Georgian company Kula, which produces eco-friendly fruit and vegetable juices, has launched the production of sugar-free muraba (Georgian sweet fruit preserves) in 2020.
“This is our know-how. Kula’s Muraba is made with natural ingredients and fruit juice without adding sugar”, said Director of Kula Vano Goglidze.
Also in 2020, Kula started producing new mayonnaise sauces.
By the end of this year, Kula plans to launch a production line of Georgian tklapi (fruit leather) and churchkhela (a traditional Georgian delicacy made from nuts and grape juice).
Kula started producing sugar-free products in 2019 after satisfying new regulations that Georgia adopted on juice production.
“Kula has expanded its juice production area in line with the new regulations and in 2019 offered customers completely new juices without sugar or any other additives both in 1-liter cartons and in 3-liter ‘bag in box’ packaging.
“Our juices have undergone all the additional inspections. We participated in a state tender and replaced imported juice with Georgian natural juices amongst the Georgian police and the army.
“Also in 2019, along with various innovations, we started to produce canned meat, such as boiled meat, as well as traditional Georgian dishes: chashushuli, chakapuli, kaurma, buglama and others.
“One of the innovations that the company Kula implemented in 2019 was the production of dried fruit, called rachuli chiruka”, said Goglidze.
Thanks to these activities, Kula received the Golden Brand award this year. Goglidze said that this was not all and that Kula had achieved much more in 2019.
As Kula received the Golden Brand award for successful developments in 2019, could you please tell us what other achievements brought the Golden Brand to your company this year?
Overall, the year 2019 was very successful for us. The sales of Kula increased on domestic as well as on export markets by about 20-22%.
We have unlocked new export markets such as China and expanded to the US. Currently, Kula exports its products to more than 25 countries.
The company is still working to enter new markets. The main focus is on the European market where we are trying to introduce Georgian products.
We participate in the largest food exhibitions in different countries of the world: France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Ukraine, China and others.
The company produces more than 250 products and each of them has its own sales and market share. Our products are designed for the premium and above-middle segment and Kula has a significant share in the Georgian market in these segments. We strive to create new products that will be targeted at other market segments and will increase our sales.
The company also produces products under different names and labels for different brands.
In the recent history of Georgia, the production of natural juices practically started with Kula, and has introduced the taste of natural juices made with Georgian fruit not only to Georgian customers, but also to the world.
We not only produce our own juices, but also have a memorandum with various universities, and students systematically undergo internships at our factory to study juice production, develop Georgian agriculture and agribusiness.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the activities of Kula?
The coronavirus pandemic has pretty much changed our company’s plans and placed us in front of a new reality.
As our products are designed for the premium and medium segment they are not seen as basic, staple food products. You know that during the pandemic people mostly bought primary consumer products that affected the sales of Kula products of course.
It was also difficult to distribute products due to the state of emergency.
During the pandemic Kula offered remote services to customers. Please tell us about these services.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kula employees partially transitioned to a remote working mode, and also offered customers online sales and delivery services.
Our customers are already making orders online and our delivery service takes the products directly to their homes at factory prices.
Demand for Kula’s products decreased 25% during the pandemic, while demand increased for Kula’s canned meat products by nearly 150%. What was the reason?
The sale of our canned meat and fish products has increased a lot. This is probably due to the conditions of the pandemic, as people are primarily buying canned meat, and we have strengthened this direction as well.
The latest inflation statistics show that food prices have significantly increased. Should we expect increased prices for Kula products as well?
Inflation was one of the challenges for our company. We have not increased prices on our products as we purchased fruit and other supplies in 2019. We will probably wait for the prices of new fruits to be purchased in June, July, August and we will decide whether the prices for our products will increase or not.