Conad to export own brands to China

Meanwhile, the retailer's private labels continue to record interesting performances in the European markets, particularly in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium
Conad to export own brands to China

The arrival of Italian private label on the shelves of foreign retailers is not a common phenomenon. The idea is tempting, but many projects are still in their infancy. Conad, however has turned their ideas into reality, after ten years of work, the project now generates 60 million euro in total sales, of which the majority is made with the brand Creazioni d’Italia, which is the reinterpretation for export of Sapori&Dintorni which was created when the chain was in the Coopernic circuit and subsequently in Core. But the real challenge for the chain is its arrival in China. This operation was announced late last year with a launch scheduled for february, if there had been no bureaucratic hitches.

“The Chinese market is of significant complexity – notes Giuseppe Zuliani, director of Conad customer marketing and communication – from the point of view of the adjustment to the regulations and labelling. To ease the way we have chosen to establish joint ventures with local entrepreneurs, a strategy that allows us to export our business model as well, which values partnership. The project, however, has only been postponed. We expect to be operational in the autumn. For the development strategy of Conad our debut in the Chinese market will be a real turning point and will lead the way for other countries.” The project plans to open five Conad stores in the municipalities of Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang with an assortment of 250 Sapori & Dintorni and Conad branded products. As well as retail an e-commerce and vending machines project is also planned. Meanwhile, the Conad branded products continue to record interesting performances in the European markets, particularly in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. Recently, the Creazioni d’Italia line benefited from a restyling with a more definite connotation its made in Italy content, which was also enhanced by a repositioning in the premium segment. “The export results and the relationships with international chains give the idea of the evolution of private label – notes Zuliani. Until recently, the growth was due to the structural increase of assortments, today the development is necessarily linked more and more to the quality content of the product. The fact of working with foreign retailers allows to compete with the parameters they require, an incentive to improve standards for our co-packers. Regarding suppliers, Conad tends not to request specific products for different markets but to adjust the Italian range by changing the packaging, to reduce complexity and optimize production.

“In relation to sales – explains Riccardo Breveglieri, grocery purchasing and international activities manager of Conad – we are very pleased with the positive results, even outside of the promotional activities, such as that recorded within Coop Suisse from prosecco, which became category leader, and the range of pasta and canned vegetables”. An initiative will soon be started with Coop Suisse, aimed at ensuring and expanding the Creazioni d’Italia presence and assortment. “We will start with a promotion in the two weeks dedicated to Italy in may and the end of august – continues Breveglieri. From September the assortment will become continuous with a separate line with more than 60 references. Switzerland is an interesting case history in Europe for Conad branded products, which can be replicated in other countries. But the most important challenge is outside the borders of Europe. In the wake of China, the goal is sustained growth in new areas, a project that will be started between the end of 2015 and 2016”.

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