The idea of establishing FoodNest in Morocco has been in our mind since we started import and distribution business in Europe; this goes back to 2004. From an extraordinary experience in Barcelona, Ibiza, Holland, and UK, FoodNest was born as a carry-over of this experience to an African spot. The major concern back then has been to refresh a strategy of expanding our business in Europe and reproduce its roots in another continent. North Africa has immediately arisen, given its geographical situation.
More specifically, we have chosen Morocco for expansion for the following reasons:
Morocco is a fast-developing country with a very fertile and virgin market to export European products. Its geographical positioning is magical in the sense that it is easily accessed by the ships and planes coming from Europe. Note that only few quatres of minutes to get to Spain or Portugal, even to France, from the northern stretch of Morocco. The transportation from Europe to Morocco is very dynamic, active, and diverse. Each day, commercial ships arrive at the ports with a very smooth seps of procedures. Tourists also get to Morocco easily by planes, ships, or cars.
The king of Morocco, his majesty Mohamed the sixth, always insist in his speeches addressed to Moroccans on facilitating future investments coming from aboard. His majesty’s implicit message is that “Morocco is an African gate to Europe”.
At FoodNest, we also believe that:
“Morocco is the gate to Africa for future European investments and strategic expansion”
Our experience, besides the market research we conducted, allowed us to conclude that the market of foods and beverages, due to social and cultural aspects of the Moroccan society, has an outstanding potential for an import business given the rich diversity of the clientele an import business deals with. The rich diversity of the Moroccan market tempts European products to be exported and be sold in a wide range. Some investors even decided to establish their factories of the same original European products in Morocco. Ourselves, in collaboration with some suppliers, we propose this strategy to them, as a strategic expansion in the African arena.
Born and raised in Morocco, the CEO, and his assistant as well as the responsible for communication, have great experience in dealing with tough business situations in this country. Sharing cultural socio-economic values with the clients is a tenet that allows us to understand the mindset of the Moroccan market.
With these factors, we thought of a strategy to expend and carry over the experience we have accumulated in the European market to Morocco. Specifically, in 2021, we decided, although the conditions of the world pandemic were tough, to establish the headquarters in Nador. The reason for choosing this particular city relates to a set of socio-economic factors. To elaborate more, Nador is the second closest gate to Europe, after Tangiers. However, there is a set of special characteristics about this city.
Firstly, lots of brands used to come to this city from Melilla, the north African Spanish city. This makes the clients familiar with a wide range of products coming from this city, hence a marketing asset. What is important is that some brands have already made their way towards the local market through this important spot. Unfortunately, the Melilla business gate has been closed since March 2020, and the business activity from there shall never be resumed given the previous status it had as being mostly illegal. Now it becomes clear how the idea of establishing FoodNest in Nador is a rescue for a range of brands that were suddenly and surprisingly withdrawn from the market. Note that from this city, a lot of European brands were introduced to other cities in Morocco, including Oujda, Fez, Tangiers, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Agadir, hence withdrawing a product from Nador, as Melilla was shut down, had an immediate consequence of these products disappearing from all these Moroccan cities.
Secondly, the largest port in Morocco, and the future second largest port in Africa, is under construction in this city. Nador West Med will start operating in 2023, according to the new government of 2021, and enormous business activity will give birth to two important facets: (a) a new market, since it will affect the demographic structure of the city; and (b) it will make it easy for large ships to gain access to northern east of Morocco, hence a structural asset.
Thus, the strategic scheme is to export both experience and products, from Europe to Morocco. After establishing FoodNest, we started with a collection of brands, some of which come from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Poland, etc. to refamiliarize these products with the customer and to reintroduce them after they disappeared from the market to the closure of Melilla business gate. The local clients have immediately responded with totally accepting the reintroduced products, credits go straight away to the quality of the production, responding to requests from suppliers, and the dynamic aspect of our distribution fleet that always makes sure that every business spot must be introduced to the brands we import.