Major Asian ice cream market expansion for Latvia’s Food Union

Latvian-based dairy producer Food Union, a key Baltic ice cream manufacturer, has expanded several of its core brands in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

As the company revealed to Confectionery Production, Ekselence, Pols and Lakto export ranges have  reached 125 tonnes and are expected to reach 270 tonnes by the end of the year, according to its internal analysis.

Normunds Staņēvičs, Food Union CEO in Europe, welcomed the company’s expansion in Asia, which demonstrated considerable resilience for the market, in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that is showing little sign of slowing around the world.

Staņēvičs said: “We remain focused on growing new markets and developing dynamic distribution for our high-quality ice cream products. We have found that customers in Asian markets seek out the same high-quality products from trusted European dairy producers.

“We are paving roads into new markets by placing popular Latvian and Estonian brands in strong, respected Asian retail chains. Our goal is to increase exports to these markets, and next year we plan to expand into two additional East Asian regions.”

Food Union exports to East Asia gradually increased towards the end of 2019 and peaked in June 2020 as Food Union entered Taiwan. The majority of the export products are made in Food Union’s central plant JSC Rīgas piena kombināts and a smaller percentage are produced in Estonia’s Premia TKHplant.”

AS the company added, its products are sold in various East Asian store chains, cafés and offices. Food Union’s market strategy in China combines their knowledge of the region’s culture, consumer behaviours and FMCG market demands.

The company exports 46 different products from three well-known Latvian brands and one newly created brand. Customers who prefer premium and exquisite flavours can enjoy Ekselence, an assortment of gourmet ice cream with all the flavours popular in Latvia.

Its well established Pols brand is now being shipped from Riga on a regular basis, allowing customers to enjoy bold flavours and a recipe cherished by generations of Latvians. The Lakto Diamond product, based on the Lakto brand collection for children, has been created especially for the East Asian market and offers three curd snacks and three ice cream products.

Fans of lean, low-calorie products will be able to enjoy three unique fruit sorbets with Shapetime. All exported goods will be available on the Food Union online store, and additional new products will be added in the coming weeks and months.

In addition to export products, Food Union launched an Ekselence pop-up shop in one of the most prestigious shopping centres in Hong Kong, where consumers can enjoy gourmet Ekselence ice cream products.

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