We are continuously developing our product portfolio with innovative products that enhance well-being, and our artisanal bread offering in our shop-in-shops has won the hearts of customers. The market is polarised, with demand for premium artisanal quality as well as low-priced bread sold in retail. Health and well-being products such as belly-friendly breads continue their success as well. The snacking trend is apparent in the bakery business as consumers look for convenient products to enjoy on the go.
Performance in 2017
The net sales of the bakery business increased somewhat in 2017. We were able to successfully implement value creation actions despite the challenging market situation. In Finland, overall performance was very good. This was mainly due to the strong portfolio consisting of a good product mix and successful novelties, and improved operational efficiency. In addition, the shop-in-shop business continued its success. Sweden, on the other hand, suffered from the market decline and the competition from private labels. Russia carried out successful product launches and operational improvements. The Baltic countries improved their product portfolio with successful new product launches and price positioning.
The bakery market as a whole declined slightly in all markets during 2017. The share of private label sales increased. The health trend continued and supported the sales of our well-being offering, and the popularity of artisanal bread remained strong.
Fazer of the Future
We will continue to renew the bread category by introducing interesting, consumer-oriented novelties to the market, especially for health-conscious people. We have set ambitious growth and profitability targets and will develop our operational and commercial capabilities in order to reach them.
We will improve our overall efficiency to enhance value creation. This we will do by looking into and optimising each function, e.g. manufacturing and logistics. We will continue to execute our Perfect Store initiative, in which we develop the retail shopping path together with our customers, to build category leadership and point-of-sales excellence. New capabilities in, among other things, sales and marketing will help us reach our targets.