About tea and other excellent products of Herbapol-Lublin S.A.: an interview with Evangelos Evangelou, President of the Board.
Together with the Big-Active brand, you are the leader in the area of functional and fruit teas in Poland. Does the strong entry into the black tea market through putting two new brands: Big-Active Black Tea 100% Pure Ceylon and Nasza on the market augur a beginning of your pursuit for the leading position in this category as well?
Presence of black tea, Poland’s most popular kind of tea, on the market gives us wide prospects of development. Studies show that consumers look increasingly often for high-quality mixes or diverse flavours and are not afraid to reach for new brands. Big-Active Pure Ceylon tea, containing no redundant flavours and characterized by a deep, velvety taste, answers the needs of even the most demanding customers, being prepared in accordance with the company’s mission. On the other hand, Nasza brand is a family tea with the Herbapol quality guarantee. A large, resealable family pack of 40 or 90 bags ensures preservation of the tea aroma for a long time. Nasza is also a diversity of tastes – our offer includes classic black tea as well as fruit teas in Poles’ favourite flavours – raspberry, strawberry, cherry, and forest fruit.
Experts claim that the black tea market is rather stable, and development can only take place through seizing shares from other participants. What is your opinion on this matter?
The tea market in Poland is characterized by considerable fragmentation, whereas its shape and directions of further development are determined by several large producers. Herbapol-Lublin S.A. is one of them. Most consumers make conservative purchasing decisions, but a gradual change in their behaviour can also be noticed. Big-Active Pure Ceylon black tea has a unique taste and top quality – containing no artificial flavours or colourings used so often by our competitors. Quality will always convince a consumer – whether he or she is a fan of Big-Active brand or just a customer interested in trying something new.
Introduction by Herbapol-Lublin S.A. of new products in the segment of black tea was preceded by detailed analyses, not only of a quantitative nature. The proposal of Big-Active Pure Ceylon was evaluated very positively by focus groups with regard to taste, package design and suggested packing variants. This allows us to assume an optimistic scenario for this product.
What is the current market share of Herbapol and Big-Active black tea? What share would you deem satisfactory in the future?
Herbapol-Lublin S.A. is the leader in six categories. As Herbapol brand, we occupy the first place in the segment of fruit and herbal teas, as well as in fruit syrups. Big-Active brand, on the other hand, is the leader in the category of green and red teas. Both brands dominate in the segment of functional teas. We also aim high in the segment of black teas. Big-Active Pure Ceylon runs for a place in the top three, and the first sale results fulfill our assumptions in this regard.
Will the development of the segment of black teas be limited to the domestic market, or do you also plan to develop exports? Which export directions in this category are you interested in? Which editions of foreign food trade fairs are best suited for the export products of Herbapol?
Our priority is to build the brand of Big-Active Pure Ceylon black tea on the local market, the next step will be export development of this tea and all our activities will be focused on this goal. Currently, exports account for approx. 10% of our company’s trade, and we observe a considerable volume growth year-on-year. We can also see an increased interest in Herbapol jams, Big-Active teas, as well as bulk-packed herbs – especially on North American markets. The main sales markets of Herbapol-Lublin S.A. are England, Germany and North America.
What marketing strategy have you adopted for the next years for other tea segments?
We will build our competitiveness through the introduction of further innovative products. Simultaneously, this may cause a renewed increase in consumers’ interest in assorted product categories and slowdown or return to growth. We are the leader in the segment of fruit, green, herbal and red teas, so consequently, stimulation of growth through innovative market solutions is our obligation. Another important strategy is maximization of the quality of our product portfolio. We are proud of it and we believe our products are the best in this regard.
Herbapol-Lublin S.A. conducts active media support in television, being an undisputed leader in Poland on this subject. For yet another year in communication, we focus on the taste and appetising effect of our products, characteristics so important, in particular, to the younger generation of consumers. The slogan of our campaign: “Pleasure. Yours by nature” references the positive sensations accompanying everyday consumption of products of Herbapol brand. As a family brand, we also encourage the consumers to share the unique taste of our products with their close ones, thanks to which moments spent together will gain exceptional flavour.
In the case of Big-Active brand, we also focus on its pleasure-oriented nature. The next stage of the campaign “Complement of good moments” focuses on the communication of green teas and black aromatized teas.
“Herbapol – Yours by nature” – is a slogan featured on every product of Herbapol-Lublin S.A. company. How do you ensure the high quality and excellent taste of the products (raw materials, technology, certificates)?
We consider the phrase “Herbapol – Yours by nature” our mission. We stand guard over the richness of nature and we wish to share it with the consumers. Since its establishment, the company has been connected with Lublin. It is in the Lublin Region that the local, varietal Polish fruit are acquired, exclusively from proven and trusted suppliers. These fruit provide the unique taste of the Herbapol products. Nature is not just a source of raw materials but also an inspiration for new products, appetizing taste combinations and practical solutions increasing consumer comfort. The company also stands out with its unique system of acquiring raw materials through its own collection centres, supporting natural cultivation of herbs in Poland.
Appropriate shop shelf’s arrangement is a very important element in retail trade. Please tell our readers why the products bearing Herbapol and Big-Active logos should have their own, prominent place on the shelves in every store.
These are best-selling products in their segments; their absence on the shelf or improper exhibition may result in consumers purchasing their favourite product elsewhere.
It is worth remembering that the trust of consumers, enjoyed by the products of the Herbapol brand, resulted in being granted Dobra Marka (Good Brand) honourable mention in 2016 for Dżemy Klasyczne (Classic Jams) Herbapol, as well as the Złoty Paragon (Golden Cash Receipt) awards in 2016 for Owocowa Spiżarnia Raspberry Syrup and Herbaciany Ogród Raspberry Tea.
On the other hand, Big-Active is an excellently developing brand, as best demonstrated by the prestigious awards won by our products. Three times in a row, we have received a honourable mention in the Złoty Paragon vote for the Big-Active Green Tea with Quince (2013), Earl Grey with Citrus Fruit (2014), as well as Green Tea with Raspberry and Passion Fruit (2015). These tastes have been extremely well received by consumers and found their appreciation, therefore, it is worth ensuring that the customers can always find them on the shop shelf. After all, we are leaders in almost every product category.
Apart from teas, the offer of Herbapol-Lublin S.A. also includes syrups, Green Up energy drinks, as well as jam products, introduced to the market in 2014. What development strategy have you adopted for each of these categories?
As we know, each product must have its Unique Selling Point used to promote it among the consumers. We build our strategies on the strength of our brand, the quality of products, and trade contacts of the company. The goal is to achieve as high sales results as possible.
A personal question: Which products of Herbapol and Big-Active do you reach for most frequently?
I admire tea and everywhere I go, I look for the best tastes, I experiment and scrutinize consumer choices with curiosity. As most Poles, I prefer black tea, so I drink Big-Active Pure Ceylon in the evenings. For the day, I choose the very tasty Green Tea with cherry of Herbapol brand, or Big-Active with Raspberry and Passion Fruit, brewed for exactly three minutes – such infusion provides excellent refreshment, has a stimulating effect and gives energy. Sometimes, instead of a coffee after dinner, I choose the peppermint leaf tea from Zielnik Polski (Polish Herbarium) line of Herbapol brand. It has an excellent effect on digestive process and eases the sense of fullness; I brew it, exceptionally, with two bags.
Thank you for interview, Tomasz Pańczyk.