Most Giftable Candies are Consumed In The Eastern And Southeastern Provinces

Yıldız Holding Foods, Beverages, Chewing Gum and Candy Group President Mehmet Tütüncü says that most giftable candy is consumed by the people in the Eastern and Southeastern provinces of the country and that the difference between consumption rates in the Western and Eastern regions is due to cultural and demographic factors.

In an interview with an AA reporter, Tütüncü said that Ülker was one of the first candy manufacturers in the country and explained factors affecting the increase in consumption of non-giftable candy, the habit of carrying candy or chewing gum, and the fact that 45% of the candy consumed in Türkiye enters homes during the religious festival holidays. 

The total 2009 candy market in Türkiye was close to 70,000 tons and its financial worth was close to 750 million TL, said Tütüncü. He emphasized that the world candy market is worth 51 billion dollars and noted that, compared to the rest of the world, Türkiye’s consumption of candy seems very low but that this can be explained by food customs and the cuisine of the country, which has many sweet dishes that are consumed as alternatives to candy.

Production of traditional candy in Türkiye began in the 19th century said Tütüncü, and he added that “Candy is an old product, but it’s open to many innovations”.

When developing a new product, Ülker uses advanced technology but still attempts to marry old classics from the past with innovation. This year, for the first time, we produced akide candy. It’s a hard candy with a mixture of rose water, cinnamon and gum mastic flavors combined with chocolate and sugar, he said.       

Mehmet Tütüncü, explaining that during the last Ramadan Festival there had been a serious increase in the company’ market share, said, “We added 6 points to our share of giftable products and captured a 16% market share."

Tütüncü indicated that candy consumption has a lot to do with regional differences, and that most of the candy purchased for gifts is bought in the East and Southeast Provinces of Türkiye. He said that the cultural preferences and demographics of Anatolia play a large role in determining people’s preferences.

In Türkiye, most men prefer the taste of mint while women like fruit-flavored or caramel candy said Tütüncü. Candy consumption here is lower than it is in Europe he said but added that that fact means there is great potential for the candy industry here.

Tütüncü explained the company’s priorities with regard to candy production:

"We combine our expertise in chocolate production and candy manufacturing to develop new and innovative products for our customers. We have introduced some very popular brands like Caramio and Hobby. When we are creating a new product we are very careful to consider traditional flavors first.  As an example consider our akide candy, a first for us.  Besides those products, we are now offering Kremini, which we promote in all seasons, in a giftable package that is suitable for religious festivals.  Our purpose is always to offer products that consumers love, at prices that everyone can afford.”

Yıldız Holding Foods, Beverages, Chewing Gum and Candy Group President Tütüncü, continued by pointing out that the food sector did not suffer contraction during the recent global crisis. 

He added, “It must be emphasized that the most important reason for contraction happens when big brand name food producers try to prop themselves up by reducing their own profit margins with various promotions and campaigns that offer cheap goods to the consumer. Ülker did not suffer such a contraction. During a crisis a consumer’s limited means is never spent on risky products. They buy brands that they know and trust. We have seen that consumers tend to buy good quality brands during times of crisis.”

Tütüncü indicated that current production capacity is meeting the company’s needs, and went on to say, “Our 2011 budget is nearing completion. When we see the results, we will make more investments if that’s what is needed.”

He explained that exports of candy and chewing gum are constantly increasing and that exports of this type are being focused upon. He indicated that the company is exporting both its own and private label brands.

Tütüncü recommends that customers not keep candy refrigerated and that it keeps much better in a cool, dry covered place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Yıldız Holding Chocolate, Chewing Gum and candy Marketing Director Başak Kluznick told us that candy has always been part of our culture and the company would continue to design and manufacture new varieties.  Kluznick explained that the entire staff is involved with marketing for the current festival and that as soon as this year’s festivals were over, work would begin on products for next year’s festivals.

ISTANBUL (A.A) - 12.11.2010 - Yıldız Taşdelen Erli

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