Lithuanian products find their way in exotic markets: what have our exporters learned during the pandemic?

Lithuanian products find their way in exotic markets: what have our exporters learned during the pandemic?

While actively expanding the export volumes, one of the biggest alcoholic beverage manufacturers in the Baltics, MV GROUP Production finds interest in Lithuanian products in such far and exotic markets as Nigeria, Burundi, or Vietnam. Last year company’s sales revenue grew by nearly 30 percent and a big part of this success was an active collaboration with partners all over the world.

“Even when most of international exhibitions were canceled last year, we managed to develop our business network and present our products for potential foreign clients and partners in other ways. We are dedicated to keeping the same tempo of export expansion this year as well. Therefore, we invest in various solutions which make Lithuanian production strongly competitive in the world“, – says the head of sales and business development department at MV GROUP Production, Aurimas Abromavičius.

Developing markets give flexibility

MV GROUP Production manages Stumbras, Alita, Anykščių vynas, and Gubernija factories in Lithuania. These companies export their products to more than 45 countries. According to A. Abromavičius, finding a new direction for export is mostly influenced by the potential of a particular market.

The biggest part of the company’s exported production goes to Europe but some significant bursts have been made in other far and exotic markets.

“We pay a lot of attention to every market’s long-term perspective. We know that people who live in developing countries have less purchasing power than those who live in developed ones. However, growing markets let us present our brands and products in a more free and flexible manner, to compete more persistently and find unexpected solutions. We adapt and apply our experience in various continents, and prove that Lithuanian business and production is of a top-level worldwide” – says MV GROUP Production representative.

The most valued: long term perspective and potential

The global pandemic hadn’t suppressed the attractiveness of China’s market for international manufacturers. The evaluation made by Morgan Stanley’s analytics says that the average consumption expenses for a single citizen in China will double in the year 2030, while the whole volume of consumption might reach 12,7 trillion US dollars.

Private consumption grows 7,9 percent on a yearly average here, while such a tempo makes China one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Therefore, MV GROUP Production which exports its production to this market for a few years already, observes and evaluates the recovery and growth of China’s regions, expands its partnership network, and studies the choices of consumers.

“Chinese people like the history of our products and brands who, according to the consumers of this market, look different, are made of extraordinary recipes and ingredients. The fact that it comes from a small and less known country, makes them more unique. While Lithuanian beverages are considered a niche product in China, that’s exactly what makes them attractive to consumers. We use this experience to present Anykščių vynas and Gubernija production there”, – says A. Abromavičius.

According to him, some of the new partnerships in Asia’s markets are being established even 2-3 years after the participation and networking in various exhibitions there. Such an uncharacteristic situation might be an outcome of a long pandemic and no exhibitions happening for more than a year now.

However, pandemic helped to find new ways for networking – partnerships are being established without live meetings nowadays, sometimes even through social media. Such methods seemed impossible earlier, especially in such markets as Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and other Eastern countries, where personal contacts and connections helped to make long-term deals.

Lithuanian brands everywhere – from the USA to Burundi

Lithuanian producers are happy to hear feedback from travelers who spot Lithuanian products while visiting exotic countries. For example, one can find beverages from Lithuania even in some supermarkets in Vietnam. A lot of people find it unexpected to see a Lithuanian brand in this Asia’s country. Various beverages made in Lithuania become popular in Nigeria as well.

“Not so long ago, a few Lithuanians who were spending time in a hotel in Burundi had sent us a lot of messages full of surprise when they found a lot of our products they know very well in the supermarket there. They didn’t expect to see Lithuanian products in almost every second store of this country. By the way, they didn’t expect to find it in Nigeria as well, where, as it appears, men drink sparkling wine from Alytus when they are watching football in a bar”, – tells A. Abromavičius.

Products that come from the Stumbras factory in Kaunas can be called one of the main engines of the whole company group’s export. It is a significant achievement that this production has established in the market of Lithuania’s neighbor, Poland, while sales are rapidly growing in Latvia and Estonia. These results give more and more self-confidence for a Lithuanian brand and strengthen its ambitions to fight the competition in other markets.

MV GROUP Production plans to expand its export volume with more power brought by Gubernija. Huge investment in production technologies, renewing the equipment, and creating new products bring new possibilities – products made in Šiauliai reached the shelves of Publix supermarkets in Florida, USA. Earlier Gubernija’s products were sold in ethnic food stores in the USA, so a deal with Publix is one step further toward the wider audience and bigger opportunities in this country.

“During the last few years, the work made by us and our partners in Europe started to give significant results – sales grow by 20-30 percent in the markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavian countries. It lets to compensate the pandemic caused losses in other markets. Our brands get stronger positions in Estonia and Latvia as well, we are on a great way in the markets of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Russia where we find a lot of opportunities to work directly with supermarkets”, – says A. Abromavičius.

According to him, a consistently growing experience and business competence have a significant value to create new connections and to step into new territories, such as Vietnam and Kenya, and to renew the partnerships in the market of Japan. While achieving these export goals MV GROUP Production constantly invests in reaching new markets as well.