Member of the Month

“We must adapt to the conditions in each new market”

Member of the month February 2020  - Holle baby food AG

Holle baby food AG can look back on a proud history: the manufacturer of organic baby food has been around for 85 years. The Basel-based company is now represented in over 50 countries and has an export share of 90%. In the following interview, Managing Director Angelo Ferrara reveals the challenges they face and what is planned for the export future.

Member of the month February 2020  - Holle baby food AG

1.    Mr. Ferrara, what are your most important export markets and why?
With the highest turnover, Germany, France and Poland are among our most important export markets. Germany has always been the leading market in the organic and natural food trade and for Holle it is practically our “domestic market”. In France, there is a lot of competition among organic baby food brands in the health food trade and we are developing very positively there compared to domestic organic brands. Poland was one of the first markets where we consciously entered food retail. Other important export markets include Portugal and Spain, Turkey, Asia and Oceania. We are also seeing very positive development in the Balkans, especially in Romania, Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia.

2.    What challenges do you face in these markets?
One of the major challenges is the change in the organic and natural food trade. In our market, for a long time organic products were mostly available in organic and natural food stores. In comparison to Switzerland, for example, food retailers were less interested in organic. In these markets, Holle was available almost exclusively in organic and natural food stores. After mainstream food retailers discovered organic, the organic and natural food trade came under pressure and lost customers. For us, this means we have to meet this challenge and establish new sales structures.

3.    What is your recipe for successful export?
There is no general recipe for success. We have to adapt to the conditions in each new market. One success factor is certainly the fact that we as an SME can react quickly to changing market needs. Holle is also a very strong brand that is associated with the best organic products.

4.    Where do you see your export opportunities for the future?
We are currently working on new markets. In 2020, we are making a venture into the USA. The potential in the USA is huge, but there are a number of hurdles to overcome first: product registration, registration of the production site as well as establishing a complete sales structure there. However, we also see great opportunities in our existing markets, where distribution must be intensified.

5.    What do you particularly appreciate about Switzerland Global Enterprise’s (S-GE) consultation?
S-GE offers us expert, solution-driven advice in each case and has very good contacts to the important players in the markets.

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