While some businesses are sinking because of the coronavirus crisis, others have adapted and used this difficult period to reinvent and develop. This was also the case of Angela Sobol from Varvareuca village, Floresti district. With the financial help of Sweden provided through the UNDP/AdTrade Project, she managed to access one of the largest commercial networks in Moldova, revised her marketing strategy, "baked" new offers and created an attractive visual identity for her business. Her effort has not failed: in the last three months, her business registered a 30% increase in sales.
For five years, Angela Sobol has been thoroughly growing her business with care for consumers. She is the first entrepreneur in Moldova to produce cereal flakes without gluten, sweeteners, colorants and flavoring agents. "We chose to produce healthy and nutrient-rich cereal flakes, because it was a niche in our market. In the beginning, it required substantial investments. The business was a kind of a healthy food school, to educate tastes. People are used that this staff must be sweet, colourful and packaged as attractively as possible, so they would not flock to buy our flakes. Sales were going hard because I was a small and new producer on the market,” notes Angela.
She could not convince stores to accept her product. This is because, she says, there is a wide range of imported products, which shrink the domestic producers’ chances to access retail networks. That is why she used every opportunity for direct promotion of her products – through fairs, exhibitions and online platforms.
Trade Forum: small producers' chance to access retail networks
At the end of the last year, Angela Sobol participated in the Trade Forum, a platform that brought together over 80 producers from both banks of the Nistru River and representatives of the largest trade networks in Moldova. The event, organized by UNDP with financial assistance from Sweden, offered to Angela Sobol an opportunity to establish partnerships with representatives of large stores, to promote her products, to better understand retailers' requirements and the steps needed to get her products on the shelves and win the buyers’ hearts.