by Xinhua writer Li Jia
MINSK, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- "The China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be an excellent platform for us to find new partners and conduct negotiations with existing customers," said Ivan Danchenko, general director of Belarusian confectionery producer Kommunarka.
"We have carefully prepared for the expo, and will actively promote the products specially developed for Chinese consumers," he told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
Founded in 1905, Kommunarka is one of the biggest confectionery manufacturers in Belarus. Its annual output at present exceeds 25,000 tons, one third of which are exported to 19 countries and regions in the world.
The century-old factory began exporting its products to the Chinese market in 2015, but did not immediately make a hit.
"The taste preference in China is a little different from ours. They think our candies are too sweet," Danchenko said.
In order to open up sales in the Chinese market, Kommunarka deliberately reduced the sweetness of candies exported to China, and launched new products according to the taste that Chinese consumers like, he said.
The current annual export volume of the Kommunarka factory to China is about 50,000 U.S. dollars, less than 1 percent of its total annual export, Danchenko said.
Still, the company pays great attention to the vast and lucrative Chinese market, as its people's standard of living and demand for high-quality products grow.
At the CIIE, Kommunarka will hold food-tasting sessions of its products, including some new ones, which were specially designed to meet the taste preferences of Chinese consumers, Danchenko said.
"At the moment, the factory is actively exploring the Chinese market. This consists not only in the development of new types of products, but also in the searching of new sales channels for confectionery products," he said.
The company has partners in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Jiangsu and in the city of Shanghai, and is considering opening an office in China.
The CIIE is to be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10.