The pandemic has given Kibsons a phenomenal boost to its online sales of fresh produce. When it first pioneered online sales of fruit and vegetables five years ago, Kibsons was already renowned among UAE customers for its deliveries of fresh produce and groceries, while the other major e-platforms were focusing on non-food items. Over the course of just a few weeks during spring 2020, Kibsons’ online sales jumped over tenfold, as the firm established itself as the top platform for fresh produce. Serving more than 150 nationalities, Kibsons quickly developed a hypermarket-sized product selection of food and non-food items.
E-sales now surpasses imports
Kibsons’ annual turnover from e-commerce now totals around US$400 million, while its fruit, vegetables and meat trade is worth around US$300 million. “We are no longer under any pressure to access imported products when the local market is not good enough,” said Daniel Cabral, head of the F&V department. “Market access and logistics are the main challenges today.” Kibsons International LLC was founded in 1980 in the Emirate of Dubai under the vision and leadership of Hussain Ismail Khatri, the company chairman. In 1997, he was succeeded by current CEO, Jamal Hussain. Their entrepreneurial spirit and long-term view of the consumer goods industry provided the basis for Kibsons to lead the market in the fruit, vegetable, meat and poultry sectors. Kibsons enjoys a global reputation of solid integrity among its +600 suppliers and customers.
State-of-the-art cold stores
Kibsons’ operations consist of a head office and adjoining shops, located in the heart of the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market of Al Aweer, Its e-commerce operations are conducted from a new state-of-the-art facility built near the market in 2019, which features solar panels as well as recycled water. It has a capacity of 7,500 pallet cold storage, uses ERP systems and is set to obtain the relevant quality standards certifications. More than 300 vehicles are used for home delivery, a logistics organisation that takes the company beyond its traditional wholesale activity. Kibsons also runs other cold stores in Ajman, which have a capacity of 80,000 sq ft. Kibsons’ facilities comply with HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 22000 certifications.
Kibsons International offers an ever-increasing range of quality fruits and vegetables from several continents, which arrive by air, sea and land. The company also provides a wide selection of specialty, pre-packed and ready-to-eat products. “In the increasingly mature fresh produce markets of the GCC, the quality and consistency of service become ever more paramount and we pride ourselves on meeting those demands,” said Cabral. Besides supplying many UAE retailers, Kibsons also delivers to a wide range of discerning customers in the food-service sector.
Over the past seven years, Kibsons has made generous contributions to Action Care’s educational and social projects in the UAE and in the region. Action Care began in 2008 as a joint venture between representatives from several humanitarian organisations throughout the region. Kibsons has also sponsored development projects through the Gulf for Good charity in the UAE.