Fazer raised its key figures, including sales volume and value, market share, and profitability in Lithuania for the third year in a row in 2013.

Focused branding and segmentation efforts have spelled success for Fazer in Lithuania. The company was the second largest player in the fresh bread market 2013 with a market share of 13.7 per cent. Through the Gardesis umbrella brand, Fazer positions itself among high quality, value added bakery products. Under it the company has developed strong family brands like Jore, Aukse, GeroApetito, Toast and Taste. Fazer Group’s bakery in Lithuania is situated in Kaunas.

The Lithuanian bread market continues to be characterised by tough competition, low-price driven sales, and an economy segment that accounts for a large part of the total bread market. But while the overall market is declining slightly in volume, there is some growth in value due to rising prices and a developing value added segment.

“We have a unique position in Lithuania, where our strong focus on the premium segment has resulted in a very good perception of the brand by both consumers and retailers,” says Christoph Vitzthum, President and CEO of the Fazer Group.

High quality products, innovative tastes, strong branding and a mix of modern concepts alongside traditional ones have become strong pillars for Fazer in Lithuania. Gardesis Bociu rye bread has responded to traditional bread eaters’ needs and risen to be the country’s bestselling rye bread in 2013. Fazer has steadily increased its market share through innovation leadership, not only in its products but also through a unique approach to promoting them. An example is the Jore rye field in central Vilnius, an innovative project that lets city dwellers see for themselves how rye is grown.

Imitation by competitors further raises the importance of new concepts and novelties. An area that shows clear potential is the frozen category, which gives Fazer the opportunity to cover all consumers’ needs. The category is defined as a key component for Fazer’s future development in Lithuania.

In June 2013 Fazer opened Gardesis Bread Home, a shop adjacent to its bakery. The shop not only assists Fazer in gaining better consumer insight, it also serves as a venue for sharing knowledge and testing novelties and concepts.

In the confectionery business, Fazer is a niche player in premium tablets, boxes and count lines. Lithuania’s confectionery market is a challenging one, with local and international players vying for position by investing in marketing campaigns and novelty launches. Fazer focused on developing the Karl Fazer and Geisha brands in 2013 and will continue the effort in 2014.