Georgian brand Sadili, producing canned and ready-made Georgian food, is introducing Georgian flavors to foreign markets.
Amiko Kalandia, Marketing Consultant at Sadili, told Golden Brand that Sadili canned products are already available in Azerbaijan.
“We have exported our products to Azerbaijan and are still continuing the expansion process. At the same time we are trying to be available in every corner of Georgia,” he said.
Sadili is a Georgian word that means “dinner”. Famous Georgian traditional dishes that take time and requires some cooking skills are now easily accessible to consumers — ready-made satsivi, dolma, khalia, chakhokhbili, kharcho, beans and others dishes, all in canned form, are available in supermarkets across the country.
In an interview with Golden Brand, Kalandia shared his impressions about what factors led Sadili to their success and the Golden Brand award itself.
Q. Sadili has won the Golden Brand in the category “favorite canned Georgian product”. What led the brand to this success in your opinion?
A. There are several factors that led to this recognition. First of all, the uniqueness of the concept of the brand, which produces canned traditional Georgian food. The other factor is the uniqueness of the products — Sadili products are prepared in a high-tech factory with locally produced ingredients. These two factors create a competitive advantage in the market.
I would say the most “sensitive” factor of Sadili’s success is that we preserved old, traditional flavors of Georgian cuisine and have made difficult-to-prepare dishes easily accessible to consumers.
The unity of these factors and solid communication with the customer base make our product number one in the market.
Q. You mentioned the unique concept of Sadili. How did you come up with this idea and what kind of traditional dishes can we find under the Sadili brand?
A. There’s a lot of canned products in our market, but I think canned satsivi, a Georgian dish made from poultry in a walnut sauce, is offered only by Sadili.
We came up with the idea to create Sadili as a brand taking into account the fact that people often have less time and energy to prepare meals and therefore need convenient and easy options. Canned foods are affordable, long-lasting and easy to store.
As for offering canned dishes from traditional Georgian cuisine, this is a creative way to introduce traditional flavors to a wider audience. Previously we had just twelve products, now we are doing twenty.
This concept gives us an advantage on the market. To that end, we are always doing research to determine where best to go with our portfolio strategy.
Q. Please summarize Sadili’s operations on the market.
A. Sadili first appeared in 2018 with ready-made canned dinners. Over time we added several categories of stewed meats, fish and mushroom products. During this period we actively worked on improving the taste and appearance of our products.
Today Sadili has an updated design, a completely new strategy, and an assortment of about twenty products.
Q. What is the top-selling product?
A. All products have their customers, but stewed meat is our bestseller.
In the past we produced up to one million products, the majority of which were sold on the local market, and some of them were exported to Canada and Ukraine. We used to supply the Georgian military as well.
Q. Sadili participated in the largest food and beverage sourcing event in the world in Dubai — Gulfood. How did thar go?
A. Our visit to Dubai was quite rewarding, we had talks with several big distributors. At the exhibition we had the opportunity to meet both local buyers and suppliers of various raw materials. We have already begun cooperation with several suppliers, which will give us the opportunity to improve the quality of our products. We are also preparing to obtain an FDA Certificate, which will allow us to enter the US market.
Overall, I would say that our company and each member of our team is dedicated to creating great products for Georgian customers and of course everyone else. I hope to fulfill all the ambitious plans we have for the future.
Georgian brand RERA, offering semi-finished frozen foods and smoked fish, and a member of G&A GROUP, is planning to expand in the country due to meet increased demand.
Commercial Director of the company Nick Lomidze said that an expansion of the RERA factory to up production is planned. But, as Lomidze said, the brand has “celebrated success” in exporting as well.
“In 2022 the RERA brand entered the markets of Bahrain and Azerbaijan for the first time and became quite popular there. We continue to work on exporting, we have specific plans and negotiations, but for now we will refrain from specifics,” he said.
In the meantime, RERA continues to expand in Georgia to fill every nook & cranny of the country.
“Currently we are developing full coverage of eastern Georgia. In 2022 we added two retail chains that have full coverage of the territory of Georgia. We have plans for 2023 in this direction as well,” Lomidze said.
Established in 2012, G&A GROUP is a central importer of frozen meat and fish in Georgia. With 7,000 ton-capacity A+ warehouses, it holds a significant share in the premium storage market. As for RERA, it launched operations in 2016 with co-financing from the Produce in Georgia state program.
“The company’s mission is to save time for home cooking. Of greatest importance is the quality of food and delicious meals. The company hopes to have a place in the freezer of every family in Georgia,” Lomidze said.
Q. RERA won in the category "production of semi-finished products" and thus snagged the Golden Brand award. Why do you think experts and customers named Rera their favorite brand?
A. To produce in Georgia is to give your word on quality to the local market. Quality is a priority for us. RERA semi-finished products are produced only with natural raw materials. The customers choose quality, so they choose Rera.
It is the customers’ unanimity that has guaranteed our success for eight years on the Georgian market, and I thank them for this appreciation.
Meanwhile, we have managed to develop production efficiency and expand the brand portfolio over the years without losing quality! In our opinion, this is the reason for winning the Golden Brand award this year again.
Q. As the Golden Brand award is given to companies following successful activities in the previous year, could you please summarize 2022?
A. Last year RERA enjoyed 40% growth compared to 2021 despite the post-pandemic market situation and a serious shortage of raw materials. Moreover, we were able to send our products outside the country.
We introduce at least one new product every year. Last year we brought Ukrainian pelmeni to the market, which really took off with customers. Ukrainian pelmeni are now on the list of three best-selling products.
Q. How many products are being produced by RERA currently?
A. As of today RERA offers nineteen varieties of different semi-finished products, of which the top-sellers are Siberian and Ukrainian pelmeni, layered dough, vareniki with sulguni, khinkali kalakuri and chicken nuggets.
Q. Now let’s talk about G&A GROUP, which is involved in producing and distributing semi-finished meat and fish products in the country through three brands — RERA, Khinda and Nobati. Please tell us about the other brands.
A. RERA is a premium-segment brand which occupies more than 25% of sales in the market. Based on the price segment of the brand, we decided to create products that would also be made from natural raw materials and be more affordable. This is how Khinda came to be, which has been on the market since 2020. Khinda includes about twenty products both in packages as well as in bulk. Khinda is no less successful.
Meanwhile, Nobati also offers frozen meat and fish products. Its advantage is also determined by quality and safety, because before packaging the product undergoes laboratory testing, and so the customer can be sure of the product's quality and reliability.
Q. Considering all three brands, what is the market-share of G&A Group in Georgia currently?
A. Today the Group holds approximately 25% of the market and has growth potential.
Q. From which countries do you import goods?
A. Imports come from anywhere we can find quality raw materials. For example Brazil, Argentina, America, Canada, Germany, Belgium and others. We use imported as well as locally-produced goods in production. Locally we purchase sulguni and Imeruli cheese, onions, herbs and so on.
Q. You brought in a special refrigerator from Germany that does “shock” freezing. Tell us what role it has played in the company's production?
A. Yep, our business proceeds with the latest equipment, and one of them is a spiral shock freezer, which only a few manufacturers in Georgia have. The shock chamber freezes products at 40℃, preserving taste and nutritional value of the product. It is important to note that when freezing at -40℃, all kinds of bacteria and fungi are preserved in the product, if any, and most importantly, the shelf life is determined by the temperature at which the product is frozen.
Our Group and all daughter brands will continue development on the local market with innovative solutions and guarantees of quality and taste!Read more
Georgian online media outlet Publika is working to expand its audience with new projects to be launched in the near future.
Director General of Publica, Zura Vardiashvili, looked back at recent developments at Publika and talked about the role of media in today’s society in an interview with Golden Brand.
Publika has been supporting the country’s most prestigious and influential business award ceremony, the Golden Brand, for three years running.
Founded in 2019, and having already won two EU prizes for journalism, the online agency Publika is a non-entrepreneurial, non-commercial legal entity, whose governing body is a general assembly of members.
Q. Recently you were detained during a public protest against the infamous “foreign agents” law for “minor misconduct and police disobedience”, before being released in about two hours. What is the responsibility you feel, as a citizen of the country and at the same time as director of a local media outlet, for the country during such important moments, and what impact did these events have on Publika?
A. Let's start with the fact that I did not call Vazha Siradze, the director of the police department, a traitor, as I was accused of doing. I didn't even notice him until he grabbed my hand and called the police with him to arrest me.
I, my colleagues and other demonstrators chanted slogans that we used before in parliament during discussion of the bill — "No to Russian law", "You can’t make Belarus out of this country", "This is treason to your homeland", "Traitors"... It seems that Mr. Vazha Shesha Siradze — yes, he is known by this nickname, because in the winter he used to take firewood [shesha] from the protestors, which they needed for heating — took the slogans addressed to the deputies supporting the Russian law to heart. Or maybe he himself is a supporter of the Russian law and therefore the Russian cause, and took it upon himself.
This was no ordinary protest, nor were my colleagues and I there as activists. We opposed the Russian law precisely as journalists, since it was directed against the media, speech and expression, freedom in general, and we considered it our duty not only to cover these events, but also take a stand.
I think no harm can come from standing on the right side of history, and this was proved by the struggle of hundreds of thousands of citizens who forced the authorities to withdraw their proposed law.
Q. What is the role of the media today in the conditions of information war and how difficult is it to maintain standards of journalism and ethics while fighting propaganda? What is it like to be the director of a media outlet in Georgia today?
A. Yes, the rules of the game are changing. Propaganda refines its own methods, uses new technology. It becomes more difficult to distinguish propaganda from reality. In these conditions independent, qualified and reliable media outlets are assigned a decisive role.
Managing a media outlet in Georgia today means living under high risk, restrictions, arrests, health and even life threats. If you are going to do this, you need to be sure that it is your heartfelt choice.
Q. Please share recent developments and future plans.
A. Publika has always been oriented to innovations. Even now, we are working on various projects to increase the reach and engagement of our media in order to reach as large an audience as possible.
Q. How diverse are the topics or news categories that you offer readers today?
A. We are a public-political publication with topics such as education, healthcare, minorities, the rights of the disabled and socially vulnerable, and others of importance to us.
I think we are meeting the needs and interests of our readers, but it's not good to stay satisfied for long. We are working on new directions, which we will introduce to our audience very soon.
Q. How developed is online media in Georgia and what is Publika’s contribution to this process?
A. Nowadays, if any media in Georgia are fully developed, it’s online.
Obviously there are huge problems as well, for example financial sustainability. Although online marketing in general is growing, businesses avoid cooperation with critical and professional publications in order not to incur the wrath of the authorities, although even in these conditions, online media, including Publika, play a crucial role in protecting freedom of speech and democracy.
Q. Last year, the total commercial advertising revenue of television and radio broadcasters decreased by 7.6% compared to the previous year. What was the data for your sector in this regard?
A. The exact data of the online advertising market is not considered. This is also one of the problems in this market. However, as a general observation, more and more money is being invested online, although this money is still mainly garnered by the international giants, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik-Tok.
Q. Publika is a supporter of the Golden Brand awards. Why is this cooperation of interest to Publika?
A. Publika wants to support all activities imbued with responsibility towards such general human values as freedom, equality, protected rights, prosperity. I think that the Golden Brand is based on such values too.
Oktopus Fitness Club is expanding with a fourth branch scheduled to be opened this fall in Tbilisi, with plans to expand into the regions.
“We definitely want to go beyond Tbilisi and offer the experience called Oktopus to different regions of Georgia. And this is included in the development plans of Oktopus Fitness Club,” Director Giorgi Asatiani told Golden Brand.
Oktopus Fitness Club strives to offer its members the best fitness equipment, workout options and the perfect environment to keep fit in. It provides over 2,000 safe, effective, efficient, and enjoyable group class programs on a monthly basis for professional athletes and fans of healthy living.
Thanks to a good environment, professional trainers and all types of fitness equipment, Oktopus Fitness Club has become the leader on the Georgian market and also became the winner of Golden Brand Awards in the category “favorite fitness center”.
Speaking about the factors that led Oktopus Fitness Club to the Golden Brand win, Asatiani highlighted that Oktopus Fitness Club is a “100% proud Georgian rooted brand” which serves to promote a healthy lifestyle in the country.
“Today, there are quite a lot of successful companies operating in the fitness sector, and therefore it is very gratifying that Oktopus Fitness Club was praised and recognized with the Golden Brand award. Winning the Golden Brand showed us once again that selfless work always brings results”, he said.
Q. Golden Brand is given to brands following successful operations of the previous year. Please summarize 2022.
A. 2022 was a year of awakening and restart for many businesses, not only in Georgia but also the world. After the end of the two-year pandemic, companies were allowed to continue operating under normal conditions. In 2022 Oktopus also offered a lot of new things to our club members. 2022 was quite fruitful, productive and rewarding for our club.
In 2022 Oktopus Fitness Club was listed among the top 15 fitness clubs worldwide by Life Fitness as GYMSPIRATION - which makes us very proud.
Q. Please tell us about Oktopus Fitness Club’s development over the years.
A. In 2016, when we opened our first branch, we were distinguished by our avant-garde interior, comfortable environment, and high-quality trainers, but of course later on this wasn’t enough. Today it is very important for our club members to find an orderly environment during their visit to the club, which makes it even easier for them to pursue their goals.
All three branches of Oktopus Fitness Club operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week — we never rest. All members of our club have unlimited memberships, which means that the customer enjoys Oktopus club advantages without limits. We have two branches in Saburtalo district and one in Vake.
In general, Oktopus stands out for introducing conceptual innovations to the market. Oktopus is the only fitness club where access to services is simplified and customers can manage their account online without leaving home. Our mobile app was created for this purpose.
Actually, our app is something we are very proud of — we were the first fitness club in Georgia to have its own app, which has been in use by our customers for almost three years. Our app is always in the top 20 in Apple's Health & Fitness category in our region.
I think the main values that are highlighted in the name of the brand have a big contribution to the development of Oktopus: OK - for a source of positive mood and inspiration; TOP - for competitiveness and striving for victory; US - for a friendly and team environment.
Q. What workout programs does Oktopus offer?
A. Oktopus is the only fitness club in Georgia that offers more than 2,000 group exercises during the month.
We offer unlimited and diverse group classes. We have many innovative exercises such as body ballet, which is built on strength exercises with ballet elements, and fit dance, a mix of Georgian dance and exercise. Recently spinning exercises have been very popular among consumers, which is a fairly high-intensity cardio exercise and is ideal for consumers who are struggling to lose weight.
Naturally, classical exercises such as Pilates, yoga, Zumba and boxing are always popular and have had loyal customers for years.
Q. You offer sound-therapy to customers. As far as I know, Oktopus is the only fitness club to offer it. Please tell us more.
A. Yes, we were the first to offer our customers sound-therapy, led by Lika Evgenidze. Lika has been interested in sound therapy for years and studied it while living in America. And in 2022, we offered our customers sound healing classes, which are very popular and always at a full capacity. I definitely recommend to attend the class.
Q. Who exercises more, men or women?
A. Seven years ago, when we opened the first branch, the proportion of men in our clubs exceeded 70% — today this figure has dropped to 55%. Women's interest in fitness clubs has increased considerably, and now there is almost an equal proportion men and women.
The age ratio of our customers has changed a lot over the years. While seven years ago the average age was 20-25 years, today the average age of our customer is 30-35 years. I think this will increase even more and slowly a culture will emerge in our country that exercising and taking care of one's own health is a priority at all ages.
I would also like to mention that the average period of time spent at the club has also increased over the years — it’s about two hours, which also speaks to our other amenities, such as the cafe, lounge, coworking spaces and so on.
In general, the behavior of our customers towards a healthy lifestyle has changed significantly in recent years, interest has increased, and I can safely say that the whole team of Oktopus Fitness Club has contributed a lot to this.
- Thursday, 25 May 2023
- Written by Super User
The world’s number one cookie, Oreo, has been recognized as Georgia’s favorite after winning the most prestigious and influential local business award, the Golden Brand.
Davit Khutsishvili, brand manager of Biscuits category at Mondelēz International, the multinational food and beverage company based in the United States which owns Oreo, told Golden Brand that despite an “extremely tough” 2022, Mondelēz International had not only maintained leadership in the Georgian market with its Oreo brand but also “grew by double digits”.
2023 started with new products under the Oreo brand and new plans that the company will gradually reveal to Georgian customers.
Khutsishvili sat down with Golden Brand to talk about it all.
Q. Georgian customers have named Oreo their favorite brand this year. What brought Oreo this recognition in your opinion?
A. I would say that there were two key factors of our success — our disruptive innovations and marketing campaigns, and strong presence in-store. For example, last year our food-forward campaign “Crunchy creamy crunchy” helped us promote the key benefits of the product to our consumers.
Q. Golden Brand is given to brands following successful operations of the previous year. Please summarize 2022.
A. It was an extremely tough year for our team, but we managed to maintain leadership on the market, staying close to our consumers in Georgia
Q. Can you share the sales statistics of 2022 compared to 2021?
A. Being a public company we cannot disclose specific figures, but I can say that Oreo grew by double digits in our country last year.
Q. How has 2023 begun for your company, and what are your expectations?
A. We started this year with the gaming NCP oriented toward the young generation who are keen on cybersports. We launched a promo with attractive prizes like gaming laptops, mouses, keyboards and earphones.
This was followed by the Oreo Double Fun campaign – we presented our customers cookies with two mixed tastes: vanilla with caramel and vanilla with raspberry. This campaign is being supported by 360° marketing support in TVC, in-store, digital and social media.
Q. What are some recent developments in Oreo as a brand? Please share the brand's progress on the Georgian market.
A. Oreo is the #1 cookie in the world. It is also known as the most “playful” cookie in the world, and we’ve been customizing this approach to our consumers in Georgia.
Q. Please tell us about the future plans of Oreo for the Georgian market. Do you plan to introduce new products to Georgia and which would those be?
A. Yes, we’ve got a pipeline of innovations on our table, but we cannot disclose the details. Please stay tuned and look forward to news from Oreo!
Q. How are you going to deepen Oreo's presence on the Georgian market? What is the company's growth strategy for Georgia?
A. Our key strategy is to be close to our Georgian consumers — both psychological and physical availability in-store, so that every consumer can find Oreo at the right place and at the right time.
Q. Please tell us what makes Oreo unique and why Georgian customers love it.
A. Oreo is not an ordinary cookie, it’s a legend. It’s also the most playful cookie and a global icon for all generations in Georgia.
Q. Not all Oreo flavors can be found in Georgia. Why?
A. At the moment we are focused on establishing and developing our core cookie business in Georgia. All the core flavors are available in the country, and we are adding new SKUs to our portfolio. The recent Double Fun launch is one example of expanding our brand portfolio in Georgia.
Q. International media write that Mondelēz International wants Oreo to become the “Coca-Cola of cookies”, and based on comments at a New York conference in March, it’s making progress. What do you think?
A. Oreo is the most famous cookie in the world, and we want our legendary cookie to figure in collaborations around the world. For example, in recent years Oreo has partnered with such global icons as Lady Gaga, Batman, Xbox etc. – we definitely want to push our brand power however high it can go.
Q. Will Mondelēz develop its cake and pastry department? What prospects do you see in this category?
A. Yes, we see a huge potential in the development of the bakery category in our countries. That is why this year we have completed the integration of the European snack maker Chipita business with its famous 7 Days croissants. We are going to increase focus on this brand in Georgia to drive growth in the pastry category.
- Thursday, 25 May 2023
- Written by Super User
Mildronate®, produced by the leading pharmaceutical company in the Baltic states, Grindeks, has won the most prestigious and influential business award in Georgia, the Golden Brand, in the category “favorite medication for restoration of physical capacity” for 2022.
In addition to Mildronate®, Grindeks, which has been operating on the Georgian market for more than 20 years, offers about 50 medicines and plans to introduce more in 2023-2024.
Grindeks' product portfolio includes original products, generics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, all produced in line with internationally-recognized safety and quality standards and sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Head of Grindeks Representative office in Georgia, Natia Kikvadze, shared the story of Mildronate® in clinical practice and talked about the company’s future in Georgia with Golden Brand.
Q. In the category of “favorite medication for restoration of physical capacity”, Mildronate® has won the Golden Brand award. Why do you think experts and consumers named Mildronate® their favorite brand?
A. Mildronate® has a tonic effect on the central nervous system, improves mental activity, attention and memory concentration, restores the body's energy reserves during physical and mental overload, and helps maintain mental and physical activity, which of course has a positive effect on quality of life.
We've seen many cases where a patient recalls feeling better and more energetic while using Mildronate® and asks the doctor to prescribe the medication again.
Mildronate® has been present in the pharmaceutical market of Georgia for several decades and its effectiveness and safety have been tested by thousands of doctors and patients.
Mildronate® is available in all pharmacy chains - Aversi, GPC, Pharmadepot, PSP, Impex, Pharm House - and in private pharmacies.
Q. What were the sales statistics of Mildronate® in 2022?
A. Sales of Mildronate® have been steadily increasing year by year. It increased significantly during and after the pandemic, which was due to the high effectiveness of the medicine in post-COVID asthenia, and its ability to reduce cardiovascular complications in patients with COVID-19.
Many new patients and doctors experienced the effects of Mildronate®. In 2022, sales of Mildronate® increased by 19% compared to the previous year.
Q. What makes this medication so popular on the market and what is its most notable advantage?
A. Mildronate® is an original product with a dual mechanism of action for patients with cardiovascular diseases, which provides multifactorial protection of organs and tissues. It is the only metabolic drug capable of protecting both the heart and the brain, blood vessels, from ischemic damage in patients with angina, chronic heart failure, and blood circulation disorders in the brain.
In addition, it increases tolerance for physical activities and improves cognitive function. It can be used both in patients and in healthy individuals to improve physical and mental performance. Similar multifaceted therapeutic effect is not characteristic of any other metabolic means, which makes Mildronate® unique and unrivaled.
Q. What are the recent developments and future plans of Grindeks Georgia?
A. Grindeks is the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Baltic states, operating since 1946. Over the years we have been recognized for helping millions of patients worldwide.
Grindeks’ product portfolio is composed of original products, generics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, all produced in line with the world-class requirements of safety and quality.
As for recent activities in Georgia, we offer high quality products, so our market share and customer demand increase annually.
The Grindeks office in Georgia is also hiring new people all the time, and we have offices in Tbilisi and western Georgia.
We try to contribute to the postgraduate education of medical personnel, and we organize local conferences and sponsor events organized by various medical associations.
Q. Grindeks was planning to register diabetes medications in Georgia. Please tell us how these plans were realized.
A. Yes, in 2023 we registered the diabetes medication Sitagliptin and an anti-itching skin product Dimestil gel. Products will appear in April for retail selling.
Three more medicines will be registered by the end of this year, and five medicines are planned to be registered in 2024.
So far the Grindeks portfolio includes 50 medicines, with 75 products total according to forms and dosages.
Q. How does the head office of Grdinkes evaluate the activities of the office in Georgia?
A. The head office appreciates the contribution of each country to the development of the entire company, so recognition of Grindeks products by Georgian patients and healthcare professionals is highly valued. Every year, when the best employees are announced, there is one from Georgia.
The communication between our two countries is effective and both parties rely on professional international teamwork. Georgia is always considered a leading country from the business development point of view.
Q. What is the contribution of Grindeks in developing the Georgian pharmaceutical market?
A. Medications registered in Georgia are in the following therapeutic groups: cardiovascular, central nervous system, and now products for diabetes treatment.
I think Grindeks contributes to the Georgian market development largely because our generics are of European quality yet low-cost.
Our goal is to improve people's quality of life and increase access to medical solutions in Georgia.Read more