Nourishing Innovation

Food industry

Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading LLC has been a leading FMCG distributor in the UAE for over four decades, importing and distributing premium goods and brands from Europe and USA to retailers and foodservice establishments. Led by Mr Daniel Chidiac, Greenhouse continues to adapt and evolve, now taking on an exciting new market in B2C services. We take a closer look at the journey so far and Greenhouse’s visions for the future.

Established in 1977, Greenhouse Foodstuff Trading LLC is one of Dubai’s oldest and most established FMCG companies in the UAE, and has proudly been the ‘one stop’ solution for the region’s food service channel for more than four decades. Greenhouse is specialist in importing and distributing premium quality brands and food products from Europe and the US in addition to foodservice equipment.

Catering to global chains and local enterprises, to four and five-star restaurants and catering establishments, Greenhouse also partners with leading retailers across modern and traditional trade in GCC. Specialising in air freight short shelf-life products, Greenhouse is able to deliver exclusivity to their various channels across the food industry, whether they be importing dairy products, bakery and pastry foods, multicultural cuisines or other premium kitchen equipment. In 2014, the decision was made to focus on only eight key categories of culinary products, so that Greenhouse would be able to focus on excellence in select markets without having to compromise elsewhere.

The decision taken was part of a major restructuring project across Greenhouse that was initiated following the appointment of Mr Daniel Chidiac at the head of the firm, who brought with him a vision to position Greenhouse as the top player in the foodservice and retail markets of the UAE. Prior to joining Greenhouse, Daniel had acquired vast industry insights through extensive experience within retail and distribution of FMCG brands, namely from his involvement in the launch of Spinneys, in Beirut, Lebanon. Having worked with a myriad of multinational brands before entering Greenhouse, Daniel was well-equipped to carry on the legacy of Greenhouse founder, Mr Petros Hadjipetrou.

Mr Hadjipetrou founded the company in the seventies with a vision to create a single, comprehensive channel of major food brands into the UAE. To that end, the firm set out to introduce and develop Greenhouse’s brand portfolio to include major international brands. That mission has remained consistent throughout Greenhouse’s existence, as the firm itself has evolved and grown. In 2007, BPC Holding, chaired by Mr Salah Osseiran, took on the firm with a view to support the ongoing growth path through continual investment in infrastructure, skilled personnel and resources to maintain continuity and best practice, for the sake of clients and shareholders alike.

When, in 2014, Daniel joined with his plans for restructuring and a new vision to make Greenhouse the leader of eight categories of the foodservice and retail markets in the UAE, it marked an exciting new chapter for the firm. With principles of transparency, integrity and loyalty built around trust and consistency in strong partnerships and business relationships, Greenhouse continues to strive for excellence in its customer service and innovation in its operations.

Working across two different client bases in food service and retail, Greenhouse employs two go-to-market approaches driven by dedicated teams for each channel. In retail, for instance, the team includes brand managers who play a vital role in proposing innovative concepts to large supermarket chains and independent retailers, offering them unique opportunities to stand out in a saturated market. The team have proudly brought to market products such as the Mini Cheese concept for Carrefour and other retailers and the ‘Cut &Wrap Cheese’ concept, that has proven a firm favourite at Choitrams, Grandiose and Aswaaq supermarkets. In addition, Greenhouse recently launched its Plant-Based division, which seeks to find new and exciting products and brands to answer the growing popularity across the continents for more plant-based diets. With the support of Greenhouse, supermarkets are able to deliver the best and most innovative products to clients around the GCC.

For clients in foodservice, Greenhouse goes above and beyond only offering exclusive premium ingredients and products. The Greenhouse Innovation Centre at the firm’s headquarters in Dubai is a world-class culinary platform that welcomes professionals and chefs to learn about developments and changing trends in the food industry. Comprehensive culinary courses and training events are led by illustrious chefs and Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOFs) and cover everything from baking demonstrations to revolutions in cooking techniques to inspiration for new menus. Chefs from across the UAE flock to the centre to learn the best and latest trends from the European food industry and leave feeling inspired and empowered to craft their own culinary creations.

Thus, as a service company, the team behind Greenhouse are instrumental to the organisation’s growing success. As Daniel himself says, “the greatest asset of a company is its people” and to that end, he is continually investing in the development and improvement of the team. When recruiting new members, Greenhouse seeks loyalty, integrity and intelligence, as these attributes are what create a smoother, more efficient and overall, more successful company. Together, Greenhouse has cultivated a culture that is friendly, collaborative and equal, whilst at the same time promoting accountability, professionalism and ambition. Every member of the Greenhouse team is an entrepreneur in their own right, taking pride and responsibility for the corporation that they have each helped to build.

For Daniel, it would be easy to find managing an operation across the four countries of UAE, KSA, Qatar and Sultanate of Oman challenging, yet the strong management of his teams in those regions alleviate any stress. Whilst Daniel and his team at the headquarters in Dubai focus on the growth of the firm as a whole, he is able to trust in his partners across the continent to be striving towards the same goals for the branches of Greenhouse.

It is with great enthusiasm that Greenhouse is able to look ahead to the future, with plenty of exciting projects ongoing and in the works. Having seen a lot of shareholder investment in projects like Cheese Cut & Wrap and the launch of Greenhouse in Saudi over the last two years, the firm is now strategizing growth and focus on these projects to reach maturity in KSA, Qatar and Sultanate of Oman. Moreover, following the successful launch of Greenhouse’s catering services for coffee houses at the beginning of 2020, the firm is expanding into the development of B2C products to account for the increase in delivery services brought about by the ongoing pandemic. Green Mealkit is the first of Greenhouse’s products in this vein, which will be launched in March 2021 as a healthy and convenient option for easier cooking at home.

Thus, with innovation continuously at the helm of the firm’s ventures in the retail and foodservice industry, we are able to look ahead to this exciting next step in the Greenhouse’s evolution. As they take on the B2C market, there is no doubt that even after four decades of operation, the best is still yet to come for Greenhouse.

For more information, please contact Daniel Chidiac at www.greenhouseuae.com

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