A Scottish candy producer is seeing gross sales of its fudge and toffee surge in Iraq. What’s feeding that rising reputation?
In northern Iraq, outlets are dashing to fill their cabinets with sweets. The Islamic vacation of Eid al-Adha, or Pageant of the Sacrifice, is approaching – and it is a crucial a part of the yr for confectionery companies.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, as elsewhere, the four-day competition which begins on Sunday is a time for celebration and feasting – and sweets are very a lot on the menu.
That is excellent news for Sulaymaniyah-based businessman Farhad Haseb, who sells confectionery to upmarket shops in Erbil and Dohuk, in addition to different cities and cities within the area.
“In our tradition, everybody buys very candy issues to provide to their visitors when they’re visiting their houses,” he says.
“Toffee is a very fashionable alternative for Kurdish folks, particularly at Ramadan and Eid.”
- Iraqi Kurdistan profile
- What’s Eid al-Adha?
And households throughout Iraqi Kurdistan shall be tucking into sweets which were made 2,600 miles away in Scotland.
Greenock-based confectioner Golden Casket, which might be finest identified within the UK for its Tens of millions model, is certainly one of Mr Haseb’s predominant worldwide suppliers.
He first linked up with the Scottish firm a number of years in the past at a confectionery commerce present, and has been ordering growing quantities of its Halal-certified fudge, chocolate eclairs and various toffees annually.
Iraq is now Golden Casket’s third largest export market, after America and Eire.
The family-owned agency produces about 70 tonnes of toffees, boilings, fudges, candies and chews every week.
To date this yr, it has despatched greater than 60 tonnes of its Buchanan’s model sweets to the area.
So what’s behind the success of Scottish toffee in Iraqi Kurdistan?
“In our tradition, eclairs and butter toffees are very fashionable,” says Mr Haseb.
“We purchase them from Belgium and Poland however Scottish toffee is the perfect – it’s extra chewy. We’re promoting increasingly more annually.”
Mr Haseb, whose firm Arak Backyard imports greater than 200 tonnes of toffee and chocolate a yr, expects to put extra orders with Golden Casket this yr.
The Scottish firm, which can also be identified within the UK for its “One Pounders” luggage, has been making changes to cater for the rising Iraqi market.
It just lately put in new equipment to spice up its chocolate eclair manufacturing capability.
The corporate has additionally been paying shut consideration to the packaging of merchandise for the Iraqi market.
Gross sales supervisor Stuart Rae explains: “Every jar of toffee or fudge has acquired to be gold wrapped – gold being an indication of high quality – and it must be made within the UK.
“That is the high-end stuff for the Kurdish market in Iraq.”
Golden Casket’s managing director Crawford Rae, who can also be chairman of Greenock Morton Soccer Membership, sees Iraq and the encompassing area as a “nice alternative”.
He says: “We exhibited in Dubai for the primary time in November – that is an rising market and one which we need to break into, and export is definitely a progress potential for us.”
The Kurdish hyperlink is a welcome one for Golden Casket, particularly as the overall confectionary market within the UK stays comparatively flat in the intervening time.
Nonetheless, Golden Casket just isn’t the one Scottish food and drinks agency to determine Iraq as a probably profitable market.
Earlier this yr, Tunnock’s – which has been exporting to the Center East for greater than 50 years – despatched its first cargo of Caramel Wafers and Caramel Logs to the nation.
Gross sales director Fergus Loudon mentioned: “Iraq is a comparatively new marketplace for Tunnock’s. The preliminary suggestions has been very constructive, with the distributor there prepared to put the following order.
“It is clearly an rising market, however we hope that some day quickly Tunnock’s biscuits shall be as common in Iraq as they’re in different nations throughout the Center East.”