The FINANCIAL -- The taste of Georgia will soon be available in spice jars all around the country and further beyond.
After successfully positioning itself on the local market, natural Georgian seasoning provider Suneli is about to conquer foreign markets, starting to export Georgian spices abroad.
Meanwhile, Suneli will introduce the warm, balsamic and aromatic flavour of Oregano, Paprika from air-dried fruits of the chili pepper family, and Baziliki.
Suneli will also add new flavour to its hot and spicy Georgian sauce ‘Ajika’ line and will offer green Ajika to its customers.
Georgian customers will also be able to taste a new product from Suneli; this is ‘Mdogvi’ (mustard).
As of today, Suneli produces various types of spices and two varieties of Ajika - mild, brown-labelled, and very hot, red-labelled Ajikas.
Suneli experienced 300 percent growth in sales in 2015 compared to 2014 thanks to developing the distribution network and merging with Garia, the producer of Ajika.
Company Director Zaza Bezanishvili told The FINANCIAL that Suneli was expecting to achieve better results in 2016.
“This year we plan to expand further. First of all we will increase the menu items and enrich the list of production. We have offers from several countries and are thinking about exporting Suneli production abroad this year. This means we will need more employees, more equipment and more working space. We need to work hard this year, but this fact does not frighten us - on the contrary - it is cause for big excitement and adrenaline,” said Bezanishvili.
“We have just completed work on the recipe for the Mdogvi. Despite the high competition we think our Mdogvi will be a new word on the Georgian market. It will have a different aroma and taste,” he added.
Bezanishvili said the most in-demand spices are those which are usually used while cooking traditional Georgian dishes.
“As Georgians cannot live without national traditional cuisine, they often cook and use Suneli’s spices. For example, highly-demanded spices include: yellow flower; pepper; Kharcho spice; coriander; basil; savory; Svan salt; Ajika; black pepper, etc,” Bezanishvili said.
“I have never met a person, local or foreign, who does not like Georgian Khinkali (a Georgian dumpling with spiced meat, herbs and onions). Black pepper goes perfectly with Khinkali. I think black pepper is the king of spices,” he added.
Q. Last year Suneli and Garia merged. How profitable was this decision for the company?
A. Garia’s production, which is Ajika, appeared on the Georgian market in April 2014. In this category the competition was very high and it was very challenging for Garia to gain popularity. This was also reflected in the poor sales statistics.
Meanwhile, Suneli’s production was conquering the Georgian market. That is why we decided to merge these two companies so we could develop the Ajika line as well and increase the sales of Garia products.
After that all problems were solved easily. Thanks to this decision sales increased very rapidly and we already know that in total Suneli’s sales increased by 300 percent last year.
Moreover, managing one company instead of two is easier and more comfortable.
Q. Suneli won a Golden Brand award, known as the ‘Oscars’ of Georgian business. What is your impression of winning Golden Brand?
A. We are extremely happy to be a winner of Golden Brand and to be named a favourite brand.
I think the experts took into account lots of factors while naming Suneli a Golden Brand worthy company.
First of all we all know that quality really matters. Our production is ecologically clean and 100 percent natural.
The second thing is that it is affordable. In general, a high quality product is expensive but our spices are packaged in an optimal way which regulates the price. I mean that you can buy the exact amount of spices needed for cooking a specific meal. So you are not forced to buy more.
Design is another important thing. Suneli’s design is very simple and beautiful I think. We used the colour red, which is perceived to be a colour of success for advertising purposes. We also use white and if we are to believe the psychologists, this colour encourages peace and confidence.
Now, as a winner of Golden Brand, its logo will also appear on the packaging of Suneli spices to let our customers know that we are a recognised brand and winner of Golden Brand.