Ljubomir Milošević, Managing Director of Puratos Serbia: Hyper- Personalization of Products

We, at Puratos, are proud of our ability to recognize, understand and use these trends to plan the successful future of our company, as well as the successful future of our customers

Ljubomir Milošević has been appointed Managing Director of Puratos Serbia in July 2018, thanks to his long and successful career which he developed in various managing positions at international FMCG companies.

Puratos, an international, family-owned company, is one of the global leaders in innovative solutions and production of ingredients for bakers, confectioners and chocolate makers. With its vision based on the importance of quality nutrition, Puratos is constantly investing in market research based on which it comes up with new ideas for developing business with its customers. Closeness in work and education of their customers are the company’s main postulates, as is a unified appearance in front of consumers to whom the company offers maximum quality.

As consumers’ needs and expectations evolve, the needs of customers change too. That is why we are dedicated to anticipating and responding to these changes through a process of constant innovation. Whatever Puratos customers need, the approach the challenge with their high levels of efficiency and experience. Whether it is about cleaner label solutions, hoping to develop new products and concepts, or aiming to improve the taste, texture, shelf life or nutritional value of your existing products, their dedicated Business Development teams are always at your service. To fuel the engine that drives innovation, Puratos also invest 2.1% of our turnover in R&D. At Puratos, the know that people around the world care more and more about the quality of their food. B observing and analysing the world around them, with regards to what makes the essence of their group – our DNA – they have defined their vision of the future on which relies their company’s long term strategic direction.

How would you rate the current situation in the bakery and confectionery market in Serbia and how do you see its further development?

At present, the baker market in Serbia is transitioning from simple products to value-added products, i.e. products that offer consumers a higher quality and the concrete benefit that comes from their purchase. Most often it is  a benefit related to consumer health and well-being consumers (less sugar, less fat, more fiber…), which is in line with the current global trends. I think that the time when bakeries offered most “fast food” assortment (pizza slices, the simplest pastries and similar) is gone – and that the true artisans have the opportunities to showcase their skills and develop. The similar situation is in the confectionary market too because there are more and more options available that offer benefits in line with trends without compromising on the product taste. The artisan approach to baking is extremely important. Even industrially made products are created to look as “artisanal” as possible, as if they were handmade. This is great news for independent bakers and pastry chefs as it gives them a chance for further meaningful and long-lasting development through the presentation of their skills and qualities to the customers and consumers who find this increasingly important.

Puratos also invests heavily in educating its customers and partners. In which business segments do you see room for advancement in Serbia?

We, at Puratos, believe that constant learning and improvement are the way to last a long time in the market. “Taste Tomorrow” and “Sensobus” are projects through which we collect the most valuable and up-to-date information on consumer attitudes and desires for which we are recognized worldwide. The way we work entails sharing our knowledge and ideas for improving our business with our customers. I think that the room for advancement lies primarily clearly defining the product range and communicating with customers in shops. Each product should have its place and role within the selected range, and relevant product information should be communicated to customers at the point of sale. With such setting, customers have more information and make purchasing decisions easier, which increases sales and overall success of a particular retailer. Of course, we, at Puratos, have specific ideas on how to implement this. Puratos’ research divisions ‘Taste Tomorrow’ and ‘Sensobus’ are constantly active.

What are the current trends in the baking sector in Europe?

— We are proud of projects like “Taste tomorrow” and “Sensobus” because they allow us to stay in touch with current and relevant trends in our industry. The information gathered in this way is critical for the development and planning of the future success of the company. As for the trends themselves, there are those that are “traditional” such as taste, freshness or health impact on the consumer. These trends are always present, but the are now coupled with some more recent and increasingly important trends such as the artisan style of baking and product appearance, ethically sourced raw materials and transparency regarding all the ingredients that make the product. Customers are increasingly making their purchasing decisions based on how satisfied the are with the quality of information the have received regarding these trends. In the future, trends related to the shopping experience itself – the appearance of the shop, the ease of shopping, digital solutions and such – will become increasingly important. Hyper-personalization of products like special (sub)types of bread or specific pastry (vegan, for example) is also one of the trends that are becoming increasingly important. We, at Puratos, are proud of our ability to recognize, understand and use these trends to plan the successful future of our company, as well as the successful future of our customers.

When are you planning to open a new factory in Serbia and what can your customers in Serbia and the region expect?

— The new production plant has been in Puratos’ development plans for several years and much has been done on the matter. The relevant land plot has been purchased, a project has been drafted, financing provided and we are currently in the phase of obtaining the documentation needed to begin construction. If all goes according to plan, the plant should become operational in 2021. With the new factory, we will increase our production capacity, introduce new products and make the top quality Puratos range, for which we are recognized globally, even more accessible to our customers.

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