Plans To Expand Ecommerce Shops
Recognized global ice cream and dairy producer and distributer, Food Union, announces sharpened focus on the growth potential in ecommerce and enhancing nation-wide door-step-delivery services in Denmark and Norway. During uncertain times, Food Union continues to build on strong existing client service and delivers high quality ice cream to their customer’s doorstep in local communities across Nordic countries.
Food Union has two door-step-delivery companies in the Nordic region – Hjem Is and Den Norske Isbilen in Denmark and Norway respectively – that have invested in door-step-delivery technology improvements and expansions in ecommerce. These investments have led to an increase in sales, job growth and have helped reach more consumers than ever during the pandemic’s shutdowns.
Food Union is currently the leading ice cream maker in the Baltics and Denmark, and holds strong market positions in Norway, Romania, Russia and Belarus. Food Union Group’s shareholders include its founder and global head Andrey Beskhmelnitskiy, the Hong Kong-based investment company Meridian Capital Limited, and one of Asia’s largest private capital firms PAG.
“We expanded and improved our door-step-delivery services to be closer to the customer and to create a more intuitive consumer experience. We expanded our door-step-delivery routes and optimized our stop accuracy and consumer interaction platforms to ensure we reached consumers when they wanted to purchase our products. We also reviewed our product offering and mix to bring consumers the highest quality product,” said Normunds Staņēvičs, CEO of Food Union Europe. “In order for all innovations in technologies and product portfolio to come together, we invested a great amount of resources to educate and build up a strong sales team operating nation-wide that could connect with our consumers on a daily basis,” said Staņēvičs.
During the first 9 months of 2020, Hjem Is, in Denmark, showed a significant 42% increase in customers served in comparison to year 2019. Food Union improved their stop accuracy by 4.3%, and only increased their trips performed by 2%. In Norway Den Norske Isbilen showed a 30% increase in customers served, a 6.7% increase in stop accuracy, and a 5% increase in trips driven in comparison to 2019.
“Consumer behaviour trends show that Nordic markets reflect global trends where consumers continue to change their buying habits from offline to online. We believe more brands and companies will continue to follow this shift to ecommerce. Many of our consumers are utilizing our online shops and delivery services for the first time, so we want to make sure consumers have a remarkable buying experience. We will continue to create faster and more flexible delivery solutions,” Normunds Staņēvičs adds.
With the world spending more time at home and with the risk of Covid-induced lockdowns, Food Union is actively investing in agile market environments with strong ecommerce potential. Food Union invested in a modern truck tracking system and planning software that evaluated and recalculated existing routes, analysed consumer behaviour and adapted routes in order to reach more customers.
Additionally, Food Union constructed a new freezer warehouse in Norway, updated their car fleets in Denmark and Norway, and continued improvements to online platforms which help more customers reach their “ice cream shops on wheels.” Hjem Is, in Denmark, launched a new web page and ecommerce platform to give customers faster and more flexible delivery options. They also established a mobile-first buying experience and created an enhanced modern look-and-feel to communicate with consumers that were not reached previously.
In 2019, Isbjorn Is LLC and Den Norske Isbilen LLC had a EUR 24 million combined revenue. Together, the companies made more than 20 thousand trips driven by the doorstep delivery trucks delivering ice cream and other frozen goods. Premier Is and Danish door-step-delivery ice cream company, Hjem Is, had a combined revenue of EUR 57 million. Their companies made more than 32 thousand trips driven by the door-step-delivery trucks and served 1.5 thousand out-of-home stores with their products. Both door-step delivery services in Denmark and Norway worked to optimize routes to make deliveries more efficient and safer, so that they could continue serving customers during COVID.
Food Union Group is a dynamic player in the European dairy sector. They paved the way by developing and focusing on the acquisition of leading national brands across Europe. The Group is made up of the two of the largest dairy and ice-cream companies in Latvia – Rīgas piena kombināts and Valmieras piens. The Group also includes companies such as: Estonia’s and Lithuania’s largest ice cream makers Premia TKH and Premia KPC, the leading Danish ice cream producer Premier Is
Food Union Group’s shareholders include its founder and executive chairman, Andrey Beskhmelnitskiy, who has built and acquired strong assets with his operational expertise. He has also led large-scale key dairy businesses to successful investment exits. The leading dairy group is backed by Hong Kong-based investment company Meridian Capital Limited, and one of Asia’s largest private capital 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.