Harwich-based world food firm Surya Foods celebrates soaring success of Laila basmati rice brand

Brothers Harry and Suki Dulai, managing director and chief executive respectively of Surya Foods, Ha

Brothers Harry and Suki Dulai, managing director and chief executive respectively of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN - Credit: Archant

A Harwich food firm which produces a rice brand is thrilled after the product bucked the trend and saw sales soar during the religious month of Ramadan.

Suki Dulai, chief executive of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN

Suki Dulai, chief executive of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN - Credit: Archant

Laila basmati, produced by world food firm Surya Foods, became the fastest growing rice brand in 2017.

According to Kantar Worldpanel figures, Laila’s Ramadan sales were up 115%, against the backdrop of an overall Ramadan market which declined at 3% year-on-year and recorded the strongest volume sales uplift of the top five dry rice brands.

The data also reveals the brand was the top performer annually with year-on-year growth of more than 60%.

Meanwhile, leading brands saw a year-on-year drop in sales with only discounters managing to keep pace, with Lidl up 39%, and Aldi up 19%, in year-on-year spend. Overall, the dry rice category shrank by 1%.

The Surya Foods team at its headquarters in Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN

The Surya Foods team at its headquarters in Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN - Credit: Archant


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Surya Foods managing director Harry Dulai said: “To achieve an annual 64% uplift in sales on a brand that is already in the UK top 10 is just remarkable and we are thrilled with the latest figures which affirm our position as a category leader.

“These charts reflect a concerted sales drive during the last year to grow the Laila rice brand and are testament to the enormous efforts across our business from production and manufacturing to sales and marketing.

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“The Laila brand remains at the heart of Surya Foods as a business and we will continue to invest heavily in marketing and sales activity to see it grow further and also increase its appeal to a mainstream market that appreciate authenticity.”

Surya, which is expanding the Laila brand, added a premium range to its line-up with the launch of Laila Xtra Basmati Supreme last year, using one of the world’s most prized rice varieties, 1121.

Harry Dulai, managing director of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN

Harry Dulai, managing director of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: ASHISH AMIN - Credit: Archant

The range is aimed at an increasingly foodie UK audience and has already secured listings with supermarket giants Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda.

Laila’s leading, traditional basmati brand features in the UK’s top ten rice brands and is the top-selling rice on the world food aisles of national retailers Tesco and Asda.

The Laila brand, launched in 1996, now includes a complete range of flours, attas, ghee butter, pickles and curry pastes, sourced from around the world.

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