External and Internal Changes: How does Contined react to them?
17 October 2018
In the continuation of the interview with Noa Bastiaans, Business Manager at Contined, we discussed Contined and the trends in the food industry that Contined deals with, such as clean-label and sugar reduction, as well as the changes for Contined since it was taken over by Bösch Boden Spies (BBS).
Over the past few years, Contined has gone through several changes. Not only did it change its strategy, Contined also grew in size and was taken over by BBS. Several years ago, they were focusing on several different topics, such as functional ingredients, fibers, flavours, cranberry products and dairy concentrates, but also on many other topics. This resulted in the fact that the market did not really know what to expect from Contined. ‘’Last year, we decided to focus on our key products: cranberries, citrus fibers, fruit powders, dried fruits and dairy concentrates.’’ And with those key products, they want to have a clean label and provide healthy products and solutions for their customers. But most of all, Contined is a distribution company. ‘’As we are a relatively small company, it makes us very flexible and quick and reliable, while staying focused on the quality.’’
Furthermore, Contined is a company that does not simply focus on sales, but it tries to provide solutions to its customers that are in line with the trends that the food industry is dealing with. ‘’The three solutions that we want to provide are functional, natural and healthy ingredients.’’ This means that they want to keep the same functionality for products, such as texture, but use natural and healthy ingredients, instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners. This is also one of the trends in the food industry. Customers want clean label products, which Contined can offer.
In order to be able to keep giving the best solutions to its customers, Contined is also planning to invest in sales and logistics. As sales is the backbone for the company, they are looking to invest and expand in the next few years. This will also be the case for logistics. ‘’The workload increased, and therefore we want to invest to be able to offer the same high-quality customer service that we always offer.’’
As mentioned before, Contined was taken over by BBS. The take-over from BBS did not change the business or the goals that Contined has, but it made some changes in the company and business structure. ‘’Since the take-over, our human resource management is much more structured, with pre-set meetings with and without BBS. Furthermore, we are currently working on a new CRM system to be more efficient.’’ The work environment and the culture that lives within Contined has not changed. Firstly, because the employees and its management stayed the same, but also because Contined and BBS are a perfect fit with similar work ethics and goals for the company. Contined’s aim is to be a specialist in the Benelux market for food ingredients, and BBS wants to be that specialist in the rest of Europe.
Another change is the support that Contined gets from BBS. As Contined does not have a marketing team, they receive help and support from Germany. ‘’For example, in September we will participate in a food exhibition for the Benelux food ingredients market.’’ And that is something that BBS has experience in and is able to assist Contined for.
So, we know what Contined does and know what type of solutions they can offer to the market: clean, healthy products with a good structure. But that is not the final goal for Contined, they want to increase market share. One way they could do this is investing in more Account Managers over the next few years, but also by improving and expanding their (online) marketing activities such as participating in exhibitions and being more active on social media.
We want to thank Noa Bastiaans for his time and willingness to share his and Contined’s story. Do you have questions for Noa, or do you want to share your own story? Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31237548660.
Read part one of the interview here!