Bruce of Arabia

Bruce of Arabia


It was his sweet success with Chocodates – launching and selling them through the South Island –  that lead to a whirlwind tour of Dubai and Egypt for Bruce Cleave.

Part of the dynamic  team selling Food International products on the Mainland, Bruce works alongside Keith Robinson of Gourmet Food Agencies.  He attended the Gulfood Expo (promoted as the world’s largest) in February and then went on to tour Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.

With more than 30 years in the food industry, Bruce has worked with Food International products since 2016.  He had a wager with CEO, Adel Yousef, on just how many Chocodates he could sell when the first container landed in the South. After a runaway success with sales of about 12,000 packets of the luxury product in less than four months, Bruce ended up with the trip of a lifetime to the exotic Middle East.

“Just being in Dubai was amazing, while attending Gulfood and then meeting the manufacturers of the Chocodates were incredible experiences.”

Gulfood, which was first launched in 1987, attracted nearly 93,000 visitors from 186 counties between 21 to 25 February, this year.

Bruce was very impressed with the level of organization and professionalism of the huge show. He was also excited by the array of products. “I was especially interested in products – such as the Arabic Mezze food and a superbly-packaged Saffron Tea –  which I could see selling well in New Zealand.”

And visiting the cutting edge facility where the Chocodates are manufactured in Dubai was of incredible interest. “Although I know when I do a sampling that once people have tried this unique product they will definitely buy it, I’ll now have even more knowledge to promote the Chocodates.”

The Chocodates are fleshy dates stuffed with roasted almonds and coated in delicious chocolate. Bruce has been selling milk, coconut, white,  dark and extra dark  chocolate varieties of the delicious sweet. With the next shipment, caramel and sugar-free options will be added.  All the products are 100% Gluten Free.

“I tell people sampling the Chocodates that it is a very healthy treat – complete with the date, almonds and especially with the dark chocolate variety.”

In Egypt, Bruce had an excellent guide in Food International’s CEO, Adel, who was born and raised there. The Kiwi was fascinated with the many contradictions of Egypt and surprise, surprise, his trip to the Pyramids was the highlight of the trip. The local food scored very highly too.

Bruce might just have his don his Arabian robes again soon to introduce Chocodates throughout the North Island.