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Food Union, local flavors for the production of snacks and ice cream

The Latvian company studies the preferences of consumers in the 9 countries in which it operates

Based on research and development results on consumers' evolving interests, Latvian Company Food Union continues to experiment with new flavors of ice cream. "Our R&D specialists continue to work on locally preferred flavors and develop products that satisfy the cravings of consumers in each of the nine key countries in which we operate", said Normunds Staņēvičs , CEO of Food Union, Europe. “Our goal is to acquire, build and mature brands rooted in local food traditions. The deep knowledge of local tastes is essential for the production of ice cream and snacks capable of surprising even our most loyal customers".

In Belarus, Food Union researchers were aware that the country's inhabitants saw the cornflower as a significant symbol of happiness and longevity. In the quest to identify local traditions and older flavors, Belarus-based Ingman Ice Cream found a way to build a product based on that long-standing cultural belief. The result was the creation of a new product for the Beliy Polus brand. Each scoop of blue ice cream reflects the vivid color of the cornflower itself "and appeals not just to the eyes and taste buds of consumers, but to their hearts and imaginations," says a press release. The ingredients of this eye-catching ice cream include both cornflower and flaxseed, and is served in a rye-based wafer "cup".

For a large part of the Lithuanian population, for example, the taste of pastry or cotton candy linked to childhood arouses "warm and comforting" feelings. Food Union's Lithuanian company, Premia Kpc, has seen consumer interest in products based on toffee and cotton candy flavors grow. Visitors to the Estonian capital Tallinn often notice the scent of roasted and caramelized almonds wafting through the city streets. For the locals, a cone of these almonds taken from street vendors is a usual snack. Several Baltic states share a love of ice cream flavored or glazed with local fruits and berries, including raspberries, blueberries and black currants. But consumers rarely find gooseberry, rhubarb and quince ice cream. In Estonia, Premia combined local traditions and Southern European classics to launch an orange ice cream with almond paste and cranberry jam.

Food Union is currently the leading ice cream producer in the Baltics and Denmark, and the Group has a strong market position in Norway, Romania, Russia and Belarus. The company develops local brands and distributes products in the premium categories of snacks, ice cream and dairy products in Europe, Belarus, Russia, China and Asia Pacific. The Group consists of two of the largest dairy and ice cream companies in Latvia: Rīgas full kombināts and Valmieras piens. The Group also includes companies such as: Premia Tkh, the largest ice cream makers in Estonia and Lithuania and Premia Kpc, the leading Danish ice cream manufacturer Premier Is and the Danish ice cream company with home delivery Hjem Is, the ice cream company IsbjørnIs, the ice cream company Den Norske Isbilen, the Romanian ice cream maker Alpin57Lux, the ice cream company Ingman Ice Cream in Belarus and the ice cream company Khladokombinat in Russia. The leading dairy group is backed by Hong Kong-based investment firm Meridian Capital Limited and one of Asia's largest private equity firms, Pag. They became Food Union shareholders in 2015 and 2018 in order to finance the construction of two dairy plants in China and facilitate the company’s dynamic expansion to this market.

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EFA News - European Food Agency