“Erişler Gıda’s primary target regarding Nudo is to reach the consumers at the domestic market. However, among our medium-term targets is exporting to other countries. There are now 645 noodle makers in the world and as Erişler Gıda, we aim to introduce the whole world with our natural and delicious noodle. We continue to steadily increase our market share since 2014.”
This month’s guest of our magazine is Mr. Abdullah Eriş, General Manager of the Erişler Gıda Retail Group. Erişler Gıda stepped into the retail sector with the noddle brand Nudo curly noodles and Eriş Un in 2014. We made an enjoyable interview with Erişler Gıda which preferred to stay and invest in Turkey regarding its product portfolio, noodle market in Turkey and Erişler’s presence in the market.
Mr. Eriş, can you tell us about Erişler Gıda? Can you share with us the company’s establishment process and the story through to the present?
I am the fourth generation in our trade life. My great grandfather started the grain trade in the Fatsa district of Ordu province in the 1920s. My grandfather Ali Eriş built a hazelnut production facility in the 1930s after completing his compulsory military service. He had to move his business to Bafra district of Samsun due to the internal turmoil of the period in Fatsa. He established the first flour mill in 1974. This adventure that started that day is still going on. We now serve at 4 different production facilities at our business that started with a small production facility that day and have today a capacity of 2,200 tons of wheat processing per day. We have 4 different production facilities, two in Büyükçekmece, one in Silivri Ortaköy and Silivri Kavaklı. Our uncle has a feed factory in Samsun. We separated our businesses in 1995; we are now a separate institution.
You are mainly known as a flour producer, but in 2014 you invested and entered the noodle production with the Nudo brand. Could you briefly tell us about Nudo and your success story?
Nudo is the curly noodle, not pasta. In Nudo, we do not use anything other than flour, water and salt. We use bread flour as flour. We use at the pasta the flour obtained from wheat durum and we use bread flour for the noodle. This is one of the biggest differences between the noodle and pasta. We have been selling noodle flour to Far East for many years; we are experts in this business. There was sweetener, coloring agents and preservative materials in the noddle in the Asian market. But we are absolutely against them as a company. We do not produce anything that is not natural. We have done an R&D study of nearly 3.5 years. We were able to enter the market with a total of 9 products, 8 ones of which contain natural sauces and the other plain. With respect to Noodle, we got the first “V Label” and “Halal Food” certificate in the world. We were also able to be the first supreme award-winning noddle in the world.
Noodle is actually a part of the Far East kitchen and is a food that the Far East consumers are very accustomed to. But it is a very new culture for the consumers in Turkey. Could you tell us about the noodle market in Turkey and the approach of consumers to the noodle in Turkey? What kind of contribution did you make with Nudo in this regard?
We made a good move within a sector that was never on the market. Sectors began to emerge at the market and now the markets have opened Noodle category. Now, everybody knows what noodle is, what kinds of consumers are interested in it and who buys it and what players are on the market. Now, the market is well-placed and slowly starting to grow.
How did the consumer habit of Turkish consumers create a challenge for Nudo? Have you reached the level of awareness and consumption that you have targeted over the past two years? Could you please tell us how you have stepped into the Nudo brand since the day you first came to the market and how close you are to your leadership goal?
Erişler Gıda’s primary target regarding Nudo is to reach the consumers at the domestic market. However, among our medium-term targets is exporting to other countries. Right now, we are exporting to most of the countries in the world. We will carry this experience to the Nudo brand. There are now 645 noodle makers in the world and as Erişler Gıda, we aim to introduce the whole world with our natural and delicious noodle. Consumers of all ages in Turkey have been very pleased with our products and we continue to steadily increase our market share since 2014.
I think you have an investment plan about your noodle production plant, like ‘moving the factory in Indonesia to Turkey’. Will you also give us information on this issue? Why did you start production in Indonesia and now you want to move the factory to Turkey?
Our Nudo production is now in Indonesia. We have a plan to transport it to Turkey in the medium term. We have all kinds of infrastructure, R&D, area and production facility related to this factory. I cannot give a clear date, but we will carry our factory in Indonesia to Turkey on a date that our Board of Directors approves. We have a little export of Noddle. Despite the demand from Europe, we do not have any exports to Europe. We cannot export because Far East is far away. However, we can meet the demands when production is moved to Turkey.
What are you, as Eriş Un and Nudo planning to do in the future? What are your targets and how will you reach them?
We receive market reports, we listen to the consumer constantly, we have to respond to the demands of the consumer and we will have new products and investments in the direction of the consumer’s wishes. We continue to improve our products for Nudo and flour. We will retail some of our wholesale products. They will be carried out in time; you have to be a well-placed player in the market.
Looking at market reports in Nudo, we have increased the package weight; we offer it in packages of 350 grams. We have made our new product better than the previous product because we have now more experience. When you make a product natural, it is very difficult to increase the flavor; you can easily increase the taste with chemicals. We have worked for 3.5 years to catch flavor and I believe we have succeeded.
Will you have remarkable activities regarding the marketing and promotion?
We have promotional activities at the markets, constantly communicating with consumers through social media, we have continuous marketing activities; it is not possible to think otherwise. There are 80 million people in Turkey; each individual person is our adviser. We are aware of all kinds of positive and negative reports. We are constantly active in social media. All the comments that come to us have value for us, I read the comments one by one. We receive online orders through our internet site, we do e-commerce. It’s going pretty well. We can deliver the cargo all across Turkey. We ship to the east, the farthest point within 2 days.
As Eriş Un and Nudo, you have also various certifications and prizes such as “V-Label”, “Superior Taste Award” and Halal Food Certificate. Could you talk about these certificates and awards?
Eriş Un’s BRC and ISO 9001 certificates are the most important certificates certifying that our name is safe and of good quality. With the BRC certificate, standardization of production, food safety and follow-up procedures have been secured according to international criteria. We also have our Vegan certificate.
The board included Eriş Un and Nudo into delicious products category after taking into consideration such factors as the first impression, color, odor control, and the taste in the mouth and the texture of the product. We are awarded a superior taste awarded by 120 jury members selected by 15 culinary and beverage associations of Europe, on the basis of blind taste evaluation without any packaging and signs on the products.
The V-Label certificate is awarded only to companies that accept the unannounced inspection and product analysis of the internationally accredited local food control laboratories twice a year. As Nudo, we accepted these inspections and documented the accuracy of our products with an international food certificate.
We have Halal Certificates from GIMDES. Our products go through the strict controls of GIMDES from their sauces to packaging and reach the consumers in a healthy and hygienic manner. Halal does not only mean that only products do not contain pork, pork additives and alcohol. Halal also means the product do not contain any substance harmful to the body.
Since 2013, you have been on the list of Turkey’s R&D champions. How do you achieve this? What are your R&D guidelines for flour and other products?
The investment and labor we as Erişler Guda have made for R&D is returning to us as an added value. We are developing new products with AR-GE. We can keep the quality and nature of our products at the highest level. This contributes to increasing the diversity and quality of our products and increasing our market share.
Finally, what would you like to add?
Erişler Gıda is able to maintain the Quality Management Systems at A+ level. These systems provide quality sustainability as well as efficient waste management. Providing recycling of waste is a very good added value to the economy. The sparing use of equities is among the commitments of Erişler Gıda. Systems that prevent harm to the environment are available in all of our businesses. We can supply many services in our own way so that we can solve many problems or needs as quickly and as promptly as possible without being dependent on the outside.