With 20 years of success under its belt, Turkish confectionery manufacturer Kervan Gida acquired the Dexters Confectionery Brands in December 2016 with the goal of delivering growth for both the Bebeto and Dexter brands in the UK
Committed to becoming one of the top five domestic and international gummy manufacturers, Turkish manufacturer Kervan Gida initially began operations 20 years ago as a producer of chewing gum. With a keen eye for business opportunities, the company made the strategic decision to increase its scope with gummy production in 1998. In 2005, in close succession to the international candy industry, the company became the first to introduce licorice and new types of gummies to Turkey.
Proud of its complementary and delicious product range, Kervan Gida’s portfolio includes 100 per cent halal certified gummies that are made with real fruit juice and no artificial colours. Through this ethos of producing and delivering quality products that it truly believes in, the company has maintained a level of trustworthiness with customers that are confident a Kervan Gida product will be manufactured to the best possible standards.
“The reputation we have built up has served us incredibly well, for example, with the Bebeto brand there is real dynamism, which has resulted in it becoming a major force in over 70 countries worldwide. The site where we manufacture these products is halal and BRC A* accredited, which thus ensures our products are of the highest order,” says Paul Simpson, Commercial Director at Kervan Gida.
“One thing we do focus on is the production of better quality sweets, which includes putting more gelatine and less starch in our gummy confectionery products. It is very easy to produce a very cheap sweet through the use of a lot of starch and very little gelatin, however it is not a pleasant option due to the flavour being drawn out by the starch and the fact the sweet will stick to your teeth. Alternatively, if you use more gelatin to produce your gummy confectionery, customers enjoy a more pleasant texture and a nice, chewy, great tasting gelatin sweet. Another thing we do is produce sweets with more fruit sugars and less processed sugars as this makes for a product with more aroma and better taste. With the customer becoming more curious about what goes into each product they consume, the fact we manufacture in this manner has helped in our high performance over the last two decades,” he adds.
With a projected turnover of £8 million in 2017, Kervan Gida shows no signs of slowing down and with the Dexters’ portfolio further enhancing Kervan’s offering to the UK market, this will enable the company to continue its rapid growth.
Indeed, since beginning trading in the UK in 2014, the company’s investment of £2 million demonstrates how serious Kervan Gida is about delivering growth for both brands in the UK.
The Dexters Confectionery product range, comprises innovative and fun products such as Dynastix, Tiger Tongues as well as Dexters Confectionery’s own brand of sweets that includes Candy Watches, Mega Paint Brush Lollys and Ice Cups. This will provide access to new market channels while also broadening Kervan Gida’s customer base. “We are a family-owned business in Istanbul, however we have been operating in the UK for three years when a UK subsidiary was set up by Stuart Johnston, our Managing Director in the UK. Although we have only been in the UK market for a short period of time, we have since made a strong start and see plenty more opportunities for growth,” says Paul.
“In some markets, we are more developed and the range of products we go to the market with are both branded and own label; we have a number of own label contracts at the moment and will always look to expand that while pushing the Bebeto and Dexter’s brands.
“Things have really taken off in the UK in the past couple of years, stemming from the fact our portfolio is category enhancing. We want to develop products and brands that will add to the category as it benefits everyone involved and we have particularly seen this with our halal accredited products. Halal accreditation is a real USP for us as discounters, wholesalers or multiple grocers all view halal accredited brands as important. Another opportunity we saw was for licorice based products such as strawberry pencils or laces in the UK as many ranges are gummy based and under-playing the liquorice opportunity,” he adds.
Kervan Gida aims to grow its complementary portfolio of products further as it continues its 20-year trend 53for growth. “We operate in 70 countries and are a business that is looking to expand all of the time. We have a good track record of growth and see no reason why this shouldn’t continue. Over the next five years, we want to be up to a turnover of £20 million and be one of the top five gummy confectionery suppliers in the UK. While we will focus on organic growth, on a case-by-case basis, if we see opportunities to make acquisitions then we will absolutely look at it,” Paul concludes.