Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the UAE this month and, to mark the milestone, is launching a ‘60 Years of Spinneys’ campaign. Reflecting on the grocer’s journey from frozen chicken vendor to leading UAE supermarket brand, Spinneys credits its success to its employees and their unwavering commitment to providing customers with the best possible products in the best possible way.
Spinneys’ journey began in 1961 when it opened its first supermarket in Deira, at what is now known as Al Nasr Square. The outlet’s first customer was the late Dubai Ruler, Sheikh Rashed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who bought a bottle of grenadine. At that time, the locals referred to Spinneys as the ‘The Frozen Chicken’ as it was the only retailer to sell frozen chickens from a chiller van. Such innovation has remained as Spinneys continues to keep pace with changes in cooking trends and the emergence of new products worldwide.
Mr. Ali Albwardy, Chairman of Albwardy Investments and owner of Spinneys: “As we reach this 60-year milestone, with immense pride in who we have become, we look back at our journey and appreciate how lucky we are to have been part of the UAE’s story and community. We have walked the entrepreneurial road and built a legacy here in the UAE”.
“Innovation is part of the UAE’s DNA, and this has inspired our ethos at Spinneys to always innovate and offer our customers the very best products. Supporting our community also lies at the core of our values and, as one of the country’s leading supermarket brands, we know we have the responsibility to always add more value through our work. We would also not be where are today without our dedicated staff – their talent and invaluable support are key to our long-term growth,” added Mr. Albwardy.
Today, Spinneys operates 65 stores across the UAE with in-store bakeries, butcheries and delicatessens. As well as supporting local food producers within the region, the company has developed an enviable and comprehensive network of reputable suppliers around the world. In 2014, Spinneys became the first supermarket in the region to join GLOBALG.A.P. – the global partnership for good agricultural practices which promotes sustainable sourcing policies.
Committed to the health and wellbeing of its customers and the environment, the company’s mantra ‘Eat Well, Live Well’ is reflected in its product offering and the implementation of its sustainability practices. The Spinneys UAE Farmers Club was founded in 2015 and comprises eight growers and producers who are devoted to developing sustainable farming. Working together, they are able to supply shoppers with home-grown harvests throughout the year.
Growing demand from conscious consumers to provide a broader variety of food products to cater to specific preferences, from natural ingredients to organic and free-from products, has inspired Spinneys to expand its offering to include more innovative products that promote sustainable, healthy eating.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest stress test the F&B industry has ever had to endure, and despite some very challenging times, Spinneys has continued to support its customers and community. The past year saw the supermarket launch an incubator programme for local F&B brands in support of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy. Participation surpassed Spinneys’ expectations with more than 160 local businesses entering submissions of an exceptionally high standard. Today, 16 micro suppliers are now listed in store, and another two companies have been accepted into its product development programme.
The launch of the Spinneys e-commerce offering was another direct response to consumers’ changing preference to shop for groceries online – bringing Spinneys’ ‘freshest experience’ straight to their doors. Spinneys anticipates demand for online grocery will continue to gather pace and, with big plans for 2021, Spinneys it is committed to delivering the best omnichannel customer experience.
Spinneys’ 60-year anniversary celebrations will kick-off with the launch of a new short film in March, followed by a series of activations throughout the year to commemorate the milestone with staff and customers. This includes a bake-off where Spinneys will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest Honey Cake – a favourite own-brand bakery classic that has been enjoyed by customers for years.