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Operating environment

Raisio is a diversified company, whose operations are affected by international and local, economic and political events, various policies and prospects. Raisio’s strengths are its versatile food chain expertise, consumer and customer insight, and innovations supporting the sustainable development. Raisio’s business areas include snacks, functional foods, confectionery, cattle and fish feeds, and grain trade. 

Raisio = Brands and Raisioagro

Brexit creating uncertainty

As a result of the referendum of June 2016, the UK will probably leave the European Union. Brexit details are still unclear and referendum-related uncertainty is expected to weaken growth prospects for the UK and eurozone and to continue causing high volatility in the British pound exchange rate.

Benecol spreads showed growth in the UK despite the declining spread category

Sales volatility of cholesterol-lowering foods in Raisio’s European markets continued and the entire category decreased slightly. In the UK, Benecol was the only brand to improve its position despite the decrease of the whole spread category. Intense competition among retailers as well as consumers’ price-conscious purchasing behaviour continued in the UK. Demand for products with less sugar and salt increased due to the lively public debate in the UK.

Retail trade is facing major changes

In Finland, retail sales slightly increased and growth is expected to continue at a moderate pace in 2017 due to slow growth in purchasing power and jobs. Retailers continued with their so called cheapening. With changing eating habits, the demand for healthy and ecological snacks increased.

Demand for healthy and ecological foods on the rise

In Poland, volume in cholesterol-lowering spreads increased as a result of extensive promotional sales. Polish consumers value traditional spreads with butter.

In Asia, potential new markets for Benecol products, regulation processes for foods vary greatly from country to country, and some countries have tightened these processes. Raisio has carried out several successful regulation processes with its licencing partners.

In the UK’s confectionery market, consumer demand remained stable for the product categories in which Raisio is present. In the European markets, retail chains were actively launching new soft gum products under private labels.

Restructuring of milk farms continued in Finland

There were no major changes in the Finnish cattle feed market because the number of dairy cows did not reduce in the same proportion as that of dairy farms.

Lower prices paid for milk and farmers’ challenging financial position increased the demand for affordable feeds and tightened competition. Russia is actively developing its own milk chain, which opens up new opportunities for consultative feed sales.

Increased demand for farmed fish

Fish increasingly popular source of protein

Fish feed market in the Baltic Sea region remained stable. Changes were more due to growth conditions. Global price increases in oily fish were also seen in Finland. Difficulties in the Chilean salmon farming collapsed the country’s production, which resulted in price increases. The shortfall of farmed fish has been compensated with Norwegian salmon, the main product also in the Finnish market. The rise in the Norwegian salmon price also increased the price of Finnish rainbow trout.

Raisioaqua is a responsible pioneer in fish feeds in Finland. The development and launch of the Baltic Blend fish feed continue to promote the responsibility of fish farming and reduce its environmental impacts.