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South Africa, Consumer
While pursuing her MBA in Washington, home to the coffee capital of the United States, Lateefa Alwaalan was inspired by the local coffee enthusiasm. She reflected on her own coffee experiences back in Saudi Arabia, and her mother’s poor tasting Arabic coffee. Lateefa tried to make it herself, but soon realized it was a complex and time-consuming process. She also noted how very few people of her generation knew how to brew it.
Lateefa used her time at business school to develop a technological solution and business plan to ease this pain point. While working at Alwallan Pharmacies, she began developing Yatooq, originally only selling Arabic coffee blends. She soon partnered with a local Sudia incubator and spent the next two years developing Yatooq’s coffee machine. She finally launched it in 2013.
Yatooq provides a user-friendly solution to the traditional Arabic coffee brewing process, saving users time and effort. The portable electric brewer removes the traditional pains associated with brewing Arabic coffee, decreasing brew time by 75% and preventing the coffee from boiling over. The premeasured coffee blends combines the seven ingredients required to make Arabic coffee into one product.
It is the first company to create a simple alternative to traditional Arabic coffee brewing, and as such, has built a strong distribution network. Unlike its main competitor, who outsources production and design, Yatooq leverages its strong Saudi-based engineering partner to innovate on Yatooqs patented technology and respond to market demand.
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