Major hypermarkets across the country have stocked up their shelves with various food and non-food items, many of which bear the ‘Made in Qatar’ label as stores gear up for the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday.
The market has witnessed a growth in the variety of food and non-food items produced in Qatar since the unjust blockade was imposed, according to Krishna Kumar R general manager, LuLu Hypermarket along D-Ring Road.
He said while LuLu has increased the volume of its imports from international suppliers, the hypermarket has always prioritised ‘Made in Qatar’ products displayed on its shelves.
Kumar also stressed that LuLu has brought in “all types” of products in anticipation of the “Eid rush.”
“We’ve increased the volume of our imports to cater to the requirements of our customers, so we’re confident that we’re able to supply the market with a wide range of quality products,” he told Gulf Times Sunday.
Abdul Manaf K P, deputy general manager, added that some food items such as cooking oil, meat and poultry, and even spices, as well as non-food items like paper products are among the popular ‘Made in Qatar’ goods in LuLu stores.
On customer footfall, while many residents have yet to return to the country from their respective vacations, Kumar said LuLu Hypermarket has recorded growth in customer footfall.
“Customer growth is a normal trend for us every year, although compared to last year, many people stayed in the country because of the economic blockade imposed on Qatar in June last year,” he said.
In late June 2017, at the height of the blockade, LuLu brought in a chartered flight loaded with 65 tonnes of fruit and vegetables from Kochi, according to LuLu Group International regional manager (Qatar and Egypt) Shanavas PM.
Shanavas explained that LuLu sourced products from the Indian subcontinent, including Kochi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, while meat products were imported from Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Turkey, among other countries.
Also, last year, Safari Mall senior purchase manager B M Kasim, underscored the “important role” and “special support” provided by government authorities, who helped expedite the release of imported consumer products.
“With the support of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, we can do a lot of things, and we very much appreciate the special support that we have received from government officials here. With their support, we can buy any product anywhere,” Kasim stressed.
For this year’s holiday season, Kumar said LuLu imported more products from suppliers in the US, the UK, Spain, and Turkey.
In March this year, Al Meera Consumer Goods Company launched an initiative dubbed ‘Products from Qatar’ to support local entrepreneurs and homegrown agricultural products.
In an earlier statement, the company said the initiative “comes in the context of Al Meera’s commitment to local farms by providing them with an ideal platform through which they can establish and grow their presence in the marketplace, and usher in a new wave of opportunities for co-operation and business partnership that directly contributes to Qatar’s food security programme.”