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Austrian Schirnhofer Opens Three Stores in Tbilisi in 2022

Austrian meat product brand Schirnhofer will expand in Georgia by opening three new stores in the capital city of Tbilisi. Besides offering the famous sausages for which it is known, an Austrian cheese and meat delicatessen can also be found in the new stores, as well as an assortment of freshly baked bread made from Austrian flour in the Austrian style.

One store will be opened on 72 Abashidze Street in the near future, while the two other stores will open later this year.

“All three new stores, like other branches of our supermarkets, will offer customers Austrian meat delicacies, cheese, and cookies made with Austrian technology. Also delicious sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs and everything that is needed for any family will be available at our store,” said Lasha Babuadze, Founder of Everest 2010, a distribution company that imports Schirnhofer to Georgia.

With almost a century-old tradition of producing over 600 varieties of meat products, Schir-nhofer is one of the largest Austrian meat product manufacturers, producing 12,000 tons of meat and sausage products per year, using only Austrian meat for production.

The company’s head office is located in Kaindorf, Austria, which is considered as one of the safest ecologically. Schirnhofer has 630 partner farmers. Its strict quality control begins at each of these farms. Quality control is paramount at every stage of production, and Schirnhofer uses ultra-modern technologies and laboratories. Schirnhofer holds an IFC (International Food Standard) certificate, which ensures constant product quality control.

Schirnhofer was founded in 1926 by Joseph Schirnhofer. The family business was carried on by his son Karl, who began producing sausages in 1950 with his mother. Soon the company became one of the largest Austrian meat product manufacturers.

Karl Shirnhofer himself was a founder of the Schirnhofer Company in Georgia, which entered the Georgian market in 2007 and quickly gained popularity among customers for its affordability, variety, and top quality products.

This year Schirnhofer has won the Golden Brand award in the category of “favorite meat products”.

“Schirnhofer's products have long been loved by Georgian consumers. Due to traditional Austrian quality, a variety of choices and the best taste qualities, Schirnhofer products have firmly established themselves on the Georgian market. For years, Schirnhofer's products have occupied first place among sausages and meat products imported to Georgia,” Babuadze said.

Q. How many products are sold at Schirnhofer stores in Georgia?
A. There are more than fifty varieties of meat delicacies and more than ten varieties of Austrian cheese available at Schirnhofer stores.

We also bake about twenty types of bread with Austrian raw materials and recipes.

The Schirnhofer cafeteria, which is open at every Schirnhofer store in Tbilisi, is very popular. At our branches you can taste hot dogs, pizza, fried potatoes, onion and squid rings.

Schirnhofer branches will prepare delicious sandwiches to suit your taste.

Q. As far as meat products, what is the favorite of Georgian consumers?
A. Due to its quality and taste (although the products are not cheap for objective reasons) Schirnhofer meat products are very popular and in demand among Georgian consumers.

I would single out baked goods with Austrian raw materials and recipes. The demand for this type of product is increasing year by year.

Q. Have sales increased over the years in Georgia?
A. Like all other businesses, the last two years have been very difficult for us too. A pandemic, global logistics problems, increase in transport and product prices, inflation problems - all these factors affected our business as well.

Unfortunately, this was compounded by the completely unjustified and unacceptable Russian invasion and occupation of independent Ukraine.

Despite these challenges, our team tries its best to keep the range and prices affordable to customers.

Q. How would you characterize the Georgian market and its competitive environment?
A. The Georgian market for sausages and meat products is saturated and thus highly competitive.

However, we are not afraid of healthy competition. Our main trump card is the high European quality of these traditional products and the high standard of service in the stores.

Q. Schirnhofer has won its first Golden Brand award. How did the brand achieve this success?
A. It is a pleasure to receive any award. Especially when you put so much effort and energy into the work.

The success is due to the traditional Austrian quality of Schirnhofer meat and bakery products and the European standards of service, which our team has been trying to maintain for years.

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Future of Milka in Georgian Market: Gift Boxes, Healthier Snacking And More Careful Work

2021 was a year of recovery from the consequences of the pandemic for Mondelez, and the company aimed to increase its marketing and carry on bringing innovations to consumers.

Milka, one of nine global chocolate brands in the Mondelez International family, strengthened its positions in the new segment of pralines and won its third Golden Brand award in a row. But the market situation offers no time to relax, according to company experts.

“We must constantly and attentively monitor the situation and be ready for rapid changes. We have already experienced the reorganizing of business processes and taking advantage of new working conditions due to the pandemic, so we stepped into the year 2022 with more self-confidence. Now we will focus on keeping rates of growth high and strengthening our positions in new segments,” Sofia Tkebuchava, CP&A manager Confectionery, Caucasus & Central Asia, said.

Q. Please tell us about the future plans of Milka for the Georgian market? Do you plan to introduce new products to Georgia and which would those be?
A. Georgian consumers are some of the most snack-friendly consumers. We see that they are eager to try new products and flavors, especially those in accordance with a healthy, but tasty lifestyle. That’s why we are encouraged to introduce more innovations and broaden our product range.

We are researching updating consumers' needs and habits, and one of the vectors is to create products suitable to a proper diet, with reduced amounts of sugar and formats convenient for controlling calories intake. But precise flavors and designs are still a secret!

Q. Milka first appeared on the Georgian market in 2016. What was the first product Milka introduced to Georgia and over the years how diverse has the line of Milka products become?
A. In 2016 Milka entered the Georgian market with a rather small assortment, starting with no more than five products. Since that time we have been actively offering various product forms and flavors to the customers, so step by step our product portfolio has been enriched and now includes twenty products.

Q. Milka offers gift boxes. In your experience, how popular are these?
A. In the beginning of 2020 we introduced gift products — “Say It With Milka” boxed chocolates. Since then, we have been winning the hearts of customers in this area with attractive new flavors and flavor mixes and maintaining the quality of our chocolate. In 2021 we launched the third flavor in the line, so we can conclude that customers appreciate Milka gift boxes and want to see new products of that type.

Q. How important is the Georgian market to Mondelez today? What prospects for growth do you see in the country?
A. We consider the Georgian market very promising for our business. Years of work here have shown that local consumers meet our innovations with enthusiasm. Milka products have become an essential part of their way of snacking. Now we put all our efforts into maintain perception of our products and achieving leadership on the market. We are highly motivated, we love our product, and that pushes us forward every day.

Q. In general, could you please summarize 2021 – what were the biggest challenges, biggest achievements?
A. We spent 2021 creating innovations and increasing our consumer base. Purchasing power was low, but steadily recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was important for us to meet the new needs and habits of our customers in order to maintain their interest. Our team showed great cohesion and desire to successfully overcome this period, so now we see the results of delicate, but persistent work with our consumers — growth has reached double-digits.

Q. How has the year 2022 begun for your company, and what are your expectations?
A. In 2022 the market is very fast and demanding. We must constantly and attentively monitor the situation and be ready for rapid changes. We already have the experience of reorganizing business processes and taking advantage of new working conditions due to the pandemic, so we stepped into the year 2022 with more self-confidence. Now we will focus on keeping rates of growth high and strengthening our positions in new areas.

Q. Georgian customers have named Milka their favorite brand again this year. What brought Milka this recognition in your opinion?
A. Due to long, careful study of the market we learned to sense consumer needs and give them exactly what they are looking for. Meanwhile, we strictly monitor product quality and meet obligatory requirements, such as creamy texture and balanced flavor, in order to preserve the features of our product. So the main key to Milka’s success is, in our opinion, a combination of high quality, diverse and balanced assortment, and strong brand communication.

Q. Overall, what impact will the Russia-Ukraine war have on the operations of Mondelez International?
A. This war will affect businesses, consumers and communities across the world in many ways. For us at Mondelez, our primary focus is supporting our colleagues in Ukraine and stepping up our humanitarian efforts while ensuring the continuity of our business in Eastern Europe. It’s too early to assess the impact on business as there are many factors that play into it. But we hope we will be able to maintain our position in Georgia and the Eurasian area overall.

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“The Market Is About Fully Recovered”: Dirol Reveals Some Post-Pandemic Results

Global chewing gum brand Dirol, owned by Mondelez International, continues systematic development of its business on the Georgian market, now one of the largest markets for the company with “encouraging growth rates”.

Last year Dirol faced lingering consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but forged ahead and decided to focus on the youth market. The results exceeded expectations, Zurab Lomsadze says, Mondelez National Key Accounts Manager in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

“Purchasing power dropped and there were uncertainties about the future. We focused on retaining our base and the effectiveness of our current performance. As a result, we strengthened our position on the Georgian market. We can’t reveal clear results and figures, but we can point out that during the whole year, growth was in the double-digits,” Lomsadze said.

Q. Please tell us about the future plans of the Dirol brand for the Georgian market? Do you plan to introduce new products to Georgia and which would those be?
A. Georgia is now the largest gum market for our company in the entire Eurasian area. It shows steady growth and lively consumer engagement year by year, so we consider it a good place for new marketing activities and product innovations.

We have introduced new flavors regularly owing to good customer response, and 2022 is no exception.

In April we added two original flavors to the XXL lineup — Watermelon and Mint.

We enjoy tinkering with product types and forms, it helps us catch up with the latest trends and adjust to consumer demand.

Q. When did Dirol appear on the Georgian market and how has the brand developed since then?
A. Dirol gum first arrived on the Georgian market eleven years ago, in 2011. Since then the brand has developed several product lineups and launched a wide range of flavors, including some oddities, such as Dirol Charcoal.

In 2021 we entered a new market segment for youth. We continue to develop the direction.

Q. How have Georgian consumers embraced products introduced in the youth market segment?
A. The main challenge for products entering the youth segment is to gain trust and then stay up-to-date, and finally, taken for granted as a usual item in the shopping cart. To reach such a perception of new gum we needed to motivate as many young customers as we could to try the new product.

Generation Z is quite open and receptive tol promos, so we focused on creative marketing and advertising companies imbued with imaginative solutions and common sense.

Due to the creative work and experience of our team, Dirol Minions paved its way to customers’ preferences and became one of the most in-demand products. Now we are continuing to carry out our own research to for more precise information about sales volume.

Q. How important is the Georgian market to Mondelez’s business today? What growth prospects do you see in the country?

A. The Georgian market is one the most important to Mondelez. We have been developing our brand here for some time, but there is still room for experiments and new achievements. We see already that buying Dirol has become one of the stable everyday habits of Georgian consumers.

We see vibrant activity in response to our promo campaigns, so our next objective is to gain the leading position on the local gum market.

We believe in our product, and that belief helps us move forward while remembering consumer needs.

Q. In general, could you please summarize 2021 – what were the biggest challenges, biggest achievements?

A. In 2021 the market was still weak from the consequences of the pandemic. Purchasing power was low and there were many uncertainties about the future. We focused on retaining our base and the effectiveness of our current performance.

As a result, we strengthened our positions on the Georgian market. We can’t reveal clear results and figures, but we can point out that during the whole year business growth has become double-digit. It means that customers surely appreciate our brand, show lively interest in new Dirol products, and the market is about to fully recover.

Q. Also, how has the year 2022 started for your company, and what are your expectations?

A. The beginning of 2022 was rather inspiring for us, in that, after the results of the last year, we felt the spirit of creativity and motivation. But as the retail market becomes more and more dynamic, the situation can change quickly. Both customers and international companies must be agile and ready to react quickly to possible changes. So now we focus on keeping up by building powerful brand communication and introducing innovations to the market.

Q. Georgian customers have named the Dirol brand their favorite brand again this year. What brought Dirol this recognition, in your opinion?
A. We are glad to find Dirol in the status of most preferred brand among Georgian customers again. It is undoubtedly the result of the professional, day-to-day work of our team and of our innovations, a significant part of our brand strategy.

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About Us

The brand popularity is revealed by the preliminary survey making key focus on creative branding-related solutions. Entrees are judged by about 100 experts. Nominee brands are selected by awareness, popularity as well as by their creative advertising campaigns.

The winners will be granted with diplomas and Golden Brand Statue. The event will be broadcasted via television, radio, printed and online media.

 

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