Chocolate processor Sollich will target Africa as its next market; a region that will become very interesting over the next 3-5 years, its executive director said.
The German-headquartered manufacturer specializes in equipment for chocolate processing, bar making and biscuit finishes.
Ralf Schäffer, executive director at Sollich, said that his business had been performing well in Russia over the last few years, but the firm's focus is set to change.
“We are already well-established globally and have good market shares…But let’s say Africa will be the next target,” Schäffer told ConfectioneryNews.com at ProSweets 2013 in Cologne.
“I think in the long-term, maybe not in 2013 but within the next 3-5 years, Africa will become an interesting market which will grow,” he said.
“The living standard in Africa is growing, so the demand on higher quality products is increasing. Our products are mainly with chocolate which is not really for poor countries, but if the living standard is growing, the consumers are more willing to spend money on chocolate, and that’s why I see that there will be demand in the future for our machines in these markets.”
Sollich is also present in most global regions, including North and South America, Asia Pacific and Europe, added Schäffer.
Customers want complete supply and support
When asked what chocolate and candy firms are looking for from processing and packaging suppliers, the executive director said that there was a growing need for increased support.
“Customers want to have more complete supply and support from our side and involvement in entire planning,” he said.
He added that firms wanted support when setting up in foreign countries.
“We have a long experience already in different markets worldwide, so we understand the differences. Therefore we can offer companies the right equipment according to the local demands and also request different raw materials,” he said.
Enrobing and bar forming top global demands
Schäffer said that on a global scale, enrobing prompts the most interest, along with candy and cereal bar forming.
“Praline is located, let’s say a little bit more to North America, Europe or Russia because these products are not sold in Africa and India perhaps because they are still too expensive and of course due to the climate it is very difficult to handle these products,” he said.