Q&A with Pentire Drinks – Journey into the UAE’s F&B market

15 Feb, 2024 - UAE Life & Economy

As Pentire Drinks continues to expand its presence globally, we had the privilege of sitting down with Jay Burnham (Key Account Manager), to delve into their journey, strategies, and the support provided by the British Centres for Business (BCB) in navigating and thriving within the dynamic UAE’s Food & Beverage market.


Q: Can you share an overview of Pentire Drinks’ journey to success in the UAE market?

Having been offered the opportunity to join the Cornwall trade mission to Dubai via Cornwall Trade Investment, the BCB arranged a series of group and individual meetings with contacts in on and off trade businesses as well as airlines and importers. These were all tailored very well to each product and organised to perfection by the BCB. After a successful meeting with Spinneys, we commenced product testing and label translations, adjusting labelling where necessary and working with their UK based exporter to prepare for launch. The total process took 14 months from first meeting to first order due largely to product testing and municipality.


Q: Why did you pick the UAE as an export market?

The opportunity was presented to us, and it was a market we felt would be a great focus for a non-alcoholic product as we build our brand globally in the UK, USA and Europe – many countries whose citizens visit and work in the UAE.


Q: What were the key factors that contributed to Pentire Drinks’ success in establishing a presence in the UAE?

Our product alignment with the needs of Spinneys, looking to expand their Non-Alcoholic selection with a company that uses no chemicals and is 100% natural flavouring with aesthetically pleasing branding and sales support.


Q: Can you elaborate on the role of the British Centres for Business in supporting Pentire Drinks’ entry into the UAE market?

Without the British Centres for Business, we’d have never been presented with opportunities to meet with brands such as Spinneys and Emirates. Ahead of this opportunity assurances that we had the ability to trade with UAE were thoroughly considered.


Q: What specific support or resources did the British Centres for Business provide during your market entry process?

Initial introduction and contact support when conversations slowed. They also provided further information on the processes involved when trading in another territory such as UAE.


Q: Were there any significant challenges or obstacles encountered during Pentire Drinks’ expansion into the UAE market, and how were they overcome? 

When product testing, the process is terminated as soon as they encounter anything that needs changing or further information. This process is then re-started. They do not do a full check and reply with a list therefore the process requires repeating until all is passed which can be a lengthy process. For us this was 7 months.


Q: Looking ahead, what are Pentire Drinks’ plans for further growth and expansion within the UAE market?

Now we have a good retail platform, our focus is to build brand awareness in the UAE by building our presence on menu in the on-trade across hotels, bars and restaurants as well as considering airline services.