Raisio’s well-known brands Benecol, Elovena, Sunnuntai, Provena, Torino and Nordic offer consumers familiar favourites and innovative new products. The key markets of the Healthy Food Division are Finland, the UK, Ireland, Poland and Russia.
Main events in 2018
- Focus on the novelty launches
- Benecol novelties into new categories: snack bars and Greek Style Yogurt
- Elovena Muru Oat Mince, Raisio’s latest oat innovation
- Grain price increases promptly responded with price changes
- In Poland, long-lasting slide now stopped
- In Russia, back to premium pricing
- Raisio’s own sales and marketing organisation took over Ireland
- Raisio increased its communications on cholesterol lowering to healthcare professionals
Northern and Eastern Europe (main markets Finland, Poland and Russia)
In the Finnish market, the focus was on the launches of novelties. Raisio’s most significant novelties were Elovena Muru Oat Mince, Benecol snack bars and Benecol Greek Style Yogurts. At the end of 2018, Raisio focused on passing on higher grain prices to the product prices with the company’s strong brands.
Elovena, Finland’s most valued oat brand
Comparable net sales remained at the comparison year level.As a whole, Elovena product sales remained at the strong comparison year level. Strong sales growth for Benecol products also continued. Sales for the Torino brand grew significantly with the new vegetable pastas. The drop in sales and tightening competition in the baking category resulted in the sales decrease for the Sunnuntai brand.
Nordic flakes are Raisio’s main products in Russia and Ukraine. In Russia, sales volume remained almost at the comparison year level. In euros, net sales were clearly down from the comparison year due to the negative impact of the currency. Price increases were made at the end of 2018 to meet the grain price rise. In Ukraine, strong sales growth continued with the Nordic products.
In Poland, focus on the core business
In Poland, Raisio focuses on the Benecol consumer products. The organisation and cost structure have been renewed to support the company’s focus on its core business. Net sales were significantly down from the comparison year and EBIT was negative. However, the worst slide has now been stopped. Raisio will continue measures to improve business profitability in 2019.
Western Europe (Markets: the UK, Ireland and Belgium)
In the UK, Benecol snack bars and Benecol Greek Style Yogurts were launched in the summer. Sales of the Benecol snack bars expanded to include pharmacies. In addition, sales of the Benecol products expanded into over 5,500 new retail stores. Sales in the Benecol yogurt drinks were at the comparison year level while in the Benecol spreads, sales were slightly down from the comparison year. The UK net sales were almost at the comparison year level.
In the UK Benecol expanded into over 5,500 new retail stores
As planned, Raisio’s own sales and marketing organisation took over the Irish Benecol business at the beginning of September. In late 2018, the number of promotions was lower than in the comparison period, which in turn resulted in a clear net sales drop. Sales in Benecol spreads remained at the comparison period level while in yogurt drinks sales decreased.
In Belgium, sales in Benecol yogurt drinks and spreads were clearly down from the comparison year. Sales turned into slight growth thanks to campaigning and Benecol Greek Style Yogurts launched in late 2018. Net sales for Belgium clearly decreased from the comparison year. After Ireland, Belgium is the next priority area where Raisio aims to turn net sales into clear growth.
Rest of the world
The Rest of the World business includes the deliveries of plant stanol ester, the Benecol product ingredient, for the production of consumer products sold in Raisio’s own markets as well as the Benecol product ingredient sales to licensing partners. The figures for the Rest of the World business also include Raisio’s food exports to other than the company’s own main markets.
Deliveries in the Benecol product ingredient for the production of consumer products sold in Raisio’s home markets slightly increased from the comparison year. Deliveries to licensing partners in the US and Asia were significantly down from the comparison period.
Raisio’s licensing agreement with the Spanish partner ended at the end of 2018. In line with its new strategy, Raisio will take over Benecol product markets in Europe in case the situation with a licensing partner changes and the market is important for Raisio.
As part of its strategy work, Raisio has also assessed the functionality of the current licensing model. The licensing model remains one way to provide consumers with cholesterol-lowering Benecol products in the markets where Raisio does not operate, and especially outside Europe. Raisio will continue to further develop its licensing model in 2019.