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Lucian Trofin, Eisberg: "Our consumer is the best promotion method"

21/06/2012 11:19

Launching of some products in limited editions on eventful occasions, is more and more frequently part of the strategy of some companies. On short terms, along with an exponential increasing of the sales, the presence of such items increases the visibility of the brand on the stores shelves and ultimately can attract new consumers.

 

The ongoing European Football Championship is a good opportunity for launching of limited editions of various products. Besides the multinational companies involved in sponsorship, the event is an inspiring source for retailers too. In Poland, Tesco launched a special line of products destined for the supporters present at the European Championship. In  the Romanian landscape we gladly found such an item in the portfolio of Eisberg company. Though for the moment the producer of convenience salads has only extended their own brand, launching of the item is creating the framework to take over the model in their future projects of private brands too.

Details about this launch, but also about the strategy of the company on the Romanian market of the convenience salads, in an interview with Lucian Trofin, General Manager Eisberg Romania.

 

Wherefrom started the idea of such a seasonal product?

The experience of the Holding to whom we belong is the key! Years after years in a growing business which still gives a feeling of "family" tell us that people are willing things as much personalized as possible. We become innovative by following consumers' reaction. Our first season salad was "Craciunitza" which appeared for the first time on Romanian market in winter of 2010. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the long campaigns of consumers' education were successful and that the Romanians are choosing their menus with more and more attention even during holiday seasons.

There is a special product: a convenience seasonal salad intended to target a certain segment.

If the spring started for us with "Valentina" salad - on Dragobete and Valentine's Day; "Narcisa" - for  Martisor and Florii or Disney Mix - for Children's Day, now it is the turn of the Champion salad, for  football fan ladies attentive to their and their partner's figure. My friends are telling me that the negotiations on the TV set during Football Championship are very tough   and that apparently this salad succeeded to reconcile the both camps. The ladies support a match with more pleasure and the gentlemen consume with more pleasure some protein.

What was the retailers' reaction?

We are on the level of those aware that any consumer, of low or premium, must be tempted with something and cannot get out of the store without having a certain product in the cart. Fact is that we are present with salads on every retailer's shelves, but with seasonal products only on the shelves of those interested in a larger assortment!

Which are your plans after ending of the European Football Championship?

We shall launch summery salad-ultra fresh, the ideal ingredient for a perfect figure on the beach. The salad leaves, combined with fish or with various dairy products is the perfect recipe for any moment of the day.

Can we talk about certain tendencies on the market of convenience salads?

Yes! The Romanians like the bitter-sweet salads! And the Romanians are incredibly open to new, but only after they tasted the respective products. We do offer tasting actions in various office buildings and, to check upon the results, we monitor the sales in the nearby stores before and after the tasting. The surprises are always very pleasant after!

The Company was growing yearly with no support of resounding marketing campaigns. On what do you rely your promotion?

Our Consumer is the best method of promotion! A client satisfied by the quality of our products will surely recommend them to his friends. Each new consumer will fetch another ten new consumers next months.

Along with its brand, Eisberg also produces under private brand for three retail networks. Do you think that the retailers are prepared today for enlarging the assortment by launching new private brands?

The retailers are asking for PL (private label -n.r.) but each of them is doing this in its way. There are those willing the best recipes sold under their mark, but there are also those coming with their demand for products specially created for them. The real challenge is not their opening but the opening of the Romanian consumer, consumer who believes in brand. Yet this tendency is noticed by the retailers who do not propose a PL only, and have real brand strategies segmented between low and premium.

You have recently finished an investment to modernize the production capacities. Are there demands coming from the retail networks which cannot be satisfied now from point of view of the quality of the products or base mixtures for the recipes?

There is no demand which cannot be satisfied. Any mix or leaf can be made as long as there is requirement and volume. In fact, anything can be produced!

You are facing competition coming from private brand products of Italian origin. This is a distance which implies logistic costs but also a potential risk factor towards supply continuity. What are the additional the Italian products have to justify the decision to fetch them from thousands of kilometers away?

The Italians are those giving the tone for the trend on European market in the field of the ultra fresh. If there are in Romania 2-3 producers/distributors of this kind of products, there are more than 80 processing factories in Italy, so that they are extremely competitive on both price and quality. The real problem is not the logistic costs, but the distance to the market you wish to supply. Besides the risk of losing continuity, there is also the risk of losing out of life term. We are talking about products with life time validity of 5,6 or 7 days, numbered from the moment of producing. Such products reach the shelves with minimum minus 2-3 days out of their life time. There is a simple rule saying that you supply your fresh products to an area of 400-600 km radius off your factory.

The strategy of launching some products in limited editions is often seen at some companies present on the Romanian market. Do you consider that in the case of fresh salads, the precedent created by Eisberg can be taken over by the retailers for their own brands?

It is Eisberg who fetched, promoted and insisted to sell fresh convenient salads in Romania, we created a new category of products in the area of fruits and vegetables and proved successfully, so I do not see why the retailer would not take over the idea of products with limited edition.

You do have an impressive evolution. The company has increased the number of units sold monthly as from 10,000 up to 120,000 in recent years? How was this possible?

As I have mentioned before: it proves and maintains the quality. It proves and maintains the freshness. Keep the consumers near you!  If Eisberg is simply fresh, our policy to attract the consumers is just simply!

Florin Frasineanu 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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