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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Islamic cola 'selling well in Saudi'
Packaged Coke cans
Saudis are boycotting American brands
An Iranian soft drink named after a holy spring in Mecca is said to have won an enthusiastic reception in Saudi Arabia.


The campaign of boycotting American products and the good quality of Zamzam Cola have given us excellent sales

Distributor's spokesman
Zamzam Cola, an alternative to US brands Coca Cola and Pepsi, has gone on sale at the same time as a campaign to boycott American goods gathers momentum.

The Saudi distributor, Al-Majarah, said it had imported four million one-litre bottles in the past week, but demand had been so high it had already ordered several million more.

A company spokesman said it had even asked the Iranian parent company for permission to set up a bottling factory in Saudi Arabia.

"The campaign of boycotting American products and the good quality of Zamzam Cola have given us excellent sales," general manager Firas Khawaja told Reuters news agency.

"Demand in the eastern province alone has put a lot of pressure on the Iranian supplier."

Boycott bites

Popular anger against the United States over its support for Israel amid the Palestinian intifada sparked the campaign to boycott American products.

US exports to Saudi Arabia declined by more than 40% in the first three months of 2002.

Preparations are under way to establish a bottling factory for Zamzam Cola in neighbouring Bahrain, where the drink has also proved very popular.

Zamzam says it is also planning to upgrade and expand production plants in Iran to meet the growing demand for its drinks.

Zamzam Cola is also sold in Iraq, Pakistan and some African countries. The company hopes to expand its operations to other parts of the world.

See also:

21 Aug 02 | Business
16 Aug 02 | Middle East
08 Aug 02 | Middle East
21 May 02 | Middle East
13 May 00 | Middle East
16 May 02 | Country profiles
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