Unión, a Seventh-day Adventist–managed health-food company in Peru, has recently announced that it is expanding its delivery services to include not only major supermarkets but also smaller convenience stores across the country.
The move, which was reported in Peru’s Gestión news outlet, results from a significant increase in sales of baked goods in 2020.
According to regional media outlets, sales of packaged bakery goods had a 40-percent increase in 2020 over 2019 sales figures. According to the company managers and church leaders across the region, it is a remarkable feat in a challenging year.
Unión general manager Martín Saldaña shared some of the plans already being implemented in 2021. “[This year], we will keep working to consolidate [our sales] through our regular channels, doing our best at the same time to increase our share in convenience stores,” he said. He explained that the company’s goal is also to decentralize distribution, moving beyond the area of the capital city of Lima to increase sales across other provinces.
Unión recently launched its online shopping platform, making it easier for customers to find and purchase baked foods, spreads, breakfast cereals, and natural fruit juices, Saldaña said. “In 2021, new health food options will be launched, including vegan products, a growing trend in the Peruvian market,” he added.
In a first phase, Unión will work on express deliveries in the Lima area, as the company works to eventually expand to other cities. Saldaña told the Gestion newspaper that he estimates online purchases will account for 3 to 6 percent of total sales during these first months. “However, we anticipate that by the time winter comes [by mid-year in the Southern Hemisphere], a seasonal increase in baked goods will mean an increase in online sales,” he said.
Saldaña also shared that the company will launch a line of premium breads, another area of steady growth across Peru in recent years. “We are working not only in product but also on packaging changes,” he said.
Saldaña also told the Gestion outlet that the panettone drive around Christmas reached the goals of the company, as sales increased 15 percent despite the pressing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many brands rushed to offer their classic products, launching their campaigns earlier than previous years,” Saldaña explained. “We saw an increase in sales due to our wider offers of wholewheat options and products for diabetics.”
Overall, Unión reported a 50-percent increase in baked goods sales and a 44-percent in spreads sales.
Moving forward, Saldaña said, the focus will be on healthy products. “And for our vegan product line, we have not ruled out to enter the meat replacements market in the future,” he said.