RAW is not the first UAE-based coffee brand to announce expansion plans in the Kingdom this year
Emirati Coffee in April told Arab News it plans to open its first Saudi branch in July
Tapping into a growing taste for coffee in Saudi Arabia, RAW Coffee, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) brand, has widened its operations to include the kingdom, where the market is growing at an annual rate of 9.6 percent.
Saudi Arabia is the fastest-growing coffee market in the Middle East, according to research in late 2019 carried out by the organizers of the Middle East Coffee Conference held in Riyadh.
As a result, UAE-based RAW Coffee is eventually hoping to set up a physical presence in the Kingdom, reported Arab News.
“We would say that the KSA specialty coffee scene is catching up to the more established UAE industry both in quality and knowledge, which is a very exciting time,” Kim Thompson, the co-owner and managing director of RAW Coffee Co., told Arab News. The company has teamed up with DHL to process its orders in the Kingdom.
“We have completed establishing our KSA business licensing and are currently exploring opportunities based out of Riyadh. At the moment, we roast and deliver fresh from our roastery in Dubai to the commercial customers in KSA that we supply, one of which is L’ETO Cafe, which has branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam,” Thompson said.
The company is not planning to distribute through supermarkets but instead plans to replicate its business model in the UAE, where it will distribute directly to customers and through third-party cafes, before eventually setting up its own operations in the Kingdom and potentially a chain of branded cafes.
RAW is not the first UAE-based coffee brand to announce expansion plans in the Kingdom this year. Emirati Coffee in April told Arab News it plans to open its first Saudi branch in July. CEO Mohammed Ali Al-Madfai reported that the company had seen a 3,135 percent increase in online sales in 2020.