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Hungarian Bakery Company Fornetti to Continue its International Expansion

By Tom Szigeti // 2017.08.01.

Hungarian bakery company Fornetti intends to expand its international network by an additional 100 retail stores and franchises in the coming business year, which begins today, August 1st.

Speaking to Hungarian business daily Világgazdaság, Fornetti CEO Balthas Klein described his company’s plans to further extend its reach in Europe.

Fornetti CEO Balthas Klein (Photo: Fornetti)

Klein said that Fornetti will focus primarily on Central and Eastern European countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland, while also strengthening its presence in Austria. In addition, Fornetti will enter the market in Cyprus, Croatia, and Slovenia.

As we have previously reported, Fornetti was acquired by Swiss food multinational Aryzta two years ago. It is the third largest maker of frozen bakery products in the world and the owner of 60 bakery brands on four continents.

 One year after the acquisition, the Swiss firm invested nearly 8 million euros in the Hungarian company. Now, an additional 1 million euros is being spent to upgrade the Fornetti plant located in the southeastern Hungarian city of Kiskunfélegyháza. On top of this, new production lines are being installed in the nearby city of Kecskemét, as well as in the company’s Romania-based factory.

Klein took over the management of Fornetti in June of this year, but had worked as the company’s director of strategy since 2015. Klein replaces Sebastian Gooding, who has been promoted to Aryzta’s Director of European Operations.

Fornetti products are currently sold at nearly 4,000 branded bakeries and more than 2,000 retailers in eleven countries. The company employs more than 970 people in Hungary, as well as a further 500 in Timișoara (Temesvár), Romania, and Ihtiman, Bulgaria.

Fornetti’s turnover is expected to climb to over 30 billion forints (EUR 98m) in the business year ending July 31.

Fornetti was founded in 1997 by master baker József Palásti as a family business. The small-scale production of the frozen bakery products started in a refurbished townhouse in Kecskemét. Fornetti products were sold via a network of vision bakeries – things unheard of in Hungary at that time – and in a franchise system. The whole system was based on mobile baking units that were easy to set up and expand.

Via MTI, Hungary Matters, and

Images via Fornetti