The invention of "Saudi-Champagne"

How Rauch brought juice to the Arabian desert

In Austria, Rauch was overtaking its first competitors. Concentrates from Rankweil were finding more and more customers, even in the USA. Production capacities had been expanded with a great deal of investment. It was going really well. Only one thing clouded the joy of the young Rauchs: the large European countries and Switzerland were closed to their juices. There were import bans or high customs duties for agricultural products. How to grow further?

"A businessman friend from Switzerland had just begun to supply juices to Saudi Arabia. A hot climate, a ban on alcohol and oil wealth sounded like an interesting market," remembers Roman Rauch. So he wrote a letter to the Austrian foreign trade delegate in Riyadh, asking for contacts with possible trade partners. Soon there was an envelope with an Arabic stamp on his desk, containing a list of potential partners. "This is how I came across the Batawil company. I visited them, they visited us. We quickly reached an agreement. Soon we were the first company to deliver apple juice to Saudi Arabia." From 1971, guests of the desert state found a new drink on the beverage menus of the good hotels: "Saudi-Champagne" - a nice jug of Rauch apple juice mixed with Perrier and garnished with apple slices and mint.