The driving force of the food processing industry is the development of products, on continuous basis, ranging from the modification of an already existing product, to developing a brand new one, and even how products are presented in the market. The aim is satisfying customer demand.
Adiat Hajdari, owner of Ananas Impex, is fully aware of the role that customer demand plays in the success of his business as a producer of ground red pepper, vegetable condiments and recently, soups. The idea for soups as a new product was a result of the collaboration with Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Corps (SEC). Based on the direct feedback by local suppliers on the types of soups consumers were looking for, Adiat knew that the increasing demand for better soup quality and different tastes was a game-changing factor.
Through the Coaching for Growth (C4G) program, delivered by CEED Kosovo with Promoting Private Sector Employment PPSE support, Ananas Impex engaged a market expert to conduct a research on soups, “because we took seriously the advice of the Swiss expert.” The information collected from different channels was then handed over to the food technologist, resulting in four different soup mix flavors.
Next came the branding of soups, condiments and the new company logo design. PPSE facilitated a business partnership between Ananas Impex and a specialized marketing agency that developed the visual concept for the new products. “I would not have been able to afford their service on my own; I am very pleased with the result,” says Adiat.
Missini Sweets company has also benefited from SEC advice. Their new and improved pralines now have a finer chocolate shell that pronounces more the filling flavor, tastes better and is more cost-effective. Combining the knowledge acquired from the SEC expert and by participating at the C4G program, Missini Sweets has better expertise on the production of chocolates and a clearer vision about implementing the company expansion.
Aktiva is another company that attended the C4G program, at a time when they were planning to expand the business operations of their brand Hektar into a new packaging facility and add three new products to their line: potato puree mix, ground red pepper and vegetable condiment. “Entrepreneurs in Kosovo need to get out of their box, to expand their mindset and get to know world markets. The C4G program was useful in this sense,” said Driton Mehmeti of Aktiva.
Within the food processing industry environment, process and product innovation in response to market demand result in companies that are competitive and continue to grow. Facilitating the expertise, connections and support that complement one another is what makes the real and timely difference.