In addition, the company plans to open its branded stores in the future as well as opening its own hazelnut and dried fruit plant.
“At this time we plan to export Qalaquri hazelnuts to Dubai. In 2017-2018 we cooperated with China, exported our products to the US… In addition, we are going to rebrand our company, expand the range of our products and offer new packaging and gift boxes to customers”, said Founder and Director of the company Murad Ghoghadze.
Qalaquri has been operating on the Georgian market since 2013. Ghoghadze recalls that the company was founded with ‘zero capital’, but at that time proper management, accent on quality and growth in sales contributed to the development of the company.
Today, Qalaquri has a wide range of products, including Georgian hazelnuts grown in its own plantations, a wide range of dry fruits, as well as imported products in all leading retail chains and private stores throughout Georgia.
The company trades with local and imported products. Qalaquri offers its customers Georgian nuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin hearts and different varieties of dried fruit. All products are available to customers in 50, 80, 100, 140 and 200 gr. packages.
Qalaquri received its first Golden Brand award this year after being named by over 100 experts and 2,000 surveyed customers as their N1 favorite brand.
Q. In your opinion why experts and customers have named Qalaquri as their favorite brand?
A. We think the main reason for our success and award is that consumers choose Georgian products and quality. The main priority of the company Qalaquri is the production and promotion of unique Georgian varieties of hazelnuts throughout Georgia, constant updating of the range of nuts and dried fruits, quality and customer orientation, striving for constant development, which we believe is the reason for our success.
Q. Qalaquri has received the Golden Brand for its successful activities in 2020. Please summarize that year briefly.
A. The main challenge was to produce an assortment of quality Georgian Tita hazelnuts and the right promotion in the Georgian market, while the main achievement is that today hazelnuts and dried fruit produced by Qalaquri are represented in almost all major retail chains, we have a reputation and firmly hold our position in conditions of great competition.
Q. In total how many sorts of products do you offer customers, which of them are made in Georgia and which are imported ones?
A. We offer about 40 products, of which the domestic ones are hazelnuts, almonds, dried fruit, churchkhela, jams, roasted pumpkin seeds and others. As for foreign products, they include pistachios, corn, cashews, etc.
Georgian products still play an important role in our range of products. The most demanded and priority product is Georgian Tita hazelnuts, which are grown on our own plantations and are distinguished by their special properties which are low-calorie and low allergenic characteristics. Consequently, it is more useful compared to other types of nuts.
In the future, we would like to offer our customers a wider range of Georgian churchkhela and jams.
From 2018 to 2021, the company's sales have increased by about 15%.
Q. From where do you get the raw materials for your produce?
A. We get hazelnuts from our own plantations, which are located in the Kakheti region, while the rest of the assortment is supplied by different farmers. Naturally, the quality is controlled as much as possible, which is the most important factor for us.
Q. And from which countries do you import foreign products?
A. Mainly from the US, Turkey and China. Here, too, it should be emphasized that quality is the most important factor in considering the selection of suppliers.
Q. With whom is it the most difficult to compete, local brands or imported ones?
A. Georgian hazelnuts presented on the Georgian market are really distinguished by quality, and as for the imported ones, despite the fact that the range of imported products is quite wide, unfortunately, we cannot say that all of them are quality.
We believe that against the background of a highly competitive environment, we compete quite well with our direct competitors in terms of both quality and brand name awareness. However, it is more difficult to compete with foreign-made products because the consumer focuses more on the visuals of the product packaging rather than on the quality.
Accordingly, we also try to periodically update the packaging in accordance with the trends and market demands and to offer more novelties to customers.