Kuwait, November 14, 2020 — Mezzan Holding KSC, one of the Gulf region’s largest manufacturers and distributors of food and beverage, healthcare, and consumer products is proud to celebrate its 75th Year Anniversary this year.
“This anniversary marks a significant milestone for Mezzan Holding whose origins date back to the 1940s before Kuwait’s ‘golden era’ and the end of the British protectorate. Starting out with a small shop and a single employee, today Mezzan is proud to be recognized as one of the largest companies in the GCC with over 8,500 employees across 7 countries.” said Abdel Rahman Jassim Mohammad Al Wazzan, Chairman at Mezzan Holding. “On this special occasion, we would like to thank our customers and shareholders for their loyalty and continued support, our partners for instilling their trust in us to ensure their brands have an extensive regional reach, and our employees for their hard work and unwavering commitment to bring Mezzan Holding to this important milestone.”
“Over the last decades we’ve played a significant role in the development of the food and beverage, consumer goods, and healthcare sectors in Kuwait. We are proud to distribute many of the world’s most renowned brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser, Medtronic and Hartmann, and manufacture products that are beloved staples in every household including Khazan, KITCO and Aqua Gulf. With the acquisition of a majority stake in KSPICO in 2019, we now manufacture pharmaceutical products to treat diabetes, cough and cold, allergy, and other medications that treat many more therapeutic areas.” said Garry Walsh, CEO at Mezzan Holding. “At Mezzan, we are dedicated to the commitments we’ve made to our partners, families, and the environment in the last 75 years, and look forward to further strengthening our presence as one of the region’s most reputable and trusted groups in the decades to come.”
Mezzan Holding KSC’s started in the 1940s when the late Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Wazzan, an ambitious Kuwaiti entrepreneur, opened the company’s first retail store in Kuwait selling consumer-ready imported products such as rice, sugar and other food staples from neighboring Gulf countries, and later from Europe, the USA, and Asia. Today, the 8,500+ employee company distributes over 34,000 SKUs from over 1,200 local and international brands in the consumer goods, healthcare and services sectors, selling over 2.9 million items daily. Mezzan manufactures various products from food to pharmaceuticals in over 190,000m2 of manufacturing facility space.
Mezzan Holding KSC was listed in Boursa Kuwait in June 2015 and operates under strict corporate governance standards and regulations. The company is currently managed by an executive management team that works together hand-in-hand with the Al Wazzan family’s second and third generation who are actively involved in the business. This systematic process has enabled Mezzan to adhere to its core values and principles and develop a long-term operating model and strategy that positions the company for future success.
Remaining true to the founder’s vision and generationally instilled principles and values, Mezzan continues to evolve and contribute to the wellbeing and satisfaction of its consumers across the region through food and healthcare security. As a food and beverage manufacturer and distributor, Mezzan provides high-quality food to customers from popular brands such as General Mills, Red Bull, Rice Growers, Beyond Meat, Volvic, Acqua Panna, and San Pellegrino, and world-renowned consumer goods from brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser, Kimberly Clark, and more. As a healthcare manufacturer and distributor, Mezzan has a majority stake in Kuwait Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries Company (KSPICO), Kuwait’s only pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The company’s pharmaceutical business division, now a major pillar in the Mezzan strategy, provides medicinal, wellness, and healthcare products to local and regional customer homes and markets from popular brands such as Fludrex, Pandrex, Dramylin, Medtronics, Chiesi, and many more.
Mezzan’s significant role in the development of the local economy demonstrates the company’s key influence in Kuwait’s private sector over the decades. As an advocate for the diversification of sources of income that move away from an oil-based economy, the company supports the growth of small local businesses and contributes to the creation of job opportunities. Mezzan continues to strive towards achieving its goal for economic diversification and maintain its investments in strengthening its partnerships, distribution network, and storage, industrial, and production facilities.
With the capability to respond to a range of needs, keep up with the growing population, and ensure food and healthcare security in the Gulf, Mezzan continues to play a pivotal role in the development of the food and beverage, healthcare, and consumer goods industries across the region. Over the last 75 years, the company has earned the trust of the people in the communities they serve as the Mezzan legacy lives on through every household with the presence of its products.
- 1940s: The Beginnings
Mezzan’s late founder, Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Wazzan opened the first Al Wazzan retail store in “Altararih” Souk, Kuwait, specializing in basic household necessities including canned and preserved food products. Cultivating key relationships through exclusive agreements, Al Wazzan introduced into the Kuwait marketplace foreign manufacturers including Claire Ghee, Pillsbury Flour, Baird’s Vinegar, Crystal Hot Sauces, and other commodity items.
- 1960s: Launching Food Manufacturing
Al Wazzan ventured into food manufacturing and built the GCC’s first factory for mincing, mixing, and packing meat to produce sharia-compliant meat products today recognized as “Khazan”. Mezzan also acquired a majority stake in one of the region’s pioneering potato chip factories, KITCO, and developed its operations further under the group’s sustainable business strategy. This approach attracted world-renowned international suppliers including Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark, Reckitt Benckiser, General Mills, and Glaxo Smith Klein.
- 1980s: Expanding into a Vertical Model
Ushering in the second generation of the Al Wazzan family into the business, the company’s leadership adopted the same key fundamentals and values instilled by the late founder Jassim Mohammed Ali Al Wazzan, which includes evolving with the needs of the market, understanding consumer behavior, providing quality products, continuously developing operations, and maintaining productive partnerships. The Mezzan Group witnessed rapid growth through its vertically-integrated business model which included food manufacturing and distribution, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) distribution, catering, and other services, and developed an industrial service business division that continues to play a vital part in the company’s vertically-integrated business model.
- 2000s: Continuing the Legacy
In the 21st century the second generation of the Al Wazzan family worked to uphold the strong legacy built over the last six decades. Mezzan continued to evolve, grow, and further institutionalize, and in 2009, introduced a new mandate to improve operational efficiencies, adopt an effective corporate governance policy, and increase profitability. This fueled the group’s growth strategy and has enabled Mezzan to expand margins, optimize efficiencies and scale up as it upgraded its IT infrastructure, which included the adoption of a Systems Applications Product (SAP) process to audit internal operations and ensure security and data integrity.
- 2010s: Regional Growth
While continuing to enjoy near-full access to Kuwait’s consumer market through cooperative supermarkets, hypermarkets, retail outlets, convenience stores, and baqalas, Mezzan Holding began expanding its strategy in the Gulf region and entered the food and FMCG sector in Kuwait’s neighboring countries. With the establishment of Mezzan Saudi Trading & Distribution, the group launched a distribution platform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to manufacturing plants in Qatar and Jordan. Mezzan’s acquisition of UAE’s leading distribution company Unitra Mets Group (UMG) in January 2014 enabled Mezzan to successfully grow out of its home base. Operating a large fleet of trucks, lorries and vans, the company offers a vast distribution network. Mezzan Holding was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 2015. In 2019, Mezzan acquired a majority stake in the only manufacturing pharmaceutical company in Kuwait, KSPICO, and set the precedent for the company’s expansion into the healthcare manufacturing industry.
- 2020s: Looking Towards the Future
Embarking into the next decade, Mezzan continues to expand into new markets and product lines. Following the acquisition of a majority stake in KSPICO, Mezzan restructured its main, operational business lines from ‘Food’ and ‘Non-food’ into ‘Food’ and ‘Healthcare & Consumer’. The acquisition of Kuwait Pharmaceutical Industrials Co (KSPICO) marked a significant addition to Mezzan’s core consumer-driven healthcare business. Mezzan Holding now is engaged in all aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing including research and development, manufacturing and distribution. This includes the production of tablets, syrups, and ointments, working alongside Mezzan’s well-recognized and established food manufacturing and distribution business line. Mezzan’s food, healthcare, and consumer products are now accessible throughout the region including the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, and Afghanistan. Kicked off in January 2020, Mezzan’s 2020-2025 strategy focuses on growing its scale, footprint, products, and market share across the region for the decade to come.