Sladkaya Strana, a subsidiary of the Belarusian confectionery Vitba, is expanding into the markets of Russia and Ukraine. Pilot batches of biscuits have been sent to the trading networks of these countries, Sladkaya Strana Director Khachatur Arzumanov said.
“We are looking for foreign markets. Not long ago we shipped trial batches to the trading networks of Russia and Ukraine: Dixy and Kopeyechka, and a small batch to Latvia. Earlier we provided only one-time export supplies. We should understand that the company was set to replace the import of biscuits. Winning the domestic market is an important task today,” Khachatur Arzumanov said.
The production of biscuits under the Sladkaya Strana trademark was launched in 2014, making the annual output of 103 tons. The output rose to 644 tons in 2015 and 869 tons in 2016.
“An estimated 7,600 tons of biscuit products are imported to Belarus today. Sladkaya Strana occupies 10-11% of the domestic market. We would like to see stronger loyalty from the trading networks. Russian and Ukrainian products are on a considerably wider display in the domestic trading network. Our marketing department is working towards winning our place on the domestic market. In 2015 we held only 7% of the market. The factory will be able to reach its 100% capacity given it holds at least 30% of shelf space. The company is able to secure this volume and produce more than 2,400 tons a year,” the director said.
The company was built to implement cutting-edge technologies in the domestic food industry and secure the production of competitive products. In 2013-2016 over Br21 million were invested. The company was given loans under the state guarantees and also received state support. The results of 2016 showed that the period for the full cost recovery of the investment project, envisaged at 7.2 years (2021) by the business plan, increased more than three times in fact. This year the subsidiary has tried working in two shifts and even worked around the clock for a week.
According to Khachatur Arzumanov, if the company sets a regular two-shift working mode before the end of the year, the project cost recovery period will go up by just 2-3 years to 10 years. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)