Lifco International has a long history, stretching back almost 100 years across three continents. The current iteration of the group started in the UAE in 1975. Starting from retail, the company quickly expanded into manufacture, distribution, and marketing in the Middle East region and beyond. Through all this growth, across decades, Lifco remains a family-owned business.
The diversified Lifco Group has a turnover of Dh1.4 billion, which is generated by three divisions, making the company stand out as one of the top three distributors in UAE for the global brands focused on the UAE, Qatar, and Oman.
In addition to food operation, the construction division operates five factories across the UAE and Qatar, employing over 3,500 people.
“You can imagine the dynamism of our chairman,” says Shadi J. Hassan, General Manager, Lifco International Group. “He was able to look at these different industries and shine in them,” he adds.
Back to School Season with our Diverse food production
Summer is not complete without back-to-school season shopping and preparation for the new academic year. Back-to-school shoppers will have the chance to avail lots of discounts and promotions with Lifco’s diverse range of food products, including both distributed and produced. These consist of brands that offer health benefits to children and their families. To name a few brands distributed by Lifco include Sombrero Tortilla for Sandwiches that you can wrap with it what you love, Maria’s range of cheese; Sunwhite rice, Sunbulah frozen vegetables, Al Shifa honey, RS olive oil, Soul food healthy snack, Frico cheese range, Zwan Luncheon meat and Master Potato chips with 40 per cent less fat.
The food division employs another 1,500 people across Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. Alongside facilities for retail and distribution in these three countries, Lifco also operates three manufacturing sites in the UAE. One factory specializes in mozzarella and other types of semi-hard cheese. Maria’s is Lifco’s own brand of cheese, providing mozzarella, emmental, kashkaval, parmesan and cheddar products in the form of blocks, shredded and slices available in various sizes.
One of the factories in the UAE focuses on production of health foods. ‘Soul’ is a food range featuring a wide variety of healthy snacks, energy bars and protein bars. These energy bars are 100 per cent gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, rich in fiber and full of Vitamin A, D and E with no added artificial flavors or colors. Ingredients are responsibly sourced by Lifco and these are natural and sustainable too.
Another food manufacturing unit of Lifco in the UAE specializes in tortilla breads and wraps. ‘Cantina Mexicana’ offers a perfectly balanced line of Mexican tortilla breads for the global market. ‘Sombrero’ makes the perfect wrap, offering the authentic taste of tortilla bread.
Alongside this broad portfolio of food lines, Lifco also has ‘Joys’ brand in frozen french fries; ‘Qahwati’, a high-quality Turkish coffee; and the ‘Il Nostro’ a brand of coffee capsules, which are blended using the best quality beans.
The Road Ahead
Looking ahead to the future, Hassan says: “On the production side of the business, Lifco has exciting development plans to match the emerging trends in the food market. One project is exploring the option of producing a dairy-free, vegan variety of mozzarella. Another plan involves gluten-free tortillas and the possibilities found in switching to coconut flour or almond flour.”
As Hassan noted above, learning about the latest trends in the market is one of the core reasons for attending conferences and exhibition in the GCC region like Gulfood, Dubai Hotel Show, Oman Catering Show, Tanzania Food Show and International exhibitions such as SIAL Paris 2022.
Attendance at SIAL allows Lifco to promote its diverse portfolio of brands in the heart of Europe. The organizations presence at the show will bring many rewards, according to Hassan: “We benefit a lot, because we are very keen on opening additional export markets, and the new partnerships that can be forget at such important trade shows.”
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