Anyone passionate about nutrition knows that oats are a superfood. But for years, the only oat products that found their way onto the shelves of Egyptian supermarkets were produced by foreign companies.
In 2015, then-college student Ahmed Shalaby and three of his friends decided that this was their opportunity: they founded their company, 4A Nutrition, and created the brand Lino Oats, becoming the very first local company to bring oats to the Egyptian market.
Ahmed, a resident of Mountain View Hyde Park, is this week’s guest on ‘Empowering Success’, Mountain View’s initiative highlighting entrepreneurs from its community and the stories of their inspiring journeys.
It took persistence and faith in their products for Lino Oats to break through, as oats were considered an obscure grain that was only eaten by those aiming to lose weight. Ahmed recounts that in the early days of the company, some people close to him did not even know what oats were.
Seven years later, Lino Oats has come a long way since the days when they offered a single product: a simple resealable pack of oats. Today, they offer a variety of products at various price points, starting with breakfast foods like cereal and muesli, healthy snacks like oat biscuits, granola bars, and savory oat snacks, to cooking ingredients like oat pasta and oat flour.
However, 4A Nutrition are aiming higher still.
“People used to think that oats couldn’t be grown in Egypt, but that’s a misconception,” Ahmed tells Egyptian Streets. “We’ve experimented with it and it worked.”
Distributing their products across all Egyptian governorates and exporting to 12 countries around the world, the next step for Ahmed and his business partners is to grow and process the oats in their products locally, something they would once again be pioneers in.
To find out more about the opportunities, challenges, and memorable moments throughout Lino’s journey to bring oats to Egyptian breakfast tables, watch the extended interview with Ahmed, or listen to the ‘Empowering Success’ podcast on your favorite podcasting platform.
If you are from the Mountain View community and want to be part of the Empowering Success initiative, send your business profile to [email protected]