LONDON/DUBAI: With the start of Ramadan, sales of Vimto are set to soar as the soft drinks brand from the UK has become a preferred way for Muslims in some parts of the world to break their fast at the end of the day.

A Manchester imam explained to the BBC: "After a day of fasting your stomach has collapsed and your body is really low on energy. Anything sweet is a quick fix in terms of energising your body".

Eating a date and drinking a Vimto has become something of a Ramadan tradition for many in the UK and Middle East.

As an article in the Khaleej Times put it: "Everyone knows that Vimto is the king of all drinks during Iftars and Suhoors."

The brand has a long history in the Middle East, having first arrived there in 1927 – "Before there was oil, there was Vimto," noted one local observer – and during Ramadan is given prominent in-store placements.

With as much as half its annual sales in the region coming during this period, advertising and marketing – which has positioned the brand as being central to a time when families come together – is focused into just a few weeks when seamless distribution is also vital.

Looking for new ways to capitalise on this seasonal popularity, the brand has taken a leaf out of Coca-Cola's book – and the US company several years ago made a significant investment in Aujan Group which bottles Vimto locally – offering personalised bottles to buyers in Dubai.

And if a more expensive demonstration of affection is required then this year Bloomingdale's in Dubai Mall will add Swarovski crystals to the bottle at a dedicated Vimto customisation station.

Data sourced from The Independent, Khaleej Times, The National, Nichols plc; additional content by Warc staff