August 2020
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Local Success Story: Dubai Based Citron Makes Meals Fun for Kids and Creates Waves in the Retail Market

Local Success Story:  Dubai Based Citron Makes Meals Fun for Kids

** 55 product lines – 60,000 products sold – +100 Retail Stores – Recipient of US Mom’s Choice Award 2020 and Q4 Launch Set in UK and US **

Citron is a family business based in Dubai that offers an innovative range of products from beautiful printed lunchboxes, food jars, snack boxes, lunch bags, water bottles and food cutters that make mums and kids’ lives easier.  Founded by a mother that had a fussy eater, who came up with a product to deal with the situation, since its launch in 2017 with 1 product, Citron has gone on to dominate the lunchbox and back to school market of the GCC, selling over 60,000 products, winning a number of awards and proving quite the force to be reckoned with.

Back to school is a key spending time across the globe, with 2019 research by Which School Advisor showing how parents in the UAE spend one billion US dollars (3.67 billion Dirhams) during this period, making it also an extremely expensive and stressful time for parents as they are required to buy uniforms, laptops, bags, stationery and more.  It’s therefore not surprising that many parents look to take advantage of deals and promotions and that affordability and quality are two of the key criteria in all purchases, as well as the latest trends in the market.

For Citron, safety, customer satisfaction and price are the most important drivers of their business and their mantra is simple  as explained by CEO and Co-founder Sara Chemmaa, “As a mother myself, I will never sell something that I wouldn’t give my own kids and as a family business we run multiple focus groups and all products are vetted by many mums across the region before they go on sale, as well as being firmly tested with our own kids at home.  I believe these values and our overall business strategy are some of the key drivers of our success and performance to-date as every product that Citron has launched was born from a real need”.

So, as we enter the new back to school period, let’s take a moment to re-cap on the journey and performance of this Dubai based SME and why they look set to make a storm in the UK and US markets where they will launch before the end of the year.

  • Citron launched in 2017 with 1 product – a lunchbox. They now have 55 products, including lunch boxes, snack boxes, lunch bags, food jars, water bottles and accessories such as sandwich cutters and food picks and a new teen line is launching in Q3.
  • Products are available in over 100 stores in the UAE, as well as in Kuwait, Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar. This includes major chains such as Spinneys, Waitrose, Hallmark, Toystore, Borders, Zaks Uniform, HomeSmith, House of Fraser, BumbleBee, Magrudys, WH Smiths and ToysRus, as well as online at all major e-commerce sites: Amazon, Noon, Mumzworld, Sprii, BabyStore, Firstcry and 6th
  • Citron will launch in UK in Q4 2020 and pre-launch in the US by Q4 2020. They are also in final stage conversations with stockists in South East Asia.
  • Since their launch Citron has sold in excess of 60,000 products. With approx. 1-1.2 million children of school age in the UAE, this currently represents a 5% market penetration in UAE.
  • A 6-fold increase in revenue year on year to-date and 40% growth year on year projected for 19-2020.
  • Recognized and awarded 2 prestigious Awards in the US – 2020 “Mom’s Choice Award” after the snack box was reviewed by their panel of mums and the Family Choice Award 2020.

Whilst the back to school period may be a little different this year, filled with some uncertainty, value and affordability will without doubt remain a key decision-making factor for all parents.  Better still, the Citron range has been recommended by schools for parents during the covid-19 era as the lunch boxes are so easy to open and don’t require adult intervention, making it safer for both kids and teachers.

About Citron:

Citron is a family business based in Dubai that offers an innovative range of products ranging from beautiful printed lunchboxes, food jars, snack boxes, lunch bags, water bottles and food cutters that make mums and kids lives easier.  Founded by a mother that had a fussy eater, who came up with a product to deal with the situation, since its launch in 2017 with 1 product, Citron has gone on to dominate the lunchbox and back to school market of the GCC, selling over 60,000 products, winning a number of awards and proving quite the force to be reckoned with as it looks set to launch and go on to international success.  All products are BPA free, leak proof and dishwasher safe. Citron products are available across the GCC including major chains such as Spinneys, Waitrose, Hallmark, Toystore, Borders, Zaks Uniform, HomeSmith, House of Fraser, BumbleBee, Magrudys, WH Smiths and ToysRus, as well as online at all major e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Noon, Mumzworld, Sprii, BabyStore, Firstcry and 6th street

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