The FINANCIAL -- Georgian Distribution and Marketing Company (GDMCO), official importer and distributor of the mayonnaise Sloboda, is continuing to experience growth in sales, expecting to hit five percent in 2016.
Already this year sales of mayonnaise Sloboda increased by 14 percent between January-April.
David Piranishvili, Head of the Marketing Department at Sloboda, told The FINANCIAL that the year 2016 started steadily and twelve percent growth in sales is expected by the end of the year.
“The main challenge in 2016 is the unstable situation in the region which might cause a reduction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) which would negatively affect the local economy,” Piranishvili said.
Meanwhile, while summarizing the year 2015 he said the main challenge was the national currency crisis, which started in 2014 and continued into 2015.
Despite the devaluation of Georgia’s national currency the Lari, Sloboda still managed to end the year 2015 with six percent sales growth thanks to the new products the company introduced last year.
“In 2015 Sloboda started offering a new assortment. In total we introduced five new sorts of sauces, flavoured with cheese, garlic, mustard, mushroom and Caesar salad. These are the new sauces under the Sloboda brand,” said Piranishvili.
“We also offered four varieties of HORECA mayonnaise and two new sorts of ‘Olivkovi’ and ‘Provansal’ mayonnaise. These two brands of mayonnaise are available in jars. People like buying mayonnaise in jars because they can later re-use the jars, filling them with jams and other marinades,” he added.
In general Sloboda offers various sorts of mayonnaise to Georgian customers: Olivkovi made from olive oil; classic Provansal; and fasting mayonnaise.
The Olivkovi one has been the bestselling product among Georgian consumers for years. However, fasting mayonnaise is most popular in Georgia compared to in the brand’s other export markets.
Last year Sloboda gave a new look to its products, changing the packaging’s colouring to a natural shade. In general Sloboda’s packaging design is a European style and quite delicate, showing all the ingredients on the package. The production lines are equipped with top-of-the-line European fillers, with a total daily capacity of up to 700 tonnes of mayonnaise.
“We made slight changes to the look of Sloboda mayonnaise. We sharpened the colours and gave a natural shade to the packaging - natural like Sloboda mayonnaise itself,” Piranishvili said.
Sloboda has strengthened its presence online, deepening ties with customers via social media.
“Sloboda is one of the most active brands in terms of PR/Marketing activities in Georgia. Last year we concentrated on the digital media direction to deepen communication with our customers. We have a very active Facebook page where we teach our followers how to cook delicious meals. We offer interesting contests and other activities. This year we have already launched an Instagram account,” Piranishvili said.
Meanwhile Piranishvili promised to offer video recipes to further encourage Sloboda’s loyal customer base.
“There will be a series of video recipes which will be posted on specific days,” Piranishvili said.
Sloboda is exported to many countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and post-Soviet space. The Georgian market makes up about seven percent of total export. Meanwhile, the brand has a 38 percent market-share in Georgia. Sloboda is the most popular mayonnaise in Georgia due to its high quality.
“Despite the small size of the territory, the Georgian market is not small for mayonnaise products, and the consumption level is relatively high. The reason for this is that Georgians use mayonnaise in many dishes nowadays, and the meals are therefore that much more delicious with the added mayonnaise flavour,” said Piranishvili.
“About 15-20 years ago there was no mayonnaise on the Georgian market. However, Georgian meals have adjusted perfectly to this product and it is widely used today by Georgian cooks. The advantage of mayonnaise is that it goes well with any type of dish. It has become the top sort of dressing and a formula for infinite deliciousness,” he added.
For the utmost success the company achieved in 2015 Sloboda received the Golden Brand Award.
“Customers trust this brand. The high quality of Sloboda’s products won the loyalty of customers. Sloboda is an active and flexible brand which overcomes all challenges and easily meets the market trends. Because of all these reasons it is clear why Sloboda received a Golden Brand Award one more time,” Piranishvili said.
Sloboda is a brand name of the company EFKO. The group is producing specialised fats used in confectionery, baking, and other sectors of the food industry.
EFKO produces mayonnaises and mayonnaise sauces for various target audiences, under such brands as Sloboda, Piknik, and EFKO FOOD professional.
Sloboda has a very large assortment which comes in different weights: 100, 200, 400, 480, 800 and 900 grams. They are available in small and large-sized glass jars, doy packs and buckets.
The company’s product has long won the recognition and trust of customers in various countries.
“The high quality and all-natural ingredients of the Sloboda mayonnaises are ensured by using the unique multi-level Organic-Control quality management system,” said Piranishvili.
Piranishvili said Sloboda is the only product which does not include any supplements. In his words, all of its ingredients are of the highest quality and are completely natural.