With Jan Kolański, CEO at Colian we talk about confectionery market and excellent Polish sweets.

Thursday, 05 October, 2017 Food From Poland 29/2017
New products, daring ventures, large-scale advertising campaigns – these are just a few of the many activities that have contributed to the dynamic development of Colian. What are your plans to further your path of development?

We intend to focus on further consolidation of our organization’s position at home and on foreign markets. We do not change our strategy – we develop organically and through acquisition. We invest continuously, implement ground-breaking solutions and introduce new products systematically. On the domestic market, our priority is to successively develop brands from our portfolio and consolidate the value of our brands. Soon, we will focus on marketing and sales activities. We plan to develop exports further and we are also keeping an eye on potential acquisition entities abroad.

Please tell us about Colian’s export offer. It includes both counterparts of products available in Poland and completely new proposals. Which of them are export hits?

We are present across all continents with our products. We sell products from three divisions: confectionery, spices and beverages, delighting citizens of more than 70 states. Our offer abroad includes flagship products of the leading brands in our company, their foreign counterparts under brands of a global nature, as well as dedicated proposalsadopted to the preferences of consumers on individual markets. An example of adjustments to our offer for the customs of foreign consumers are the boxed chocolate sold in Brazil or Mexico. The Family’s wafer (known in Poland under the famous Familijne brand) are a popular export product. Their largest recipient is the United Kingdom, but these wafers are also much liked by customers in the Czech Republic or even as far as Korea. Jeżyki cookies and products labelled with the Goplana brand enjoy growing recognition in North and South American countries. Poland’s favourite Śliwka Nałęczowska w czekoladzie (plum in chocolate) also has a faithful group of consumers worldwide, being a hit in such countries as Hong Kong. Other products that have excellently caught on abroad include Jolly baby jellies and Toffino candies. The popularity of Hellena Oranżada (orangeade) among foreign consumers is consistently on the rise – this beverage is much liked, among others, in the USA. The exports of Colian are diversified. We are concerned with the high availability of our products in points of sale. Therefore, we cooperate directly with both large trade chains and with assorted distributors.

What is the key to success in the sweet brands of Colian? Please tell us about the major changes in your portfolio.

The success of our brands is due to their recognizability, mode of production combining tradition with modernity, as well as a guarantee of quality and taste. Products from the Colian portfolio are appreciated worldwide, not only for their unique taste and nutritional qualities. They enjoy recognition thanks to their original recipes and top quality. Our offer is full of proven and unique products under strong brands with long traditions. We have ideas for the brands and we succeed in recognizing the customers’ needs. Our task, as one of the leading confectionery manufacturers, is to create trends, to build an offer adopted to the consumers’ needs, and to provide them with an opportunity to enjoy high-class products. We consistently invest and support the strongest brands, expanding their offer with unique proposals. The novelties and product innovations we introduce contribute to the growth of the entire market and set the direction for the development of individual segments. Innovative products with no market counterparts are found, among others, in the Goplana brand offer (Joy&Me tidbit line, chocolates inspired by the iconic Solidarność pralines and candies as well as Jeżyki cookies and Grześki wafers), Familijne (Familijne wafle Gofrowe and Familijne 2GO lines) as well as Grześki (Grześki Gofree line). Moreover, we are developing the portfolio of the Hellena beverage brand. We have expanded it by impulse formats of the iconic Hellena Oranżada, the Hellena Family+ non-carbonated beverage line in family and impulse formats. Moreover, we have introduced the Hellena powdered Oranżada, giving joy to children and reminding adults of their carefree childhood. We are also entering new market segments with our brand, as exemplified by Hellena Galaretka czerwona o smaku Oranżady (orangeade-flavoured red jelly).

What challenges does the confectionery sector face?

The sales of sweets in Poland are on the rise. Prospects for the industry are optimistic but there is no shortage of challenges. Due to the fact that the internal market is stable, mature and quite saturated, it is hard to achieve spectacular growth here. There is an art to finding a concept for business and development under such conditions. The latter would be brought to a halt by growing production costs, including rising prices of the essential raw materials, as well as price pressure intensified by the phenomenon of continued promotion. Manufacturers will have to meet the price requirement while simultaneously achieving results above the profitability threshold. It will be increasingly harder to acquire employees, which will affect not just confectionery manufacturers but the entire market. The confectionery manufacturers’ opportunity for high growth is to intensify export activities, especially on the absorptive, less competitive and less saturated markets. At the same time, what they will face on foreign markets is competition with large companies and work on the promotion of the “made in Poland” brand. Domestic manufacturers and Polish authorities face the challenge of building trust to Poland as a brand, and of promoting Polish foodstuffs.

The world has developed a taste for Polish confectionery. Why is it valued on foreign markets?

Polish sweets are valued for their high quality and taste advantages, as well as for their reasonable price. Domestic foodstuffs are often based on good, traditional recipes and largely on healthy domestic raw materials. Our country has a great opportunity to become a renowned manufacturer of high-quality, brand foodstuffs. It is important to increase the availability of Polish food abroad and to intensify promotional activities in favour of „made in Poland” to make it known by a broad range of consumers.

Colian has consolidated its position on the British market thanks to the expansion of its offer with the luxury chocolate products of Elizabeth Shaw Limited. What will be the next step in the company’s foreign market development strategy? What are the new directions of foreign expansion?

We plan further development of exports, also through the acquisition of attractive acquisition entities with well-known brands. We will be active on the current markets, but we will also focus on the acquisition of new outlets. We intend to intensify our foreign activities on mature and competitive developed markets, as well as in third countries, the Middle and Far East, Africa and the Americas.

Thank you for the interview.
Monika Górka

tagi: Jan Kolański, Colian ,

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