Heidi Romania plans growth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

Significant investment into production facilities and new product
launches seem to be paying off for Heidi Chocolats Suisse Romania,
after the company announced that its sales for the month of
February grew by 80 per cent.

Last year the company invested a further $500,000 (€406,000) into new technology for its two production facilities in Bucharest and Timisoara, bringing total investment up to $7 million in the ten years that the company has been operating.

Although it remains small - it is currently the fourth largest chocolate company in the country with a 7 per cent share of the market - analysts believe that its core premium confectionery market has the potential to grow significantly, a factor that is reflected by the recent surge in sales.

Currently the annual market for chocolate in Romania is estimated to be $80-$100 million. Heidi has proved to be a clear leader in the luxury end of the market, which currently accounts for around 12 per cent of total chocolate sales. But as wealth increases in Hungary, so consumers are starting to turn to increasingly sophisticated products. Analysts believe that one of the key areas for increased sales in the future will be the premium chocolates market - a sector that commonly experiences significant growth in conjunction with rising wealth.

With sales now starting rise the company says that it is aiming to increase its market position by tapping into the growing trend towards premium chocolate confectioneries. In line with these ambitions the company last week launched a new line of dark chocolate bars and says it has new launches planned in the year ahead.

But despite the promising start to the year, the company's expectations remain modest.

"We want to grow by around 10 per cent every year,"​ said Massimo Palumbo, company marketing and sales manager.

However, given that the average Romanian only consumes 1.5 kgs of chocolate each year - significantly behind the British who lead the way in Europe with consumption of 10kgs - it appears that there is still plenty of room for expansion in most sectors of the chocolate market.

Heidi Chocolats Suisse Romania is a division of the Swiss-owned Heidi Suisse company, a significant player on the European luxury chocolates market. This fact also means that the company has significant backing from a long established player, experienced in marketing and developing its product lines.

The Hungarian chocolate market consists of four major players. Excelent-Kandia currently has a combined market share of almost 40 per cent, closely followed by Kraft Foods Romania, which has a 35 per cent share of the market. The next biggest players are Primola with 8 per cent and then Heidi.

Related topics: Ingredients