EME Outlook speaks with Inna Petrenko, Head of public relations at Roshen confectionery corporation, about the sweet success it has seen in Europe.
Q&A WITH INNA PETRENKO, HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, ROSHEN
Tell me about ROSHEN in your own words
Inna Petrenko (IP): ROSHEN Confectionery Corporation has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of confectionery products, having been founded in 1996. We have our head office in Kiev, Ukraine and additionally we have 7 production factories – including in Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine. We export our products to over 30 countries around the world.
ROSHEN produces over 320 kinds of confectionery products including chocolate bars, chocolate, jelly sweets, hard candies, biscuits, sponge cakes and wafers. We have a total overall production of over 450 thousand tonnes per year. To remain a leader, just moving forward is not enough; we must set the pace for the whole industry. That is why our operation has always been firmly based on two fundamentals – quality and innovation. All of our factories are provided with state-of-the-art equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers. Each stage of operation, from recipe development to a start-up of a new production line, is executed under a strict code of requirements. The production units of ROSHEN Confectionery Corporation are all certified in accordance with the requirements of the international quality and food safety standards.
What makes your products unique in the chocolate and confectionery industry?
(IP): The unique selling point of our business is the high quality standards we maintain, which are implemented at every stage starting from recipes, including strict control of raw materials, production process standards, improved and innovative storage standards and ending with the control system products delivery. We never compromise on the quality of our products and services! It is our focal point as a confectionery producer, helping to maintain our long term relationship with partners and high loyalty of our consumers in the countries in which we are present.
The company produces a large assortment of confectionery in different categories, which ensures the satisfaction of wide consumer preferences along with the fulfilment of our partner’s needs in the sales sphere, such as distributors and retail chains.
How does ROSHEN handle and move such high volumes of confectionery?
(IP): Within one 8 hour shift, ROSHEN produces over one million kilos of confectionery. To keep up the pace, the company developed and constructed the most advanced logistics centres in the towns of Yahotin and Lipetsk. The centres meet all the standards of an A Class logistics complex and are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. The storage area of the Lipetsk distribution centre is 32,000m2, with a 62,000-pallet capacity and the total area of the Yahotin center is 60,000m2 offering a pallet capacity of over 67,000. This means we can handle some of the highest volumes of confectionery in Europe. Our Quality Management System (following the international standard requirements ISO 9001:2008) was implemented in all our confectionery factories in order to maintain our high level of dedication to perfection.
Every six minutes, for three hundred and sixty five days, one 53-foot trailer loaded with confectionery goods leaves ROSHEN’s warehouse. Each day we have an average of 82 ROSHEN trailers going out on delivery. The total distance driven by our trucks each day adds up to a distance surpassing the length of the Equator. The monthly mileage of the ROSHEN fleet exceeds 500,000 kilometres. Each vehicle is equipped with an advanced commodity flow control and- management system. Therefore, we can control the quality of goods not only during production, but also throughout delivery.
What has ROSHEN been doing over the last two years?
(IP): Starting from 2012, ROSHEN Confectionery Corporation has been selling and also producing its confectionery products on the territory of the European Union, under the trade mark Bonbonetti. The production facilities are located in Hungary, in Budapest City. Bonbonetti Choco Kft is one of the largest chocolate production factories in Hungary.
On September 5, 2013 we proudly opened ROSHEN’s first Bonbonetti brand store in Europe, in Budapest City.
The total square of the store constitutes 80m2 and every ROSHEN and Bonbonetti brand store is executed in its exclusive style, with a unique shop-window installation. The store has a full range of trade mark Bonbonetti confectionery products, and additional brand-new products, such as chocolate coated dragée, praline, which you can only buy in this shop. Here we also offer our customers a rare and exclusive opportunity to make their own selection of handmade praline candies.
Tell me about the recent trends you’ve witnessed and how you intend to capitalise on them
(IP): With consumers very much committed to buying confectionery, the global chocolate confectionery market is expected to continue to grow through 2014 to top US$91 billion, an increase on 2013. Manufacturers continue to innovate around a number of flavours, both sweet and savoury, and consumers are increasingly curious enough to give even the most outrageous flavours a try. With this in mind, we have been looking at potential new flavours and bases for our chocolates and products in order to tap into this new market of experimentation.
Tell me about the successes ROSHEN have seen in the confectionery markets
(IP): According to the results of the independent rating surveys, being held in the framework of the Annual Trade Mark Competition Leaders of Success in Ukraine, we were overall winners in the categories of chocolate bar, wafer cake and crisp bar categories. This was important for us to see just where our products were pitted against the competition and provided insight into the eyes of our biggest critics: the consumer.
By the decision of the three expert boards represented by the Consumers (40%), the Experts (40%) and the Jury of Successful People (20%)…
- Roshen Chocolate Bar was an Absolute Success Leader 2011 in the category of chocolate bar
- Roshen Chocolate Castle is an Absolute Success Leader 2011 in the category wafer cake
- Roshen Schtuchka is an Expert Leader 2011 in the category crisp bar
The company is constantly winning awards in different categories of the products and brand awards.
Also according to the survey made in Switzerland for ROSHEN Chocolate, the company received high appreciation, overall liking and high purchase intent on the homeland of chocolate.
According to the world rating Candy Industry TOP-100 list of world’s largest confectionery companies, ROSHEN has ranked among the top- 20 for the last 3 years.
What are ROSHEN’s aims, targets and projections for 2014 and beyond?
(IP): The strategy is to develop our presence on the markets worldwide and to continue to expand our market shares in the 30 countries that we are currently present in. Over the next 5 years, we would like to enter new markets via retail chains and via the ROSHEN brand store chain. It will not be an easy task when you look at the number of high quality confectionery manufacturers present in Europe, but we believe that our brand is strong enough to go head to head with the competition and gain us new consumers.
How important are CSR initiatives to ROSHEN?
(IP): In 2010, the ROSHEN Corporation opened a Children’s Entertainment Centre in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. We felt that our youngest customers, who are the most avid candy lovers, would relish the chance to be able to interact with the chocolate process. Here, kids can take a tour through five rooms that feature fascinating facts about sugar, chocolate, hard candies, taste and flavours, watch a 4D chocolate movie and enjoy interactive communication with a robot.
Since 2004, the Corporation has implemented the project Land of Childhood ROSHEN as the framework for the installation of over 80 modern playgrounds in Ukrainian cities. The representatives of the Corporation constantly monitor the safety of the playgrounds and provide technical maintenance, which guarantees the safety of children. Since 2005, an educational and entertainment program for school children has been implemented at ROSHEN factories including a free of charge tour of the facility.
Finally, what would you say is secret to ROSHEN’s success?
(IP): In addition to the high quality raw ingredients we use in our products, I think the secret is down to producing a large assortment of confectionery across different categories, which ensures the satisfaction of a wider array of consumers.
Moreover, the company spends a great deal of time analysing the market dynamics and consumer needs in order to propose new ideas or potential substitution of the products which potentially could lose us customers. When you break it down, consumer tastes change and if we are not changing with them then we will no longer be a market leader.