Applying passion to its products, Boncolac delivers palate pleasing fine foods to a continually growing industry
Boncolac Ltd is the UK subsidiary of Boncolac SA in France, which in turn is part of the milk giant Sodiaal Group, a business managing a turn over of approximately five billion eurosannually. Boncolac, with a long history in the production of premium private and own label frozen desserts and savoury products, is a leader in its segment in Europe and exports to more than 25 countries in almost every continent.
At the beginning of 2015 the Group acquired Fromages de France Ltd, an independent UK based importer of Boncolac’s products, effectively establishing Bonolac Ltd within the country. “The acquisition came as a result of a long and fruitful collaboration between Boncolac SA and FDF during the past 12 years,” explains Zakaria Elrhzari, UK sales manager, continuing: “We have always shown great interest in the UK market and were keen to progress from the solid base that FDF has built during its years of operations. When the opportunity presented itself we embraced it, in line with our strategy to fully integrate the UK market and grow our operation in what we see as a challenging but yet rewarding market.”
Whilst the move is in its early stages and any conclusions would be deemed as premature, there is an air of confidence and optimism about the venture, reflecting the close relations held with FDF for the last few years. “This venture will provide proximity by bringing our products and services even closer to the clients we have been working with. It will provide increased convenience and will also permit us to control all aspects of the local operation thus provide a higher standard of service,” highlights Zakaria. Through an open and clear view on the local market, the company will be able to occupy grounds as a point of contact to any potential clients to facilitate access to its premium products.
“We are indeed aiming to both strengthen our presence in the retail world whilst commencing collaborations within the food service industry. We have a strong portfolio of products that can add great value to our potential clients and we have recently started what we consider to be a fantastic collaboration with 3663 who have listed a good range of our delicious tarts in a collaboration that looks very promising,” points out Zakaria. Furthermore, the company is in discussions with other potential clients, regarding contracts that will come to fruition in the near future. Atthe heart of its strategy are products that are oriented towards the food service industry and the businesses long involvement in the field around the globe has permitted it to innovate and pioneer in catering solutions that have satisfied the most demanding chefs and buyers. Today the company continues to work on developing products that perform but also provide a variety of choice.
“Innovation is at the heart of whatwe do, and at Boncolac, we believe that developing new products is vital to staying ahead. However we also believe that innovation should not be to the detriment of quality, as for us they go hand-in-hand. Our teams are constantly developing and researching new products and looking to set new trends with the aim of creating authentic products with carefully selected ingredients,” explains Zakaria.
Operating across different regions of the world, the norms of taste vary somewhat, and as a result, some of the products have been adjusted to suit the local palate. Commenting Zakaria highlights: “This is part of our proximity and R&D work to achieve a customer-oriented product. A product that will perform is essential but also one that will be at its peak of perceived quality in this particular market. This of course happens with the help of local buyers and product developers from our multiple collaborations.” With such a broad range available, to describe the products would eat into the dinner hour, but mentioning one success, he points out: “At the heart of our range is the classic Tarte au Citron, with a flavour profile quite different from that on the continent. In fact all our fruit tartes are firm favourites, particularly the Apple tartes, which use fresh apples, peeled and cored just prior to bake.”
Constantly researching new trends and ideas in the UK market, the company has laid witness to a market that embraces change and innovation. As Boncolac and its management look towards an exciting future, Zakaria concludes: “We use all the classic tools such as market data, attending trade fairs, watching fine dining cookery programmes and of course eating out, to ensure our products are well placed to serves changing trends and growing demand. We see Boncolac in the next five years as one of the major premium suppliers of frozen desserts and savoury solutions to both retail and food service industry.”