Kraft Foods: priority is market share value, not volume

Autor: Mihaela Popescu 03.07.2008
Peter Muller, managing director of Kraft Foods Romania, a company with turnover worth around 146 million euros, will focus more on premium products, but will not drop low-end brands such as Africana and Nova Brasilia.
The product mix was one of the reasons why last year's profit outpaced turnover, believes Muller.
For instance, in 2007, Milka, a premium brand, increased its sales by around 40% against the previous year, when Milka saw the fastest increase on the local chocolate tablet market. Milka, Poiana and Africana allow the company to cover all three price segments of the tablet market, a market that accounts for around 80% of chocolate sales in Romania. Muller is confident that Romanians' purchasing power will grow over the coming years and encourage a focus on premium products; however, the managing director does not expect to exit the low-end segment anytime in the near future.
"We continue to be present on all price segments. It would make no sense for us to drop brands such as Africana and Nova Brasilia now," says Muller, adding that his company's objective is to boost market shares in terms of value.
At present, Kraft is the leader of the chocolate tablet market with its premium and mainstream brands Milka and Poiana, whist Jacobs holds the top position on the coffee market in Romania in terms of the value of its market share However, in terms of volume, the brands on the low-end price segment, such as Laura (Cadbury Romania) and Africana, ranked among the best-selling brands last year, according to a study by market research company Nielsen.
Kraft Foods' main rivals on the Romanian chocolate tablet market are Kandia-Excelent (now renamed Cadbury Romania) and Supreme Chocolat, which have relied on mainstream brands, such as Kandia and Primola.
The fight over the tablet market could become fiercer on the premium segment, where another important player operates, Heidi Chocolat Suisse.