Af­ter the re­cent ex­pan­sion of his fa­cil­i­ties in Baabda, Le­banon HN spoke to Imad Abi Chaker, CEO of Many­food dis­tri­bu­tion pow­er­house, re­gard­ing the re­cent launch of their new choco­late lineup un­der the name CONFEXIA S.A.L.

Hospitality News Middle East - - NEWS - many­

Many­food, a fam­ily busi­ness es­tab­lished in 1977, has grown to be­come one of the top 10 dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies in Le­banon. Brands un­der its ban­ner in­clude Pep­sico- Fri­to­lay (smart snack choices with a full prod­uct line: Lay’s, Dori­tos, Chee­tos, Stax, Tos­ti­tos, Sun Chips), Ocean Spray (the world's lead­ing brand of cran­berry and grape­fruit juice drinks), Magic Chef (fill­ings, mixes and salad dressings), Lon­don Dairy (global pre­mium ice cream) and Ex­otic Foods (a lead­ing Thai food and bev­er­age brand).

The com­pany has re­cently ex­panded its of­fer­ing to in­clude a full scale lineup of choco­late brands, pro­duced in their new state-of-the-art fac­tory. Cur­rent CEO, Imad Abi Chaker, be­longs to the fam­ily’s sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, hav­ing moved into the role in 2003. In the spring of 2016, keen to cap­i­tal­ize on a gap in the lo­cal/re­gional mar­ket, Abi Chaker bought a dis­used towel fac­tory, scrapped it to the bone and kit­ted it out with all the re­quired ma­chin­ery. “The build­ing was ap­praised at a cost of USD 3 mil­lion. The ma­chines cost around USD 5 mil­lion, bring­ing the grand to­tal to about USD 8 mil­lion,” he said. “We have low op­er­a­tional costs due to a pro­duc­tion process de­signed to min­i­mize hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, which stands at 30-40 per­cent. The work flow is semi-au­to­mated and the fac­tory is now run­ning three shifts.” Con­clud­ing, he said, “The main fo­cus in the com­ing years is to build and grow the fac­tory brands, such as won­derberry, Twins, En­joy and Joe, in terms of eq­uity. But best of all is our abil­ity to pro­duce high-qual­ity prod­ucts at af­ford­able price points in com­par­i­son to those of­fered by Euro­pean and Amer­i­can brands.”

Imad Abi Chaker

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