Univer Product Plc.
Univer Product Plc. engages in manufacturing and marketing condiments and other food products, including jams, fruit juices and baby food.
Kecskeméti Agricultural Cooperative Society was founded in 1948. The Univer Group of Companies evolved from it to become one of the definitive food industry enterprises in the region, proud to have a 100% Hungarian ownership background. Owners comprise the Group’s executives and employees.
The Cooperative took the name Univer in the sixties, implying the universal versatility of the company. Trading and food industry operations—the two pillars of Univer—gained strength during that period. Of these two pillars, Univer Product Plc. is heir to the Cooperative Society’s food industry branch. It currently produces food at 5 sites of operation. Production started at Hetényegyháza, with Red Gold, which has been one of our hallmark brands since 1965, and later Goulash paste and Erős Pista. In 1975, our company became the first to market ready-to-use mayonnaise in Hungary. A new food industry plant started operations on Mindszenti Road in Kecskemét by the end of the seventies. Thanks to the new halls and production lines handed over in 2009, this site meets even the toughest challenges of the 21st century.
Univer acquired a stake in canning operation Kecskeméti Konzervgyár Zrt. in 2003. This compound now operates in the fold of Univer Product Plc., making tomato paste, baby food and other heat treated sauces, dressings, jams and fruit juices.
From 2011, Univer Product Plc. also took over the management of Univer Group’s bakery plant. Our goal today is to improve the bakery business line’s efficiency and increase its market share, and we have Lipóti Bakery as a strategic partner to that end.
Univer Product Plc. owes its current positions to always taking a leading role in innovation in Hungary and caring for its brands. This is why it is still the market leader in several categories of the condiment segment. It continues to bring innovation to the market in the field of product development, packaging and upgrading manufacturing processes in almost every category it produces. Building on the outstanding success of our “Erős Pista” (Strong Steve) product, the fresh hot paprika product line is also seeing dynamic development. 2011 saw the birth of our “Karikás Pista” (Rings Steve) product line (fresh, sliced hot paprika in its own juice). This year, “Haragos Pista” (Furious Steve)—extra hot freshly ground paprika—aims to win some fans of markedly strong Hungarian paprika. In manufacturing baby food, Product Zrt. devotes special attention to putting state of the art technology and production safety conditions in place, and this has allowed Univer baby foods to be made with no added sugar and free of allergens—which is unique on the Hungarian market.
The inauguration of our new production plant in 2009 brought a milestone in the company’s life. This project, implemented with an investment of HUF three billion, allows us to supply Hungarian and foreign markets, boost our manufacturing efficiency, and extend our product range with no added preservatives in the mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and salad dressing categories. Besides traditional packaging like tubes, jars and plastic bottles, 2011 saw the introduction of stand-up pouches, which makes it easy to get even the last drop of product out of the pack.
A cultivation system that favours locally grown
Univer brands are, for the most part, condiments made of vegetable ingredients (Red Gold, Goulash Paste, Erős Pista, more recently Karikás Pista, Haragos Pista, etc.), which is why guaranteeing the appropriate quality and quantity of the 14 vegetable ingredients all in all—the most important ones being: pritamin peppers, mild and hot spice paprika, onions, garlic, tomatoes, horse radish, mustard seed, and cucumbers—is a task of strategic importance. With an eye to solve this, Univer developed a cultivation model 40 years ago, exclusively based on a network of Hungarian farmers and producers. The system builds on stringent quality control, producer loyalty and mutual benefits, thereby guaranteeing independent operation that is for the most part free of sector-specific and general economic problems. The backbone of Univer’s cultivation system is made up of hundreds of farmers working within the 80 km radius of Kecskemét. Life-long relationships are far from exaggeration; the model built around mutual benefits has more than one example of second, even third generation licensed traditional small-scale producers (the children and grand-children of farmers from our starting days) supply high quality ingredients for the company’s products. Building on its several decades of experience, Univer also sources raw materials required for baby food and jam production from Hungarian cultivation sites.
Buyers and market situation
Univer Product Plc. sells its products on the Hungarian and foreign market. It continues to play a definitive role in the field of liquid condiment manufacturing in Hungary. Our products are available at almost every major food retail chain. The share and perception of the company’s condiments is likewise strong. Paprika paste products’ market share can be considered dominant, despite the new products seeking to challenge our Red Gold and Erős Pista brands in recent years. Univer continues to hold a firm market lead in the case of mayonnaise and mustard products, and its ketchup ranks second. Our baby food and jams are also among the key market players.
Thanks to our domestic trading partners, our coverage is nationwide. The following charts present Univer’s share of the Hungarian market in the mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup product categories:
In light of our increased turnover, we consider third-party production cooperation agreements, both in Hungary and abroad to be important relationships. The brand remains the principal’s property, while Univer appears as the producer and also takes care of product development in many cases.
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Source: AC Nielsen
Univer Product Termelő és Kereskedelmi Zrt. ( Univer Product Plc.)
Address: Kecskemét, Szolnoki út 35.
Phone: +36 76 518-100
Fax: +36 76 518-113
CEO: Károly Molitórisz