A Scottish candy producer sees the income of its fudge and toffee surge in Iraq. What’s feeding that growing popularity?
In northern Iraq, stores are dashing to fill their shelves with candies. The Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, is approaching – and it’s miles an essential part of the 12 months for confectionery corporations.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, as elsewhere, the 4-day competition which begins on Sunday is a time for birthday party and feasting – and chocolates are very lots at the menu.
That’s good news for Sulaymaniyah-based businessman Farhad Haseeb, who sells confectionery to upmarket stores in Erbil and Dohuk, as well as different cities and towns inside the location.
“In our lifestyle, each person buys very candy things to provide to their guests while they’re touring their houses,” he says.
“Toffee is a totally popular preference for Kurdish humans, especially at Ramadan and Eid.”
Iraqi Kurdistan profile
What is Eid al-Adha?
And households across Iraqi Kurdistan may be tucking into sweets that have been made 2,600 miles away in Scotland.
Greenock-based totally confectioner Golden Casket, which might be satisfactorily acknowledged inside the UK for its Millions logo, is one in all Mr. Haseb’s predominant international providers.
He first related up with the Scottish company several years ago at a confectionery change display and has been ordering growing amounts of its Halal-certified fudge, chocolate eclairs and diverse toffees each yr.
Iraq is now Golden Casket’s third-biggest export market, after America and Ireland.
The family-owned company produces about 70 tonnes of toffees, boilings, fudges, chocolates and chews every week.
So ways this 12 months, it has despatched extra than 60 tonnes of its Buchanan’s logo sweets to the location.
So what’s behind the success of Scottish toffee in Iraqi Kurdistan?
“In our tradition, eclairs and butter toffees are very popular,” says Mr. Haseb.
“We purchase them from Belgium and Poland however Scottish toffee is the excellent – it is extra chewy. We are selling increasingly every 12 months.”
Mr Haseb, whose business enterprise Arak Garden imports more than 2 hundred tonnes of toffee and chocolate a yr, expects to vicinity extra orders with Golden Casket this 12 months.
The Scottish organization, which is also acknowledged within the UK for its “One Pounders” baggage, has been making modifications to cater for the developing Iraqi market.
It recently installed new machinery to enhance its chocolate eclair manufacturing capability.
The agency has also been paying close attention to the packaging of merchandise for the Iraqi marketplace.
Sales supervisor Stuart Rae explains: “Each jar of toffee or fudge has were given to be gold wrapped – gold being a signal of satisfactory – and it must be made within the UK.
“That’s the high-quit stuff for the Kurdish market in Iraq.”
Golden Casket’s handling director Crawford Rae, who is also chairman of Greenock Morton Football Club, sees Iraq and the surrounding location as a “outstanding opportunity”.
He says: “We exhibited in Dubai for the primary time in November – it’s an emerging marketplace and one which we want to break into, and export is definitely a growth capacity for us.”
The Kurdish link is a welcome one for Golden Casket, specifically as the overall confectionery marketplace in the UK stays noticeably flat in the mean time.