Georgian fish processing company Umali will introduce new products to the local market this year, among which will be domestic raw materials such as Black Sea anchovies.
“The low cost of raw materials allows us to produce a product that will not be expensive and will be affordable to all consumers”, says the general director of Akhali Tevzi, Geno Naskidashvili.
Umali has already presented seven varieties of Black Sea anchovy products in test mode as Naskidashvili thinks that when introducing a new product, testing is essential to identify its potential success and determine the probability that consumers will take to the product.
“Preliminary internal research shows that the products are tradable and we hope to soon earn the affection of Georgian consumers”, he said.
In addition, this summer Umali will offer customers several varieties of fish snacks, which will be made with herring fillet.
“We hope this product will soon become one of the best-selling segments in the fish market and will be especially popular with beer lovers. We have several other news items which we will leave as a surprise for our customers”, said Naskidashvili.
Umali always indulges its customers with new products. What new products have the company offered recently?
We have introduced several new products such as cold-smoked Salmon barbecue, which is sold in 200g packaging and is already very popular among customers.
The next product is fish sticks, presented in 40 and 80-gram packages. We have five varieties of fish sticks and all of them are also very in demand, they are one of our best-sellers. We introduced these products to the market last year.
Has Umali expanded in Georgia and entered new regions?
Yes. We have entered Adjara and Imereti regions of Georgia where we have been developing gradually. This process still continues.
Currently, Umali products are present at Ori Nabiji and Daily supermarket chains.
You said that this year Umali is going to use raw materials for producing new products. But where do you get the raw materials from in general?
In general, we produce fish products with local as well as imported raw materials. We mainly import raw materials from Norway. As of today, we offer 55 sorts of fish products to customers that include salads, frozen, semi-processed fish products, roasted fish, cold-smoked fish, caviar and salted fish.
How has the production of Umali increased in 2019?
In 2019, statistically, our production increased by about 30%, which is certainly not enough for us. We will strive to double sales this year.
And will you consider the export of Umali products?
As for the export of products, due to the current situation, that is, of course, the coronavirus pandemic, negotiations have been stopped at this stage. We hope that once the pandemic ends, we will quickly return to this issue and our products will be presented in at least three countries.
You mentioned the pandemic. What is the main challenge Umali faces due to the coronavirus?
At this stage, the main challenge is to keep jobs as much as possible and keep the development rate that was planned for 2020.
Umali is a fairly young company which opened in 2017 a modern processing plant, Akhali Tevzi, in Georgia’s Kareli region and it is the largest fish processing factory in the Caucasus.
Before this, there was no fish processing factory in Georgia.
The company founders have an ambitious goal: to replace imported fish products with locally produced ones, and in general to increase fish consumption in the country, where the market is saturated mostly with imported fish products.
Umali produces about 150 tonnes of different species of fish and caviar annually. 100% of the products are sold on the local market.