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The food and memories store: Dacia and petty food fill up Romania’s exports gaps in Europe

Luni, 18 mai 2009, 15:07 English | Top News

HotNews.ro run a research within three Romanian Diasporas to find out which Romanian products sell well on the international market. Germany, Italy and Great Britain relate differently with Romanian products. HotNews.ro invites you to discover the Romanian products that made it on the European markets.

Germany bears a story    
Young Romanians from Germany are well acquainted with the way Eugenia biscuits taste. They relate it to stories dating since communist times, about interminable queues and chocolate bootlegging, told by grandparents.

In Mix-Markt store from Reutlingen, one can discover shelves dedicating their space to Romanian products: bacon and beans served in a can. It’s a taste that the Germans could not replicate and that sells well. Mix-Markt is a retail chain that sells international food. The company dates from 1997, when the „belay repatriates”, such as sasi and svabi minorities from Romania, decided to return to Germany and start a business there.

Except local food, the store also sells East European products. "There is a hunger for Ost-Kost, meaning for Eastern products ", a store manager from Herrenberg says. Made in RO gastronomic memories shelves expose home-made chocolate, specific meat products, maize flour, marmalade mustard and Eugenia biscuits and other sweets.

Which Romanian products do Romanians discover overseas?
Rodica found the Germans from Heidelberg appreciate Romanian red wines, pickles and tomatoes. Simon discovered Romanian smoked bacon in one Spanish supermarket, sold for 11 euro per kilo. He was glad to see locals buying it. Gabriela travels a lot through Europe. She found Romanian cosmetic products in hypermarkets, branded ASIL COSMETICS Romania. Lucian buys meat products and sun-flower seeds from London, at a high price. He calls the Romanian food products available in London "petty food".

A Romanian international expeditions employee said Romania barely exports anything else than wines and Dacia Logan (cars). Romania is also used by the West as a centre for tailoring, assembling and adding finishing touched to clothes, shoes and car parts that are exported in West Europe afterwards – a so-called lohn (lending) regime for production and trade. (Dani Rockhoff, Germany correspondent)

Italy: From Eugenia biscuits to bors
Italian stores, especially, food stores and butcheries, but the discount stores like TUO, sell products made after Romanian recipes. Bread sentiments – franzela, and minced meat for mici sell well in Italy. Romanians working in the food production sector usually make this happen.

There are plenty of en-gros Romanian products distributors in Rome. Most of their clients are local Romanian shops. Meat and cheese sentiments are popular here, as well as sweets, soft drinks and alcohol. Mihaela Moc is a Romanian that opened a supermarket within the MEC chain. She says the most appreciated Romanian products are meat varieties and bread.

Romanian products that can be bought in Italy include: cans (Facos, Scandia, Bucegi), Eugenia, cheese varieties, sausages, pemmican, sun-flower seeds, traditional wines (Cotnari, Feteasca), bier (Ursus, Timisoreana, Stejar, Silva, Ciuc), spirits (Angelli), soft drinks (Prigat, Fruttifresh) Poiana chocolate, pickles, sour cream and food spices Knorr. (Miruna Cajvaneanu, Rome correspondent)

British hypermarkets go for the wines
Sainsbury’s hypermarket sells a large range of Romanian wine. Cotnari, Murtfatlar, Dealu Mare and Tarnave provide the chain stores with Merlot, Pinot Noir, Gewurtztraminer and Cabernet Sauvignon, Feteasca Neagra, Burgund Mare, Tamaioasa and Grasa. "As a country, Romania certainly has all it needs to produce good wine. While it lies on the same latitude as central France, its continental climate benefits from the moderating influence of the Black Sea and the Carpathian mountains", say Sainsbury’s wine experts.

"I bought a Romanian wine from Sainsbury’s yesterday”, an English friend tells me. "I forgot its name and I already threw away the empty bottle. But I must tell you that every time I go to France, I look for Romanian wine. Not only is it cheaper, but if a Romanian wine makes it on the French market, considering that the French are so nationalistic about their wines, then it must be a really good wine."

Tesco hypermarket sells Romanian red wine, as well as clothes produced in Romania through the lohn system. Regarding the food, Tesco’s spokesperson said she had no record of any Romanian food product sold in their stores.

Elena Rozan, owner of Romanian Food Centre (patisserie and butcher) from London, says Romanian products "break into the market with great difficulty, because the English are only ready to pay a minimum price. For example, our cheapest wine costs 5.49 pound, whereas one pays only 2.99 for Sainsbury’s cheapest wine. We buy the meat locally, but we import the rest of the products from Romania. "

Taking a tour through the Romanian food stores in London, Eugenia biscuits seem to enjoy great popularity. The Romanian Cultural Centre once offered a plateau full of Eugenia at a reception. One can also buy Poiana chocolate, cheese assortments, ROM chocolate, sausages, spices and alcohol.

Most of the British supermarkets have a Polish department, due to the large Polish Diaspora from Great Britain. (Crina Boros, London correspondent)




















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