After a two month boycott, shops and supermarkets in the Middle East have started to put butter and cheese from Arla back on their shelves.
“So far, only relatively few customers have chosen to lift the boycott but we’ve had positive signals from others and we’re hopeful that one of the large chains will decide to list our products again,” said Finn Hansen, Executive Director, Arla Foods. “This could well create a chain reaction.”
It is mainly shops and supermarkets in Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates that are beginning to carry Arla’s products again. In Saudi Arabia, only a few smaller stores have followed suit so far.
Although Arla’s staff in the Middle East are cautiously optimistic, Finn Hansen warns against expecting an early recovery.
“While we may be seeing a slow lifting of the boycott by retailers, it remains to be seen whether consumers will, in fact, buy our products,” he says.
Arla’s customers in the region indicate that growing acceptance of Arla’s products has been generated by the recent advertising campaign in local media.