"The money will be invested during the course of the next two to three years in an effort to meet rising demand for our products," said Nestlé Romania plant manager Klara Wrenger speaking to CeeFoodIndustry.com. "It will be invested into a number of areas, including new technology, equipment and facilities for the plant."
Located approximately 400km from the country's capital, Bucharest, the Timisoara plant currently produces Joe brand wafers and coffee sticks - widely used in the food industry for single serve coffee. However production has tended to concentrate on the Joe wafers and at the start of this year Nestlé Romania launched a Joe brand dessert to compliment the biscuits.
In total the company has now invested €10 million in the factory, which it bought at the beginning of 2000. The company says that further launches will be made in the course of the year, all related to the Joe brand name.
Currently the wafer market in Romania is valued at €40 million, of which the company holds a third with its Joe brand. Nestlé's production at the Timisoara plant, which concentrates largely on the Joe brand, is said to top 12,000 tons annually, equivalent to between €25-30 million. However, the company says that 20 per cent of its sales are focused on the export market.
"Generally we are exporting the wafers to neighbouring countries in Central Europe - specifically Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria," said Wrenger. "The company is hoping to increase production to meet both the domestic and export markets, which are both very important to growth."
Currently the Timisoara plant accounts for approximately 50 per cent of Nestlé Romania's total production, but the company is expecting that continued demand for its Joe brand products will be lead to sales increases of up to 40 per cent during the course of 2004. Last year the division posted a turnover of €39 million, 30 per cent up on the previous year's figure.