From the meaning of signature ingredients like cornflower and flax, to the scent and taste of roasted caramelised almonds, it’s careful attention to the details that makes Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) power brands of the ice cream and dairy-based premium snacks produced by Food Union. Based heavily on the research and development findings seeded in consumers’ evolving interests, Food Union continues to translate insight and experimentation into bestselling and trendsetting flavours that command share of fridge and wallet.
Said Normunds Staņēvičs, CEO of Food Union, Europe: “Our R&D specialists continue to develop unique understanding of local flavour preferences, and they’re developing products that possess the unique cravings of consumers in each of the nine key countries we currently serve. Our focus is on acquiring, building, and maturing brands with roots in local food traditions. Our teams are delivering something that is both tasty and distinctive. That kind of deep local knowledge is essential in our ongoing quest to create ice cream flavours and snack products that surprise and delight new and returning customers. This market-by-market strategy helps us to connect better with new customers across Europe, as well.”
Food Union understands that to build a strong global consumer-based business – and to build customer loyalty in its diverse regions – each of its various national enterprises need to draw on individual local tastes, cuisine, history, and traditions.
Added Staņēvičs: “Our research and development teams know that they can’t take for granted customer loyalty; they need to analyse what is happening today, and the way in which invisible elements of local culture affect changing consumer tastes and behaviours. Blending these approaches to R&D means understanding how to distinguish new taste sensations and enduring preferences from those that prove to be passing fads. This work is critical to building a brand that achieves real longevity.”
The group’s success in doing precisely that with its FMCG power brands is the reason that Food Union continues to successfully outpace their competitors with greater market share and dominance.
In many markets, consumers who pamper themselves by choosing to snack on premium-quality treats are also taking a trip down memory lane. Many Food Union brands generate nostalgia as comfort foods and are increasingly recognized by consumers as premium products worthy of indulgence. Recognising this market of consumers who seek specific treats with great memories, Food Union understood that the ability of its divisions to capture nostalgia was a competitive differentiator based on specific flavours key to building a great brand.
For several generations of Lithuanians, for instance, the taste of childhood confectionery or cotton candy elicits warm, comforting feelings, Mr. Mayorov noted. These are flavours that parents want to pass on to their own children together with cherished memories and experiences. As a result, Food Union’s Lithuanian business, Premia KPC, has seen consumer interest soar in products based on cow candy (specific type of caramel) and cotton candy flavours.
Latvia offers another example of this memory-driven taste preference, in the shape of Ekselence’s ice cream with blackcurrant sauce, pieces of brownie and milk chocolate. The finishing touch comes in the form of a dash of Riga Black Balsam, a liquor made of 24 natural ingredients (including 17 botanicals) ranging from valerian, wormwood, and ginger to gentian and Peruvian balsamic oil. The dash of bitterness provided by this Latvian heritage brand helps transform these flavours into something truly unique and distinctive—something that can only be found in Latvia. For more visit foodunion.com