GETTING A SENSE
The company has been here for 11 or 12 years, although initially we were exporting to Kazakhstan. The model of development for Danone is first, from a realistic point of view for geographical content, to import some brands, distribute the brands around the country, invest in our brands, and then gain the first sense on the opportunity side in terms of consumer attraction, technology, and reward.
A GOOD MIX
The strategy of Danone is to be able to continue to bring a very strong mix with functional and premium benefits. Nevertheless, our concern is to be able to also cover the bottom of the pyramid, bringing in a mix of products, which is part of our social responsibility.
A cow in Kazakhstan produces around 2,500 liters of milk per year, while a European or French cow, for example, produces about 5,500 to 6,000 liters per year. Our aim is to help with veterinary support, and assist the farmers in understanding that cows need to be fed grass. This is key for us.
We have a distribution center in Almaty that supplies our distributors with products in Kazakhstan, as well as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Our main product lines are coffee, chocolate, baby food, pet food, ice cream, and cereal.
THE BIG PICTURE
If you take a step back and look at the total trade landscape, local and international chains are gaining larger shares of the market. This is in line with the development of more organized trade. Like any channel of business, we need to make sure that we work well with all players, be they large or small.
One unique strategy we implement here is “coffee days,” since this is still a tea-drinking market. We give people a chance to try the product, and explain how it is made. The coffee consumption rate per capita has increased drastically of late, yet is still at lower levels than in Western Europe or
Cities drive economic growth and higher disposable incomes more than their rural counterparts. Kazakhstan is currently around 47% urbanized, and this ratio keeps on growing every year. All these drivers are like the wind in the sails of the packaging industry, as they tend to be the most influential leverages in our business.
QUICK TO ADAPT
In Kazakhstan we are still mainly working with local customers. I believe that this is good for business as they are very often quick to implement new standards. There are international players present, yet they represent only a small market share.
DOING WHAT WE DO
We have a 2020 strategy, which is focused on continuous growth in what we do. We also aim to bring a lot of attention to the infrastructure of the country. We also try to be aware of our advantages in each particular market and do our best to strengthen current market positions.
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