Magazine: Small segments are growing fast

By: trademagazin Date: 2015. 06. 12. 13:14

In 2014 the main task was doing something with the cheese surplus in the Hungarian market. Because of the Russian embargo from the second half of the year large quantities of import cheese entered the Hungarian market. This entailed sales growth too, especially in the segment of Trappist-types cheese varieties. Andrea Szabó, marketing director of Pannontej Zrt. informed us that they hadn’t been present in the Russian market so the embargo didn’t affect them negatively. Thanks to the liberalisation of the dairy sector competition got even fiercer than before. Béla Nagy, head of marketing and PR at Kőröstej Kft. told our magazine that they are exporting Hajdú cheeses to more than 30 countries on five continents. The company also manufactures private label products for foreign markets. Semi-hard cheese varieties – mainly Trappist – continue to dominate, together with favourable prices. A diversification process has started in the category – we learned from Zoltán Haga, purchasing manager of Foodnet Kft. He added that the majority of sales are by hypermarkets. 60 percent of volume sales in the segment are realised in promotion. At the same time smaller, special segments are also becoming stronger. Zoltán Nagy, national account manager of Lactalis Hungária Kft. told Trade magazin that a few years ago demand for special cheese varieties dropped but this seems to be changing now. Hungary’s improving culinary culture and the growing demand for quality products have positive influence on small segments in the cheese market, e.g. goat cheese. Sándor Nagy, commercial director of Szarvasi Mozzarella Kft. told that a growing number of consumers are buying mozzarella on a daily basis. The company also senses increased demand in special segments such as fresh cream cheese and feta. Pannontej’s brands Tihany, Pannónia, Medve and Karaván are holding on to their market leader positions. Recently they put a limited edition 4-pepper version of Medve on the market. New products can be expected this year from other Pannontej brands too. Lectalis group offers the biggest selection of cheese products in the world and some of them such as Roquefort, Bleu’d Auvergne or Pecorino Romano are geographical indication-protected. Last year the company added Don Bernardo Manchego and Beaumont de Savoie cheeses to its portfolio. This year they will put other foreign cheese varieties on the Hungarian market. Pannontej has also launched a website for the Président products they distribute: Kőröstej is moving in the direction of higher-quality products. The company also launched a new product line this spring: Hajdú Fitt cheeses are very healthy and rich in whey protein. These products have already been available in foreign markets and have proved to be successful as well. This strategy also manifests in the company’s communication strategy – they say that those who are buying Hajdú cheese products are putting one of the world’s most popular Hungarian cheeses in their shopping basket. Kőröstej is cooperating with television programme Stahl’s Kitchen, Stahl magazine and website to promote its products. About 30 percent of Hungary’s population is sensitive to lactose. Foodnet had these consumers in mind when they put two lactose-free cheeses on the market. One of them is a fresh cream cheese, while the other is a feta-type cheese product. The brands they manufacture all make great efforts to produce cheese that contain little or no additives and preservatives. Last year there was contraction in the processed cheese market but ERU Kft. managed to increase both value and volume sales, thanks to the new, premium CAMPING products in plastic cup which came out in 2014; their lactose-free products also contributed to the sales growth – Renáta Rudolf, product manager informed our magazine. This year they plan to launch new premium products and CAMPING will also put a Trappist cheese product line on the market. These cheeses will be made from top-quality milk using a traditional recipe and they will be available in whole wheel (2kg), half wheel and quarter wheel formats. Last year Szarvasi Mozzarella produced considerable sales growth in the fresh, Italian-type cheese segment. They are always working on new products and on improving the existing ones – in terms of both look and content. Recently they built a new production unit, which has a beneficial effect on the volume of production. The company’s Szarvasi Mozzarella Snack line is more and more popular and soon Szarvasi Mascarpone will return to shops in a new packaging that uses the unique sleeve technology.

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