Interviews & Features
Bella Bulgaria - the ideal food industry business partner in Southeast Europe, interview with Miltos Triantafillou, COO of Bella Bulgaria
By SeeNews team
Bella Bulgaria is the country’s food industry leader. The company’s
turnover exceeded 130 million euro last year. It operates eight
processing plants with a daily capacity of over 300 tonnes,
high-technology monitoring of production processes and quality management systems (ISO 9001:2000, IFS). The company has a fleet of more than 90 refrigerated trucks with a load capacity of 1 to 20 tonnes. It exercises direct control over the Bulgarian market through
over 12,000 points of sale and all retail chains. The company has a commercial structure in Romania and a distribution network in Greece. It exports its production to four continents. The company’s sound business
strategy, its application of world know-how in different areas and its financial stability contribute to its high credit rating at home and abroad and guarantee the success of all its new activities.
Q: Bella Bulgaria is the biggest food producer in Bulgaria with a rich portfolio of over 200 products. On which segments do you register strongest growth? Are you planning to launch more new products?
A: The Bella pastry products – the puff pastry, the ready-made frozen big and small pastries with different fillings and the pies – have brought us biggest popularity both at home and abroad. The products under the Bella brand are part of the daily life of millions of families. Our partners and consumers recognise us as the producer that offers consistent food quality and the best value for money.
Traditionally, we are flexible creating products that consumers on the different markets need and expect. We conduct regular surveys of consumer attitudes in the countries we want to export to. We are also exploring potential new markets. If we see needs for a new products, we will definitely respond to these. This is where we base the success in exports business. This is the way we make our products popular on the local market.
Q: Do you plan investments in production?
A: Over the past year we optimised our pastries production and we started to develop a specialised production base for the needs on foreign markets. Despite the recent rough patch, I think that the economic climate is favourable for investments. Bulgarian companies continue to invest in food production. Sustainable development restructuring of the industry also are continuing. Bella Bulgaria is among the driving forces of this process and we are looking for new business opportunities.
Q: How are your Romanian operations developing? Are you planning to set foot on new markets?
A: In Romania Bella’s products are the most preferred in various categories – pastries, phyllo dough, banitsa. We operate our own commercial structures there. We have successful business in the entire region of Southeast Europe, with a fully operational distribution network in Greece and production of private labels for Turkish market. We are looking into possibilities for new partnerships in Southeast Europe, the Persian Gulf and North Africa. We believe that Bella’s real expansion is yet to come, even though Bella products are already available in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Dubai, Australia, Turkey, the US, Portugal, Iraq, and etc.
Q: Does the food industry see signs of economic recovery? What is the biggest challenge facing it now?
A: We can say that Bulgaria’s food industry is coping well with the crisis. However, high unemployment reduced people’s purchasing power. Most markets drop and competition became more aggressive. Consumers became very price-sensitive and seek for products that offer quality and affordable prices. At the same time we are witnessing a unique international coincidence – rise in the prices of raw materials. On the other hand, EU legislation strictly regulates production processes, the tracebility of raw materials and product safety, recipe standardiation, etc. All this makes the environment in which we are operating very difficult. In order to make a profit, producers have to offer products of sustainable quality at affordable prices and support their products in the best
possible way. In Bella Bulgaria we have a continuous priority – give our consumers satisfaction. We do this by offering products that respect the role “best value for money”.
Q: How would you comment on the government’s initiative to introduce quality standards for staple food products?
A: Where there are standards, there is order, no chaos. An ethical business cannot and should not tolerate chaos. The new standards are a step towards the new order that consumers require.