The FINANCIAL — Eco-Food, one of the leading dairy producers in Georgia, had a 15% increase in realization of products in 2009 despite the economic crisis. The annual turnover of the company in 2009 was 12.65 million GEL.
“The company’s priority for 2010 will be to focus on growth, work on how to raise productivity, how to make consumers more satisfied with our offerings and to present a new product to the market,” said Shalva Alavidze, Head of the Marketing Department of Eco-Food.
Eco-Food possesses 45% of the dairy products market share in Tbilisi.
During 2009 the company was actively engaged in developing the first healthy yogurt.
“Our company founders are in negotiations with experts in Holland about cheese factory development in Georgia. This is a project of the Dutch Government and we have won the grant. The first stage is the development of a cheese plant design and the second stage will be setting up the plant,” said Alavidze.
Eco-Food will start producing Georgian cheese types Sulguni and Imeruli. The cheese segment is very important, if for example the milk market is worth 60 million, the cheese market’s value is 360 million,” said Shalva Alavidze, Head of the Marketing Department of Eco-Food.
The company’s sales office changed its location in 2010. The total investment for the new building was 500,000 GEL.
“We have moved to modern sales office in Gldanula, from where we can load 25 cars simultaneously. Consequently the delivery of products has increased proportionately and our production is available in all stores from the early morning,” said Alavidze.
“Eco-Food production is divided into three parts: milk, sour milk production and butter. Sour milk production includes sour milk, sour-cream, cottage cheese, and kefir. This segment, in particular sour milk, has the highest sales out of all the production.”
Alavidze says that the company is planning to increase total production by 20% and realization will be 25 million units.
In 2010 Eco-Food started sales of Delyo, the first Georgian yoghurt. Alavidze says Delyo is a healthy product. “We spent a year on yogurt processing to get the optimal result, the product storing term is up to 21 days. And as well as being tasty the product is also very healthy.”
“We provide people with fresh yoghurt which is impossible for foreign brands, because their supplying the market needs longer terms than those locally-produced in Georgia.”
“Approximately 500,000 Delyo yoghurts were sold during the 3 months since its realization in the middle of January.”
“The total advertising budget for the year 2010 is 200,000 USD. Moreover, when we started advertising Delyo, the demand for other Eco-Food products also rose significantly.”
Alavidze says production of fresh milk will be one of the company’s main strategies together with cheese production.
“We will concentrate on offering short term storage fresh milk that will have certain advantages as well as being both tasty and healthy.”
“During the summer period the whole production of Eco-Food is focused on fresh milk. However in winter this is quite difficult. Whereas in summer we realize 30 tonnes a day, in winter the figure decreases 10 times.”
“If farmers manage to provide us with milk in the winter this will be an advantage and great benefit for us,” said Alavidze.
“Eco-Food is quite actively engaged in marketing activities, in advertising. Moreover, the company actively participates in different activities, is always interested in political-economical development, and is always open to all media representatives.”
“Eco-Food has been producing mayonnaise since the year 2008. We offer 6 types of mayonnaise and the highest sales come from Lenten mayonnaise. The other types of mayonnaises are gaining strength in the Georgian market.
However, the largest market share of mayonnaise is dominated by imported products at present.”
“Eco-Food produces Lenten mayonnaise that has high sales during fasting periods. Moreover, we are actively engaged in promoting this mayonnaise through advertising campaigns.
Furthermore, we offer our clients Lenten cookies. These products help the company not to see a slight drop in sales during fasting periods.”
“As for the external factors the Government should be actively engaged in supporting our businesses. In many foreign countries dairy producers have strong support from their governments like subsidies and advertisements promoting that people drink milk each day.
As for internal factors, we are quite a mobile team. Each founder is actively involved in company management and we have the ability to respond quickly.”
“Eco-Food provides constant innovations for its consumers. We are leaders not only in sales but also in innovations. We are planning to offer different types of packaging and different types of tastes for the year 2010.”
Since the global economic recession the company has been focusing on controlling expenses. “However in general our strategy has not changed drastically,” Alavidze said.