BMB Group: A Dubai Confectioner Sweetening the World
By 2016, the BMB Group (BMB) had become the biggest producer of gourmet chocolates and Middle Eastern confectionery in the United Arab Emirates. Making private-label, highly customized confectionery for other brands had proven to be a winning strategy for the company; however, BMB's leaders felt it was time to transition to a business-to-consumer model. Establishing BMB brands was essential to continued growth because management believed the private-label space would soon fill up with competitors. Which market should BMB enter? There were three possible options: (1) go where Middle Eastern sweets were already popular but compete with many producers; (2) target Middle Eastern expatriate populations that might embrace the products and partner with local distributors; or (3) focus on markets where the population showed a preference for sweets but had relatively limited exposure to, or preference for, Middle Eastern sweets, and use BMB brands to set the standard. Would BMB's own brands aid the company's ambitious plans for expansion, or was the firm biting off "more than it could chew?" The authors Yusaf Akbar and Dileepa Peiris are affiliated with Central European University.