- Oasis, a leading brand of National Food Products Company (NFPC) is the first GCC water brand to provide water in sustainable Tetra Pak packages to consumer market
- The water, available in Tetra Prisma Aseptic 330ml carton packages, will be sold at all major supermarkets from March 2020
In a bid to be first mover in the sustainability space for its regional market, National Food Products Company (NFPC) today announced that it would be bringing drinking water in Tetra Pak cartons to consumers from March, with an expected retail price of Dh1.5.
During the unveiling at a Gulfood press conference, NFPC Group CEO Iqbal Hamzah said the new Tetra Pak water product reflected both his company’s commitment to a sustainable future, and the environmental concerns of millennials.
“That’s why we created this,” he tells GN Focus. “Everything – carton and cap – is fully recyclable. I would even say the taste of the water is slightly different, because PET [used in conventional plastic water bottles] is chemical-based. Tetra Pak cartons, on the other hand, are UV-protected.”
NFPC, a major F&B organisation that serves more than half of the UAE population with its daily water, juice, dairy and snacking needs, has already reduced the amount of plastic used in its 500ml water bottles by 45 per cent.
While the Oasis Tetra Pak will only be available in 330ml at launch – Hamzah says consumer focus groups showed the maximum preference for this single-serving size – NFPC is open to introducing more sizes over time. “We’ll see the response, but we have high expectations.”
We have worked with Tetra Pak over several years; our juices and dairy products are being produced in this environmentally considerate packaging
Hamzah knows a thing or two about being first to market. During his tenure at Agthia Group, where he was CEO from September 2014 to January 2017 before taking the reins at NFPC in June of last year, he brought Al Ain Zero to market – the UAE’s first sodium-free bottled water for consumers. “I created that category,” he says.
For the time being, Oasis will continue to sell its conventional bottled water products alongside the Tetra Pak. "For right now, we want to offer consumers the Tetra Pak as an option."
The main material used in Tetra Pak package is paperboard, a renewable material made from wood. It is Forest Stewardship Council™-certified and also features six layers that protect the contents from sun, air and light. Cardboard is the main component used, and it is sourced from trees with new trees planted to replace the ones used for production. A number of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies have assessed that the Tetra Pak carton is generally attributed with the lowest environmental impact of all packaging formats.
“We have worked with Tetra Pak over several years; our juices and dairy products are being produced in this environmentally considerate packaging,” explains Hamzah. “Our decision to provide drinking water within Tetra Pak packages, which provides so many waste reducing benefits, is our keen commitment in addressing the serious issues of global pollution. We are immensely excited at being the first F&B provider in the GCC to launch this to a consumer audience through our retail partners. A great deal of thought and effort has gone into its design and creation – we want it to have a dynamic shelf presence in order to appeal to a mass audience, and we have worked hard to make its price point very competitive. In the weeks to come we are confident that it will resonate very strongly with people who are making concerted efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and play their role in sustaining the planet.”
Amar Zahid, President for the Middle East and Africa at Tetra Pak, says: “We are excited and proud to see our customers adapting sustainable packaging solutions in the UAE which is becoming more and more aware of the environmental cause. Our collaborations with NFPC today for the launch of water in carton will help us continue to innovate and offer F&B solutions that are healthier and less impactful on our planet”.