Uninterrupted production for 80 years, one hundred per cent Polish capital, unchanging recipes and taste – these are some of the many assets of ZPC Śnieżka company, about which we will hear from Sara Wójcik, Marketing Director.
The company strategy – to stick to traditional recipes – do both Polish and foreign consumers see and appreciate it?
Absolutely each consumer, both the Polish and foreign ones, appreciate it. Today, in the time of great competition, tradition is what a consumer is looking for, tradition and emotional connotations with a product and company. Of course this cannot be understood literally – customer needs are changing, the market is changing – the offer of producers is changing but the slogan which for years have marked the company’s approach to company policy, consumer, short and long-term planning is – tradition, taste, modernity. Everyone knows major global leaders, with mass production and availability of their products on every step, in each shop. However, an increasing number of clients are looking for something more, a value added in the form of ‘relation’ with a product or producer! Not so many companies can boast an uninterrupted production for almost 80 years, it is worth stressing that Śnieżka is a company with 100% Polish capital concentrated in the hands of one owner – this is really a totally different way of running a business. Tradition – unchanged recipes and flavors known for generations, taste – ‘unchanging, the same for years’, ‘exactly the same I remember from my childhood picking and eating Michałki® from a Christman tree’ – these are words of our clients. Modernity – meeting requirements of a consumer, creating new forms of serving known and loved flavors, adjusting these forms to the pace of life of today’s society. Almost 40% of Poles are impulsively reaching for a sweet treat – but the motivations in the context of choice – are very often strictly defined.
What challenges are there for producers of confectionery on the Polish market, and also on the international arena?
New challenges come along as quickly as the market is developing and customer needs are rising. The confectionery market in Poland is steadily developing, in the period from August 2018 to July 2019 its value amounted to 12.69 bln zlotys. The trend connected with healthy eating and the increasingly developing Convenience trend which is consistent with the current society with a busy schedule – not only Polish. We want to eat healthy food, quicker, as one-portion, serving proposals must be ‘one off’, encouraging quick consumption on the street, at work, in a car. This trend is also characterized by the awareness of consumers in the context of product ingredients, packaging and production conditions. Probably the greatest challenge for each producer is to create a product which is absolutely exceptional in taste with a value added, which other products in a given segment do not have – and this is probably the greatest challenge for producers, both on the Polish market and on the international arena – so, not to seek a niche but to create it. We should bear in mind that almost 40% of people surveyed reach for confectionery several times a week , and 23% (every 4th person) consumes sweets every day. Within the coming two years a challenge for all producers of sweets will be the planned sugar tax implementation in 2022, this evokes concern in the context of hazards connected with the sale of products containing sugar.
What was 2019 like for the company?
It was a very intensive year for the company – we introduced several new product proposals on the market and largely extended our occasional offer.
Being faithful to our slogan ‘Tradition Taste Modernity’, we have rebranded our product series of Michałki®. A big challenge for us which was widely reported on the market – with only positive opinions. The whole product series of the legendary Michałki®, all forms of serving gained a refreshed, modern, very elegant look. Packaging is often called a ‘silent seller’ – the content is one thing, but shaping the desired product identity is the second half of the apple – one without the other cannot guarantee success for the product. Looking at exports, the year 2019 went beyond our boldest expectations. Apart from participating in the ISM fair in Cologne, we presented the company and our products on the following fairs: Sial China in Shanghai and Summer Fancy Food in New York. This strong promotion of the company on the international arena translated directly into the export potential of our products.
The portfolio of ZPC Śnieżka includes first of all famous Michałki®, but not only…
Śnieżka means Michałki®, and Michałki® is Śnieżka, true, known for generations, but it is worth remembering that our production lines bring also delicious truffle, Trufle Premium® –also in a milk version, jellies, bars and wafers – which are a continuation of the line of Michałki® and Michałki z Hanki®. Chocolate covered fruit – Śliwka Książęca® plums in chocolate is our product recognizable in the whole of Poland, and for some time also a segment of cookies which we are systematically extending. The speed of responding to the changing consumer needs and their increasing expectations is a driving force and the biggest motivation for us. You will also find a series of gluten-free products in our portfolio.
What investment, export, and product plans does the company have for the coming year?
The company development strategy for the coming months is mainly to increase the present company potential by modernizing the production processes.
Product wise – our portfolio, already at the beginning of this year, will be extended to include new forms of serving of Markizy Michałki®, a brand with the original filling of our cult Michałki® candies. Product plans are very wide, already the first quarter of 2020 will be full of novelties in our offer.