On previous year's accomplishments, activity on the international market and the Eurohansa product hits. Talk with Sławomira Raczkowska, Export Manager at Eurohansa.
The trend for healthy products has influenced the confectionary market. Eurohansa is ideally fitting in this trend – one of its flagship products are the fruit-cereal bars Frutti Fit-Active. Please tell us more about this product.
Currently, we have 9 types of muesli bars in our offer. Three of them: walnut, fruit and orange are the oldest, and they differ not only in the ingredients used but also in their package design. The rest of the six bars are characterized by a new and coherent design. The main characteristic of Frutti Fit Active bars is their richness in cereal, nuts and fruit, and the three new bars have additional ingredients beneficial for health. The muesli bar with ACAI berries is a unique composition of fruits with strong antioxidant properties, combined with cereal and chocolate. An additional advantage is the chocolate crunchy, which not only gives it an interesting appearance and unique character but also a unique flavour.
The muesli bar with CHIA is a duo of apricot and refreshing mango with an extra valuable ingredient - chia seeds and grains. This carefully chosen composition provides valuable minerals, healthy omega 3 acids and fiber to our body.
The muesli bars with QUINOA contain classical ingredients: aromatic apple, raisins and a pinch of cinnamon with whole-grain cereals and quinoa seeds. In this composition the traditional ingredients have gained a completely new dimension.
The year 2015 was full of new things. What was the market response to these products?
In 2015, intensive growth in the gluten-free sweets’ segment, and good acceptance of our Toretto series within the customers, mobilized us to introduce a new product line. Carefully chosen certified ingredients, traditional recipes and care for the quality of the technological process needed for production of gluten-free sweets is the secret of the unique taste of fruits in chocolate bars from the Tercetto series. These aspects are especially appreciated by our contractors as well as clients, and has resulted in stable and systematic growth in their sales and higher interest in new products too. Our gluten-free raisins in chocolate, are currently available not only in specialty shops but also in supermarkets. With our products, we have managed to attract the interest of foreign contractors and in 2015, we started exporting Tercetto. In addition, our new cereal bars Frutti Fit Active containing additives from the Superfoods: Chia, Quinoa, Acai, provide a unique composition of flavour and are well recognized within our contactors and increasingly demanding customers. The interest in these products is growing and sales are increasing year after year.
What novelties are planned for next year?
Talking about novelties, we have already started the implementation of new products since last year. In 2016, we would like to promote them more, and make a series of sweets with new flavours. We have developed a new series of gluten-free products, TERCETTO, which are in 80g packages. Currently, there are 4 products: blackcurrant, cherry, raisins and almonds in chocolate. In the beginning of 2016, we will extend the current series and develop new products with milk chocolate: hazelnuts, raisins and peanuts. We will also introduce orange zest seasoned chocolate to our offer.
In 2015, we developed quite a lot of new recipes for candied fruit in chocolate like, rhubarb, gooseberry, rowanberry, strawberry, sea buckthorn and blackberry. Currently, these products are available in bulk and are perfect for the shelves with pick & mix products, which are very popular in the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries. It is possible that some of these fruits will find their counterpart in a unit package, after verifying market demand. Our technologists are working on muesli bars with reduced sugar content, and soon our series of bars will be complemented with products from this group. We see an immense potential in the segment of confectionary with reduced sugar content, and among others, we shall work on the products of such a kind.
What is the position of Eurohansa confectionary in Polish and foreign markets?
We have been present in the Polish market for many years. We cooperate, not only with retail chains, but also with contractors in traditional channels. Of course, in addition to the private label network, we are trying to promote and develop our own brand, which can be recognized on store shelves. As far as foreign sales are concerned, indeed, our work exporting started 1.5 years back. This required us to implement a lot of changes in our current activities, and shift towards a more elastic production process. It was also significant to adjust the packaging of our products to meet the requirements of foreign markets. This process is not yet completed, as such changes need time and engagement of additional resources. Anyhow, in this short period of time, we were able to acquire contractors from neighboring countries like Finland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Romania, as well as from farther countries like, China and Japan. We have also started cooperation with a contractor from Dubai, where we have already sent a trial batch of our muesli bars under our brand Frutti Fit Active.
Export targets for the company in the upcoming years are …
Primarily, we would like to continue with activities already started and promote our products on the foreign markets. Hence, we made a decision to attend the ISM trade fair in Cologne, which is the most important trade fair in the confectionary industry, and in one place, we can meet potential contractors from all over the world. At the beginning, we would like to mainly focus on European countries, we would like our products to be available in United Kingdom. Subsequently, we are planning to expand into the Chinese, Indian and Middle East markets. Lastly, we are leaving out the American and Canadian markets due to specific requirements related to packaging quality and labelling. Our main aim is to develop step by step, while acquiring a stronger and stable position on foreign markets. We would like, our products to be considered as a Polish product with high quality at a satisfactory price. We will make all efforts to ensure that our packaging will stand out from the competition. I might even add that the coming years will be very hard working, due to the difficult market environment and ambitious goals, which we have set for ourselves.
Polish confectioneries on foreign markets are competing, primarily on high quality, which is one of the top priorities of the company, Eurohansa. What does this indicate?
Taking into consideration, the high expectation of foreign consumers, last year, we changed the recipe of our products a bit, so that they can meet these expectations. We are choosing our suppliers very carefully, so that we will have raw materials of the highest quality. We are not just searching for cheap raw material, but we want good quality raw materials and at the same time, competitive and satisfactory prices. We all know that in today’s world, an era of fierce competition, the price of the final product is very important. It is worth noting the fact that we pay special attention to ensure that our products are produced with extreme care. Taking into consideration specific production, especially in hand-made chocolate drops, highly qualified and experienced employees are working towards the success of the product