BUSINESS
Mineral water market expanding in Georgia
06 December, 2014
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold abroad in January-September of 2014. In 2013, this figure was only $73 million. Mineral water is fifth in the list of most exported Georgian products, and its total export share grew from 3.6 percent to 5.3 percent in just one year.

Growth in mineral water exports is
confirmed by its producers, who have many years of experience in this field. Among them is “Nabeghlavi” a well-known producer. Currently its mineral water is sold in over 20 countries, and Avtandil Simonishvili, its director general, told bpn.ge that this number will only grow. This statement is confirmed by the fact that this year “Nabeghlavi” appeared on the Turkish market.

“Turkey is close to us, which makes marketing our products there rather easy, not to mention that its market is big and interesting. If our goods establish a foothold at the Turkish market, it will be a massive boost to our sales. We hope that “Nabeghlavi” will soon occupy its rightful niche at the EU market as well. As for our neighboring countries and CIS, our brand is already very well known there” – Simonishvili said.

Victoria Zhizhko, PR manager of LLC “Tskali Margebeli” (Healthy Water) claims that tendency towards growth is obvious: “This year’s statistics are impressive indeed. Naturally, we had some problems due to developments between Ukraine and Russia, but it didn’t affect the total stat a lot. Our company tries to direct the received income towards increasing production volume and overall development of the company. We also try to obtain the best available equipment to ensure the highest quality of packaging. Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Baltic countries and CIS space are already within our coverage zone; it’s been less than a year since we entered the Russian market, yet the demand for our products is quite high.”

Representatives of “Borjomi” also note an increase in export. According to “IDS Borjomi Georgia”, a lot has happened in the company lately.

Nitsa Cholokashvili, public relations manager of “IDS Borjomi Georgia”:

“As you remember, we got embargoed by the Russian market in 2006. After that, our company did all it could to diversify its market. A lot of work has been done over these years. I would like to emphasize complete rebranding of “Borjomi”, which had amazing results. New face of the brand was presented to customers and aggressive marketing campaigns were planned in strategically important countries. These actions resulted in enormous demand for “Borjomi” that keeps growing every day. Correct choice of policy made Georgian mineral water “Borjomi” number one in sales in post-Soviet countries. Not to mention that the Russian market re-opened for us in 2013 and we established solid positions in all of Russia’s central cities, followed by regions. Export percentages grow every year due to ceaseless marketing activity conducted by our company at strategic markets such as post-Soviet countries. However, our business experiences stable growth in other countries as well.”

Along with well-known brands, the Georgian mineral water market has newcomers as well. The next year will see another manufacturer join the export. “Plate” company is well-known in Georgia, but it hasn’t set foot outside the country yet. According to Merab Kublashvili, director of “Georgian Water and Company”, their plans are no joking matter:

“We spent 3 years building our factory. Now it is complete and we are installing cutting-edge equipment, but we aren’t done with it yet. The largest demand for “Plate” is currently in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Several days ago we received permission to export our goods. We also overcame our financial problems and are now planning to take a loan and increase our output, because demand for our mineral water is quite high.

Our goods are high quality, but so far they are confined to the Georgian market, which is quite small. Thus, we want to establish ourselves at foreign markets as well, but doing so is hard without having glass packaging for our goods, which we are currently trying to procure. By the way, “Plate” was sold in Central Asia 30-40 years ago and was one of the most sought-after, expensive drinks. Its composition hasn’t changed to this day, and its quality is very high. According to CIS data, chemical composition of “Plate” is unique, which is confirmed by scientific analysis. Not to mention that it is water for everyday use.

We have good prospects, construction and installation of equipment will be finished soon and we will set off to conquer foreign markets next year. Execution of our strategic plan will begin in 2015 and we hope that we will be able to catch up to our competitors in popularity within 2-3 years. We can say that based on the fact that “Plate” is close to mineral waters widely consumed in Europe by quality and composition.”

By Khatuna Chigogidze
BPN.GE

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