Interview with Agata Karoń, Export Manager, Virtu Production.
Virtu can say proudly very wide portfolio, which is available in whole Poland. Which of them are hits of export sale?
Yes, we have a large variety of ready meals in our offer. Export hits depend strongly on the destination country. For example in the UK or in Germany, our bestsellers are the Dumplings with cottage cheese and potatoes, in Hungary – the pancakes, in Lithuania – the spring-rolls…
Due to such wide assortment we are able to meet expectations of our business partners in many countries. VIRTU brand is strong and well known but we also deliver a lot of products under Private Labels of our clients.
In which country You develop Your activity, and which of them are the most important for You?
We have been developing export sales for about 10 years, starting from the countries with large groups of residents of Polish-origin (the UK, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands). Within last few years we launched our products into the new foreign markets like the Baltic countries, Scandinavia, Hungary, Romania. At the same time we work on developing new product lines for British and German markets, which are very important to us. VIRTU brand is now representing international ready-meals, not only Polish cuisine.
Do You plan to branch out Your export directions or to introduce new products on international markets in the nearest time?
Yes! Constant development is an integral part of the VIRTU’s mission. Within last 2 years we have developed new international product lines, also under new brands.
In 2018 VIRTU opened second production plant, specializing in stone-baked Italian pizza PAPA LUIGI. In Poland the PAPA LUIGI product line was awarded the gold medal in the consumer survey, carried out by the institute GfK Polonia: "BEST PRODUCT – CHOICE OF CONSUMERS 2019" in the category READY DISHES. The aim of the study was to select, based on consumer feedback, the best new FMCG products launched on the market from September 1, 2017 to September 1, 2018. Pizza PAPA LUIGI's share in export sales is growing rapidly what proves that it has already gained fans in many countries.
In 2019 we are introducing to the market our new brand FOOD HOUSE, which will cover our convenient ready meals, vegan dishes, high-protein meals. Those products were designed to meet current market trends: quick and easy preparation, short ingredients list, great taste, portion for 1 person. The variety of products guarantees that customers will not get bored.
At the same time we are improving the quality of our core products, thanks to the investments made in the modern production lines. Our both factories are certified IFS and BRC.
With the new offer we want to reach for new markets and strengthen our position as a leader in ready-meals category. VIRTU’s R&D Team is working closely with our business partners to prepare recipes suitable for foreign markets.
How important is participation in international fairs for Virtu? Which of them are the most important for You?
It’s very important to take part in international fairs and exhibitions. We take part in all the important events for food manufacturers to find new business partners, extend our sales potential or simply looking for inspirations for further growth.
What foreign consumers value the most in Polish products?
Foreign consumers value high quality of food from Poland, natural ingredients, good taste.
In many countries typical Polish dishes are well known and they are present on the foreign markets not only in polish shops but also on the shelves of big supermarket chains. The best examples are polish Pierogi (Dumplings) or Zapiekanka (Pizza-baguettes) – by VIRTU of course!