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Checkoff expands export efforts with Middle East Domino’s partnership

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Partnership will focus on about 300 locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) has entered a partnership with Alamar Foods Company, which owns 455 Domino’s stores in the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan) region.

DMI’s partnership will focus on about 300 locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a goal of increasing U.S. cheese sales.

Amy Wagner, DMI executive vice president of global innovation partnerships, said the checkoff will offer technical expertise on menu development and marketing support to Alamar.

“This is an extension of an already strong Domino’s partnership and a tremendous opportunity because pizza is a lesser developed category in the Middle East,” Wagner said. “As we looked to increase dairy sales internationally, we knew American cuisine is very popular there and pizza is loved. We see an upside to grow even more pizza sales that will use U.S. cheese through innovation and marketing support from DMI.”

This is DMI’s first venture into the Middle East with a partner, but it’s not the checkoff’s first in the international marketplace. In 2019, DMI began a partnership with Domino’s Japan where the volume of U.S.-sourced cheese has doubled since its launch, Wagner said.

“These partnerships illustrate the importance of export growth to U.S. dairy and how our work supports the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s efforts to diversify growth into new regions of the world,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey, who serves as chair of DMI.

While DMI is building its international presence, Domino’s has long been established outside of the United States. Domino’s is the No. 1 pizza company worldwide with 11,000 of its 17,000 stores located in 90-plus international markets. Domino’s had global retail sales of more than $14.3 billion in 2019, split almost evenly between its domestic and international businesses.

“As a global pizza brand, we love nothing more than selling delicious pizzas with lots of cheese to our customers worldwide,” said Joe Jordan, executive vice president of Domino’s International. “Connecting DMI with our master franchisee, Alamar Foods, provides a great opportunity to deliver even more dairy goodness to pizza menus around the world.”

Wagner also emphasizes that about 96% of the global population lives outside of the U.S., a fact that supports DMI’s mission to seek more opportunities such as this.

“We have aspirations to have an even larger partnership presence throughout the Middle East and Africa where populations are increasing,” Wagner said. “We’re beginning with two very strong markets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

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