Germany - The ethnic food market in Germany, which has an estimated value of approximately 6 billion Euro, engages not merely the attention of Turkish companies, but also those of the giant German producers.
Rücker GmbH in Germany, one of the world’s leading feta cheese producers, sells its cheese in Turkish markets under the trade name of Oba. The company, whose foundations were laid by Eduard Rücker in 1890, was expanded by his son Gustav Rücker and now has about 300 employees and produces approximately 300 million kilograms of dairy products annually. Rücker butter and dairy products are as well known as its cheese. The annual revenue of the company, which does special productions for large retail chains in Germany such as Lidl and Aldi, is approximately 450 million Euro and now it is managed by Thomas and Klaus Rücker, the fourth Rücker generation.
The cheese produced for the Turkish market under the trade name Oba has been introduced to the market by Şenol Işıkay, the sales manager. Işıkay, who has a university degree in geography, wrote his master’s thesis on Turkish retailers and came across the Rücker Company while searching for jobs four years ago. He immediately started out to introduce the trade name to the ethnic market. Işıkay, who states that there has been a 200% increase in sales since then, is responsible for the development of small-scale packing technique for Oba cheeses, which are now sold on market shelves rather than in 16 kilogram boxes designed for wholesale marketing. Işıkay notes, “We did not copy anyone, we just improved our own products and this has had a significant effect on recognition of the trade name.” Oba, which introduces its products via publicity campaigns in the Turkish press, markets the products using advertising films shot in Turkey. Işıkay also produces products for Greek and Arab consumers.
The Rücker company, which has its manufacturing center in Aurich, Germany, plans to increase the products marketed under the trade name Oba. Işıkay highlights the fact that there is severe competition in the food market, where 36 Turkish trade names race against each other. Oba also markets its products outside of Germany in Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Işıkay, who was born to a family with three children who immigrated to Germany from Istanbul in 1969, emphasizes the fact that the Turkish companies should be determined to produce the quality and standards that consumers desire in their products.
Işıkay, born in 1971, points out that his first priority in goals he has for his career is to ensure that the Oba brand continues to maintain a sound place in the market. He says that Turks are often disadvantaged by their insistence on short-term thinking. “We may work as a hairdresser today and a bartender tomorrow. That’s why we are unable to become experts in any given field. We must realize that the more expert knowledge we gain, the more successful we are likely to be.”
There are five people in the Rücker company who are responsible for the ethnic market. Işıkay points out that Oba cream cheese is the best known trade name on the market and that they intend to introduce a second kind of cheese.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07
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