The Road AheadMecca-Cola, anyone? [Archives:2003/629/Business & Economy]

March 31 2003

Raidan Al-Saqqaf
It's working! Our opposing to the double standard U.S. policies through the boycott of American products in our region is working; For example American exports to Saudi Arabia have fallen about 40% during the first three months of the last year, Moreover, this shift in demand from American products to other substitutes helped in the emergence of companies like Mecca-Cola and Qibla-Cola. As such, Mecca-Cola had received orders for over 5 million bottles of the beverage in Saudi Arabia alone.
Tawfik Mathlouthi is a French entrepreneur from a Tunisian origin. He is one of millions other Muslims who want to do something about the bullying of the U.S, he said, “the Arabs have behaved like imbeciles. We have to bring the United States to be a partner, and not a guardian. America is the foster parent of the Arab world, and the Arab peoples are like minors under the guardianship of the United States”.
At least if our governments can't do much about it, maybe boycotting American products that symbolize their capitalism would make us feel better, and one of these products is Coca-Cola. On the contrary, we can satisfy our demand by choosing to buy from other non American competitors; For example ZamZam cola, the Iranian soft drink maker, has exported over 10 million bottles to Saudi Arabia only in the last four months of 2002, marking a tremendous growth rate in their exports.
On the same grounds, Mecca-Cola was introduced with a roaring slogan saying “No more drinking stupid. Drink with commitment.” Boosting the demand for the beverage which has increased rapidly because more and more Muslims are seeking out alternative products, so the company has received orders of over 16 million bottles from England alone, and now targeting an annual sales target of 200 million bottles.
Moreover, the company has diversified its product to include flavors like coffee and lemon, and has signed launch and distribution agreements with several countries in the region including our country, so shortly expect Mecca-Cola to enter our market, and as Mathlouthi described the beverage: “A little gesture against U.S imperialism and foreign policy.”
If boycotting American companies can and will open up good business opportunities for many other home grown companies, and hence creates jobs, supports livelihood, and over all strengthens our economies, then boycotting U.S. products is a good thing. We, Arab countries, have all the resources required to establish the world greatest businesses, all we need is brains, people like you and me. If we know that a product like Mecca-Cola would have an ultimate success, why don't we invest in such great ideas in our homeland? After all, enhancing our own economy with our own brands would help in our development, wouldn't it?

Remember: Boycotting American products will help ideas like Mecca-Cola to emerge, and in turn help us achieve our political and economical objectives.