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CHOCOLATE AND GELATO: ITALIAN FLAVOURS PRODUCED BY VENCHI
Chocolate and gelato: two products which epitomise the best of Italian production, prepared with attention to quality and sensitivity to changing tastes, and of an authenticity unaltered by time. This is what Venchi has to offer: a company with a great tradition established in 1878 that is dedicated to chocolate-making and draws its inspiration from genuine Italian recipes based on hazelnut or almond paste, instead of the cream and butter bases more typical of the Swiss, Belgian or French tradition.
We asked the firm’s managing director, Daniele Ferrero, what he considered were the company’s strong points, what strategies they employed when operating on foreign markets and what their plans were for the immediate future.
Mr Ferrero, what is the basis of your company’s success?
Undoubtedly, our success depends to a large extent on quality, which we pursue consistently every day of the week. However, it also relies on the unique standing of two special Italian-made products, like chocolate and gelato, which represent our country in the very best of ways. I would also add another important factor: the competitive spirit of our organization, particularly within the sales department. At Venchi, we lay a great emphasis on our human capital, on individuals.
What about the foreign markets: where do you operate most successfully?
Let me just give you a figure. Our export quota is currently running at about 15%, with significant growth margins which naturally we intend to exploit with some focused strategies. The markets in which we operate most successfully are certainly Germany and China: two very different countries in which we have an important presence.
Looking to the future, which market do you think might prove to be most interesting?
I would say the Turkish market. We haven’t developed anything there as yet, but that’s a market that could prove very attractive in the future.
How do you operate on foreign markets, generally speaking? Do you make use of local distributors or employ other methods?
We operate in different ways, as the situation demands. In some countries we make use of local distributors, in others we have a direct presence or employ a franchising system.
Is there any one of your products which is a top favourite abroad?
To tell the truth, I can’t think of any one in particular because in general, both in Italy and abroad, the attraction for customers seems to be our products as a whole. It is the entire range which pleases our clients and of course we focus on the quality of every single one of our products.
What plans are there for Venchi in the immediate future?
One important project we are involved in and which we shall soon be completing is our opening in London. This will all be happening close to the Olympic Games, when huge crowds will be descending on the city. However, we have decided to target the “back to school” period, which seemed to us a very good moment to launch our products.