BORELA: tendencies in hemp salės
Therefore, UAB BORELA sells its production mostly in these foreign markets. UAB BORELA export manager Vilius Janusaitis and sales manager Deimante Litvinskaite agreed to tell more about Lithuanian and foreign markets. They reveal what clients want the most at the moment.
The hemp in Lithuania is still a controversial topic. Looks like Lithuanians still don‘t have enough information about it as well as about products made of it. Do you see that while comparing Lithuanian and foreign markets?
In Lithuania we sell only 1 percent of our production and 99 percent of it goes to foreign markets. A word “hemp” still makes many customers in Lithuania smile – hemp food products are associated with narcotic substances. We even get asked if a person can get high when using hemp oil or seeds. A high price, a lack of education and no interest in a healthy lifestyle also effect sales of our products. When considering the perception of the use and benefits of our production, foreign markets can be described as much more advanced. Clients from abroad want to know not only about all the benefits but also about technical and quality-related details. Providing information and keeping in touch with clients allows us to learn a lot and to improve.
When sales extent in Lithuanian and foreign markets differ so much, the second question is obviously about the products. What products are the most popular among Lithuanians and what products are usually preferred by the foreigners?
Lithuanians are mostly interested in hemp seed oil and hemp seed protein. Our distributors use retail packaging for these products and then deliver them to shopping centers. The benefits of hemp seed oil and protein are widely discussed in social networks and other media channels therefore these products are the most popular. In foreign markets hemp seed protein and hulled hemp seeds are the most popular choice. These two products can be found not only in retail packaging as it is popular ingredient for many products. For instance, hemp seed protein is used in protein bars, pasta, protein shakes, protein pancake and baking mixes production. And hulled hemp seeds are used in hemp milk, spreads and sauces as well as bars, mixes for salads or bakes production.
Can you distinguish the most important trends in sales this year? Did you record growth?
Hemp market is a rapidly changing one, so sales are affected by seasons, harvest, competition, quality and other factors. This year sales increased because we were able to offer production that was of a much higher quality than the one offered by our competitors. We produce only the highest quality hemp products – the raw material that we use is grown Europe and then processed in the only factory in the European Union that has a BRC certificate.
You mentioned that 99 percent of your production is exported. What countries are on your export list?
The main export direction is Europe. On our export list we have the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Holland, Finland, Croatia, Greece, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Japan, Malaysia and others. The new and really promising direction is Australia. And our aim is USA and Canada.
What are main criteria Lithuanians and foreigners mention when they choose your products?
Clients in Lithuania mention four main criteria:
- The price of the product (in the shop);
- The packaging;
- The taste;
- The country of origin (priority is for Lithuania).
Clients abroad pay a lot of attention to:
- The quality:
- The quality of a product (organoleptic properties, research results);
- Communication and problem solving.
- The price of a product and logistics;
- The country of origin.
Could you please mention what do your clients specialize in?
Our main clients are ecological food producers, packaging companies, retailers. For the cosmetic industry we can offer ecologic hemp seed oil. But because it is first cold pressed and also of the highest quality the price is really high. Moreover, its shelf life is not long enough for some companies.