Siniora Food Industries: Food & Beverages

THE COMPANY: Siniora Food Industries (SNRA) traded on the Amman Stock Exchange for the first time on January 29, 2012. The name Siniora, however, has been a recognised brand in Palestine and Jordan for almost a century, and has been synonymous with cold meat products. SNRA established its first food-processing factory in 1920, which was later relocated following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War to East Jerusalem, where it remained until 1997 when it was relocated again.

In 1992 SNRA opened up its first factory outside the borders of Palestine in Amman, and in 1996 the company established an export department to handle its exports to major foreign markets, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain. In the same year, SNRA was acquired by the Arab Palestinian Investment Company.

Eleven years later, a group of investors came aboard to help SNRA expand its operations with a second factory in Jordan, and a year later the company acquired another food-processing firm with a well-established brand name in the Jordanian market. The company continued to add to its profile in 2009, with new operations in Algeria and a representative office in Saudi Arabia; however, the company’s breakthrough occurred in 2012 when it became a publicly listed firm for the first time since its establishment in 1920.

PRODUCTS: SNRA produces over 60 varieties of cold cuts with the Mortadella beef brand being the most famous of its products. Over the years, SNRA added lines of turkey and chicken cold cuts, with additions such as olives and pepper. SNRA also added lines of hot dogs, sausages, lite-meat products, spam, roast beef and pastrami. Throughout its history, SNRA has paid close attention to food safety. The company acquired the ISO 9001:2000 certification and employs the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.

The food industry in Jordan has developed rapidly over the past few years on the strength of a young and increasingly cosmopolitan population that is mobile and exposed to a fast-paced lifestyle, and has increased appetite for Western food choices. The result has been a generation that consumes cold cuts at a higher rate, whether for school lunches or snacks at work. In addition, the increased flow of people from towns and villages to the country’s major urban areas has seen the number of food choices available rise in the cities. Moreover, the increased contribution of women to the workforce has reduced the amount of time available for families to prepare home-cooked meals. Further, the demand for such products was helped by the spread of small restaurant operations around schools, universities and major company clusters, as well as the introduction of a wide variety of consumer choices in the food segment.

DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: SNRA’s development strategy is understandably centred on expanding product lines and entering new markets overseas. SNRA has developed from a single factory in Palestine to become a regional food processor, with operations in Jordan and markets in most MENA countries. The increase in the size of the MENA market has been matched by a rise in the company’s overall production capacity with operations in Jordan and Palestine. At the same time, SNRA has continued to add to its product mix with the introduction of a variety of Mortadella products and the acquisition of another food company. Further, the business has begun offering a variety of chicken, turkey, roast beef, sausage and hot dog products.

The intentions of SNRA to pursue its expansion plans were evident when the company became publicly listed, which not only gave the business more exposure, but also allowed the enterprise to attract strong interest from local and regional investors. In turn, increased outside investment interest gave the company access to new forms of financing to bankroll any future development plans. There are many expansion opportunities as SNRA has yet to enter the ready-made meals and pre-cooked meats segments, which are increasingly becoming a part of the Middle Eastern diet.

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