Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 20.09.2017.| 15:21
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EUR 10 million invested in only toast factory in Balkans in Kragujevac – Don Don to open facility in Zajecar as well in spring 2018

Toast production in new Don Don facility in Kragujevac
Toast production in new Don Don facility in Kragujevac
Serbs are the biggest bread-eaters in Europe, as shown by the statistics, so it is not surprising that the Slovenian bakery Don Don has opened eight facilities and two mills in Serbia. The latest facility to open, the first of its kind in the region, is the toast factory in Kragujevac, which initiated the production in late June 2017. Don Don announces planned investments of EUR 50 million in the upcoming period, meant for acquisitions, construction of a frozen product center, enhancing the retail network and developing human and infrastructural resources in the company. The aim of this Slovenian company is to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2023 with revenues of EUR 200 million.

They have big plans for Serbia as well, where, as our portal learns, they will open their next facility as soon as the spring of 2018.

Toast from Kragujevac for the entire region

The toast factory in Kragujevac, which was visited by the eKapija team together with other journalists from Serbia and Slovenia, is a unique toast production center which will supply all the markets in the region. Don Don invested EUR 10 million in this facility, and the company emphasizes that no similar factory exists within the radius of 800 km. The realization of the project took about two years and the works were performed by companies from Serbia, Austria, Germany, Italy and Slovenia.

The newly opened factory is also specific for its synergy of modern baking technology, robotics and visionary management. The daily production capacity is 100,000 pieces of packaged toast, and the monthly capacity reaches up to 3 million. The facility has two halls of 1,260 m2 each and a warehouse with 420 pallet spaces (240,000 pieces). The new factory features a fully automated production process, with a system for automatic dosage of ingredients, which guarantees a consistent quality in each product. The products are packaged in a clean room, as Don Don emphasizes, under strict hygienic conditions.

– This is a big and important step in the development of the baking business, not just in Serbia, but in the entire region as well, when it comes to product quality and safety. The category of toast has been developing at an increased pace in Europe in the past years, taking an increasingly more important place in total bread consumption. We have recognized this trend and looked into all the flaws of this category in our region, and those flaws were a challenge to us – how to make a long-lasting toast without any additives. We used the knowledge and experience gathered by traveling and visiting all the most important baking centers in the world. This factory in Kragujevac is the result of all this. It produces toast with a shelf life of one month, made without chemical additives or preservatives – Ales Mozetic, General Manager of Don Don, says and points out that they intend to shift the production more to packaged and frozen products.

As he adds, around 30 to 40% of the products from the Kragujevac factory is meant for the local market, whereas the rest is to be exported.

Ales Mozetic, General Manager of Don Don
Ales Mozetic, General Manager of Don Don
In addition to the markets of Slovenia and Serbia, Don Don exports its products to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Greece. Consumers can choose between several types of toast – Classic, Tamni, Semenke or Putero Tost, and packaged bread is available as well – Mlecni Hleb, Integrale or Natura Hleb.

Big plans, another factory in Serbia

The new facility in Kragujevac employs 43 workers, of which 70% are university-educated, bringing the total number of Don Don employees in Kragujevac to 120. The toast factory operates in three shifts, with pauses of half an hour.

– We employ 1,914 people for whom we have not asked for state subsidies. We don`t rely much on banks either, but on our own capital. In the past eight years, we`ve had 13 acquisition and we plan to have more, and the plan for the next period are investments of EUR 50 million – Mozetic says for eKapija, without specifying where the biggest investments are to be made.

However, there will not be a lot of waiting for the next facility in Serbia. As Mozetic announces for our portal, the next Don Don factory in Serbia will open in the spring of 2018 in Zajecar.

Let us remind that the Slovenian company signed an agreement on the lease of 1,000 square meters of business space in this town in April 2017. It was announced at the time that around EUR 500,000 would be invested in the equipment and the infrastructure of the Zajecar facility and that around 40 people would be employed.

Don Don has been operating in Serbia since 2008. In addition to the production facility Zitoprodukt Kragujevac, it also has production facilities PDM in Pudarci, close to Belgrade, Fidelinka Pekara Subotica, Zitoprodukt Zrenjanin, Zitopek Nis, MS Pekara Jakovo, Zlatni Pek Leskovac, AD Pekarstvo Kraljevo. According to Don Don`s estimates, they take up 10% of the Serbian market.

Don Don also has two facilities with 608 employees in Slovenia and one facility with 168 employees in Croatia.

The most popular product in Serbia is Manastirski Hleb, in Slovenia, it is Bakin Hleb, and in Croatia, it is fresh butter dough. Of the total production of Don Don, 48% consists of fresh pastry, 21% are packaged products, 20% are frozen products, whereas 11% are ground products, produced and sold only in Serbia. The company`s brands are Nase Zrno and Tvojih Pet Minuta.

The company`s products are available in all commercial chains in 10,000 locations, an equivalent of 661 forwarding routes.
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