In an exclusive interview with Hospitality News ME, Jean Zakka, CEO of Zakka Multitec, talks about his firm’s activities and what’s in the pipeline.
What can you tell us about the range of products and services Zakka Group offers to the F&B industry and how the group is differentiating itself from its competitors?
Established in 1942 in Beirut, Zakka Group is a leading provider of industrial machines and services for the food, beverage, dairy, personal, home care and pharma industries. We are present in 10 countries, with headquarters in the UK and branches across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. We specialize in supplying complete lines of processing, filling and packaging machines, industrial packaging materials and consumables, as well as after-sales services and spare parts.
We differentiate ourselves from others by our ability to provide comprehensive industrial lines, starting from the processing phase of product manufacturing all the way to the final packaging phase, where packs are stacked onto shipping pallets. This is made possible through our local branches, which are equipped with dedicated sales and after-sales service teams.
What have been the highlights of 2022-2023?
Our recent highlights include moving our headquarters to London, UK, allowing us to centralize operations for the group while supporting local branches from key regional hubs in the Middle East and Africa.
Furthermore, we have established a new branch in Nairobi, Kenya, which is our first in East Africa. We see the potential in that region and believe we are suitably positioned to penetrate the market with our Italian technologies coupled with our new Kenyan sales and service teams.
Finally, we have established a new industrial factory in Beirut, Lebanon, for engineering, manufacturing and assembling complete conveying systems, filling machines, labeling machines and customized automation solutions. This backward integration allows us to strengthen our comprehensive portfolio, offering bespoke solutions for processing, filling and packaging machines, and being more competitive while maintaining the highest European quality standards.
What sustainable practices have you employed at Zakka Group?
We are actively considering sustainable practices to be incorporated internally within our organization, as well as adding new sustainable products to our portfolio. Within our offices and factory in Lebanon, we have switched to energy-efficient LED lighting to reduce power consumption and installed dedicated recycling bins for paper, plastics and glass on every floor. We have moved to fully digital documentation and motivate our customers to reuse our robust delivery bags. We also encourage those who live nearby to carpool. In other branches, such as in the UK, we allow remote working to reduce travel-related emissions, and in Iraq, we have established three branches so that each team can report to the branch closest to them.
In terms of our machinery, we have introduced innovative paper packaging technologies that fulfill the same packaging needs as plastic wrapping materials. We actively promote the adoption of energy-efficient solutions, such as our Smipack low-energy packaging machines and our Robopac Cube technology, which enables up to 400 percent savings on plastic film usage.