The group’s sales for cocoa butter alternatives, which include cocoa butter substitutes (CBS), grew 29.2% in Q1 compared to the same period last year, which was faster than all other ingredients the company sells. Growth is coming from within Russia, products imported to the market and in neighboring countries.
Russian confectionery market recovers
EFKO Group CEO Evgeny Lyashenko told ConfectioneryNews: “In Q1 there was a gradual recovery of confectionery products’ consumption and production of in Russia: The market grew 2.3% compared to the same period of 2012.
“The increase in production of cocoa butter alternatives of EFKO group has taken place on the one hand due to replacement of import products in the Russian market, on the other hand - we have increased our export sales to the CIS countries.”
CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent State) are a group of states formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It includes countries such as Russia and Belarus.
The EFKO group sells lauric and non-lauric CBS, as well as new generation of CBS with low transisomer content.
Cheaper and simpler
The company’s growth in cocoa butter substitutes came as the general specialized fats and margarines market registered a 2.5-2.7% slowdown.
Lyashenko said that the cost of CBS varied from between 20 to 40% cheaper than cocoa butter.
“The use of cocoa butter substitutes, indeed, reduces the cost of production of confectionery products, but what’s most important is it allows you to simplify the manufacturing process,” he said.
EFKO customers for CBS include major Russian confectionery makers as well as multinational corporations. It claims to be the Russian market leader in cocoa butter substitutes. Other suppliers include IOI Loders Croklaan and AAK.