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.
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 asWonderberry, 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.”