New waves in the green industry
by Greenstic on Jul 20, 2022
Two well-known domestic players in the environmentally conscious "food service" sector, Kitchy Design and Greenstic, are merging to become a leading company in Central Europe.
We asked Kriszta Buza, the founder of Kitchy Design, and Márton Báti, one of the founders and owners of Greenstic, about the merger of brands and market trends.
Why was the decision made to merge the two companies?
BM: We had a business and a personal motivation. Kitchy knows exactly what Greenstic doesn't and vice versa. Kitchy is a premium category, unique, well established strong brand based on personal relationships. In contrast, Greenstic is a young brand focusing on the production and distribution of high-quality, mid-range products and requiring a very precise organizational structure. The merger of the two companies creates a company that knows everything, which can not only supply unique, small-batch products, but is also able to serve larger festivals. And the personal part is that Kriszta's expertise and personality were needed in our company 'like a bite of bread'. We have become much more, a true Yin/Yang.
Kriszta, in the past couple of years, your name has become almost completely fused with Kitchy Design in gastro circles. With such a strong brand identity, how did you come to the decision that the brand would change owners and name and that you would continue in a different role?
BK : The sale of the brand has been hanging in the air for a long time for several reasons. On the one hand, he achieved everything I wanted. Educated, created trends and became the exclusive supplier of many places and festivals that represent quality gastronomy, e.g.: Gourmet festival. I was able to work with international designers and brands, which has always been my dream. As a result, of course, it became more and more powerful commercially, but a serious logistical and financial organization was needed to operate it, the one-man show no longer works after a while. So the intention of change was floating in the universe, several people were interested, but we had to wait for a partner to arrive, in whose hands I know what we have built in a safe place. In the Marcies, I found this security and a constant desire to improve. They are committed to environmentally conscious products and have solid business knowledge and experience. They have already made their two previous startups a success or, as the jargon says, they "played for an exit". There are few such market participants in Hungary who not only talk about it, but actually do it. They have already put something on the table. So when they say we can be the best together, I believe them.
What is your mission that got you into this?
BM: Kitchy offered small series of premium products, which alone could not support a massive logistics organization. With the involvement of Greenstic, we create this background.
Together, we will be the only company on the market that offers a complete range, from stock, with immediate delivery, not only in Hungary, but in many countries of the region.
We want a company that operates in several countries, serves all segments of the market, monitors and supports innovation, actively communicates and educates the market, and strives for the most environmentally friendly solutions possible.
Why is the name Kitchy Design discontinued?
BK: In order to become a strong international brand, we need to create a name and image that corresponds to this. Kitchy started as a colorful, cute brand, and although it has changed a lot in the meantime, this name no longer reflects what we represent now. And commercially, Kitchy merges into Greenstic, so from this point of view it is also adequate for the Greenstic name to continue in a slightly cooler direction.
What professional experiences led you here and what can you benefit from in the future?
BM: Among the owners we find a marketing and communication specialist, ex-multis manager, as well as those who are building their many startup companies, and with the arrival of Kriszta, we also have our own branding specialist. We keep all important functions in-house, so we have our own sales, procurement, warehouse and delivery colleagues, which gives us unique flexibility in the market in serving unique or ad hoc customer needs.
BK: We have a stable team and we try to continuously utilize the diverse knowledge of our colleagues in order to make the "Greenstic customer experience" better and better.
Who are your customers and what changes do they perceive after the furnishing?
BM: We can serve everyone from a Michelin star restaurant to a corner buffet. We work with festival and event organizers, Balaton buffets, and we are also exclusive suppliers at the Gourmet Festival or Lupa Strand.
BK: We have foreign customers, mainly hotels and specialty cafes from the surrounding countries, and with the merger of Kitchy Design Romania, we can now fully serve the Romanian market as well.
BM: We have B2B customers, so we can now offer them a wider selection of products, more flexible delivery, a smooth ordering process, a unique stock, and a flexible, easy-to-use webshop.
What are the market trends and what is Greenstic's reaction to this?
BM: We see two trends: on the one hand, prices are rising sharply, and on the other hand, the technologies and raw materials available on the market are changing: Asian imports are receding into the background, and local manufacturers and products made from local raw materials are becoming more and more prominent. For example, the currently dominant role of sugar cane is gradually being taken over by paper and other wood fiber solutions. We try to mitigate the rise in prices by constantly tendering suppliers and ordering in large batches. We monitor new technologies and actively seek contact with European manufacturers and partners. We are confident that within a year or two we will be able to resolve that all our products are made from European raw materials in a European factory.
BK: Our big dream is our own designed product portfolio. We definitely want the accumulated design and gastronomic knowledge of the past years to manifest itself in our own products, and we have already taken serious steps in this direction.
If I understand correctly, you are also the exclusive distributor of quite a few brands?
BM: Yes, we have partners with whom we strive for exclusive cooperation. An example of this is Ecoproducts, which is the market leader in the market of degradable restaurant packaging materials in the USA.
BK: Or the Australian Huskee, the Scandinavian SIER, the Japanese Wasara or the Spanish Cookplay, etc. brands were also included in the joint portfolio.
Why is it good to work with you?
BM: The answer is simple. As a customer, it is good to work with us because we try to give everyone the right service. In other words, from the beginning, we built our company in such a way that we could serve everyone. With the arrival of Kitchy, we also reach the premium segment. Our company now has nearly 20 employees: we deliver almost anywhere with our own car, our regional representatives also go to all parts of the country, and our purchasing and marketing team serves not only the Hungarian market, but also the Romanian and the soon-to-be-launched Slovakian Greenstic.
What is the future vision of the merger of the two companies?
BM: We want to create the leading food service company in Central Europe within a couple of years, which only offers environmentally friendly equipment, has a serious portfolio of its own products and at the same time represents Europe's leading brands as an exclusive distributor.
BK: And all of this in a style and supported by our own designed products and educational campaigns that set trends. We want to create a new category, stir up the stagnant water a bit, generate new waves. That is why we have a new slogan: Greenstic europe - new waves of greening