacturers, we were confident we could shortlist various potential brands for their consideration.

April 2019

Brand Profile Approval

Following a successful response from several brands, we engaged and reviewed various potential candidates to ensure they met the criteria of the buyer.  Little Freddie was selected as the chosen brand.

At its heart Little Freddie is about using high quality, premium, sophisticated ingredients from farmers we know and trust. We always place taste and quality above price, ensuring your little one is getting nothing but the best.” Piers, founder of Little Freddie

Top Tip

It’s important to understand the organic market in the UAE to predict supply and demand levels. You can find market information in our Portfolio section.

  • Organic packaged food and beverages: USD27.9 million, representing a growth of 8.5% in 2019

  • Organic formula milk: highest category growth of 90.0% in 2019

  • Organic beverages: niche, but is expected to show a good increase in sales over the next five years

Understanding the Organic Market

April 2019

Product Pitch: UAE

At Spinneys headquarters in the UAE, our team organised and successfully led the pitch of the Little Freddie concept and their product mix to the category buyer and head buyer.

The brand was positively received by the decision makers and the initial negotiations to list the product began.

It’s important to be flexible when arranging meetings with buyers, things can change at the last minute in the UAE and their culture is one that is much more about building personal relationships than purely business agreements alone.

UAE Working week


Top Tips For Doing Business In The Middle East

Business Meeting Dubai Food

April 2019

Labelling & Product Registration

Our team start the registration process with Dubai muncipality and Arabic labelling.

When you are exporting your products, there are evidently similar but differing regulations to respect. Each market is different and if you don’t follow them you potentially could face a fine or blacklisting, see your products stuck in customs and even destroyed in some cases as we have encountered through our experiences.

Product Labelling

Summer 2019

Business Secured with Spinneys

We finalised the commercials, the registration through Dubai municipality and the Arabic labelling. As Summer is usually a quiet time for business in the UAE and the wider Gulf, we decided to wait to launch Little Freddie during the next trading season for maximum impact.

Launch Date Set

On a return visit back to the UAE we continued the buying discussion and set the launch date in stores for Jan/Feb 2020

January 2020

Final pre-launch face to face buyer meeting in Dubai and first order with launch promotion is finalised

February 2020

Product Launched

  • Product approved

  • Labelling and ingredients translated

  • Pricing structure agreed

  • Promotional material finalised

  • Logistics sorted

June 2020

The brand is performing well in the category and further promotional 2020 activity is agreed as well as new NPD lines listed.

Distribution expanded to all 60+ stores in the UAE

September 2020


“We’ve been delighted with the launch of Little Freddie’s into Spinneys and Waitrose stores on an exclusive basis in the UAE.  Premium, great quality innovation is what our customers crave.

The opportunity to be first in the market with the best tasting, newest products continues to help us give customers a differentiated offer.  This in turn drives our footfall in a way that ensures profitable growth for the whole supply chain.”

Tom Harvey Spinneys Dubai

Tom Harvey
GM Spinneys Dubai

Product Sourcing

If you would like more information or product sourcing support, please complete the contact form below and one of our team will come back to you.

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