Yatooq: Longing for Arabic Coffee
As one of the few female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia, Lateefa Alwaalan had been trying to produce the perfect cup of Arabic coffee for over a decade. In 2007, she began testing various coffee blends, which she later branded Yatooq, the Arabic word for "craving" or "longing". She soon realized that the brewing process was just as important as the blend in consistently producing a great cup of Arabic coffee. Therefore, she developed the world's first Arabic coffee machine in 2013 to complement her blend. Sales of the Yatooq coffee machines grew rapidly in Saudi Arabia, exceeding $2 million in sales in 2014. However, an increase in competition combined with an economic slowdown in the country led to declining sales and increasing costs for Yatooq. Alwaalan reflected on the decisions she made to date, wondering if the revenue decline could have been avoided. She also contemplated on the path forward, specifically whether she should iterate on her go-to-market strategy with her existing product or pivot to an entirely different product.