Nazar-E- Zilani, Executive Director Sales and Marketing of AFBL
Some of the major product line up
Paste urized milk in tetrapack
When most of the people in the country have become increasingly doubtful about the quality of food and beverage, Akij Food and Beverage Limited (AFBL) consistently gives a guarantee, much to their relief.
The renowned company of the country ensures quality products, knowing that food and beverage may pose massive health risks in case of compromising with quality. This has earned them the trust of the people, and has made their products popular.
AFBL is a company of Akij Group which operates in diversified sectors, ranging from tobacco to jute and textiles. AFBL began its food processing journey in 2006, setting up the US$70 million factory with machinery from Germany, at a beautiful site at Krishnapura, Dhamrai.
AFBL manufactures a wide range of snacks and beverage for both national and international markets alike. It is now one of the leading food and beverage manufacturing companies and selling products in Bangladesh and exporting those to many countries in South Asia. It also exports pasteurised milk, most of cola, clear, juice and fruit-besed beverage to 50 countries including in Asia, Africa, Far East, some European countries and in the Middle East.
Some of the product lines of AFBL include fruit drinks, carbonated beverages, mineral water, pasteurised milk and chips. Frutika, Mojo, Lemu, Clemon, Speed, Spa, Farm Fresh Milk, O' Potato are some of the renowned brands of AFBL.
AFBL started its production at 400 bottles per hour (bph) in the carbonated soft drinks line and 300 bph in the juice line, and at present it is 1900 bph.
"Most of our machineries have been imported from world famous brands as Crones, Tetra Pak, Alfa Laval, Sipa, Risky to achieve best quality," said Nazar-E-Zilani, Executive Director Sales and Marketing, while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor.
"Akij Food and Beverage Ltd is using an aseptic juice packaging and filling system to meet this growing demand for preservative_ and germ-free juice. The company is the first in Bangladesh and the second in Asia to bring this technology from Germany," Zilani added.
"In aseptic processing, a germ-free product is packaged in sterile containers in a way that high quality is maintained."
"When we produce something, air gets into it. And air contains various microorganisms." This makes the product risky for consumption, he added.
"We are producing the Frutika brand mango juice using the aseptic technology. So, its quality does not deteriorate," he said.
It is produced through a vacuum filling system in which the entry of even less than one per cent air will stop the entire production process and all the juice bottles in the production line will be drained out, he said.
"Frutika juice does not contain any preservative and artificial colour, which helps maintain the pure fruit taste in the juice," he claimed.
Zilani said the juice industry is grabbing a significant portion of the market for carbonated drinks by producing a raft of products that are mild and digestible.
The company also gives high priority to quality mango and pulp collection. Mangoes are collected from the best mango gardens of the Rajshahi region and pulping is done at the Chapainawabganj factory, Zilani said.
"We wash the bottles separately to eliminate germs."
"We have other factories at Manikganj and Chhatak. Our chilling centre is at Pabna and Jessore. We have our own superstores attached with every factory and we have 900 distributors.
AFBL has entered the potato chips business in a bid to secure a slice of about Tk 300 crore market, driven by the young generation's consumption. It's made of real potato. AFBL would make its O'Potato purchasing potatoes from Europe.
AFBL popularised its cola brand 'Mojo' among young people and secured a portion of the country's Tk 900 crore beverage market, thanks to its aggressive marketing campaign, competing with r No-1 brand.
"Our brand has created a good image among customers and we work hard to hold high this image. We have own laboratory to test our products' quality," he added.
"We have been investing heavily in improving the quality of our products and this is where we want to differentiate ourselves from other FMCGs in the market. We want to be the role model of value-driven and ethical business in Bangladesh," he stated.
"Apart from our existing products, we are also planning to come up with unique products such as food-based beverages and healthy beverages that is unheard of in this part of the world."
They have some activities like Clemon sports which have imported sports products and Clemon sports club. They arranged creative competition and many more CSR activities.
“AFBL is dedicated to serve the flood effected people of Sylhet and North Bengal. Also in Teknaf for Rohinga,” he concluded.