15.11.2021 Article

Back in the early 1990s, Paulig’s internationalisation efforts started when the company established a coffee and spice factory in Estonia. Today, Paulig is the market leader of all three Baltic countries in coffee, spices and Tex Mex. Rainer Tammet and Marta Piigli who lead retail and out-of-home categories in the Baltics, respectively, talk about the emerging trends within the region as well as how the future looks like.

A new coffee and spice factory in Saue, near Tallinn, in 1993 was one of the key milestones on Paulig’s journey to become a large, international food and beverage company. From Estonia, Paulig quickly expanded to Latvia and Lithuania, launching its entire offering at the time in all the three countries: coffee as well as, Santa Maria’s spices and Tex Mex.

Today, Paulig is the leading brand in all of its product categories in the Baltics, known and loved by the consumers. So, what’s next?

According to Rainer Tammet, Commercial Director, Retail Baltics, further growth happens not just through growing within the category but also growing the category itself. This is particularly true of Tex Mex and other world cuisines.

“Paulig was the first to launch Tex Mex as a meal concept to the retail market in the Baltics. That was fifteen years ago, and the category is growing very fast even today as the consumers are becoming increasingly open to try out new tastes and recipes,” he describes.

Similarly, both spices as a category and Paulig’s position within the category are growing, demonstrating the Baltic people’s increasing interest in exploring new tastes – and Santa Maria’s quality.

“During the pandemic period we’ve seen as much as 15% growth within the category, partly because people have stayed home more and cooked,” Rainer adds.

International and sustainable brandsare valued

According to Marta Piigli, OOH Director, Baltics, the preferences of the Baltic people are not one and the same for the three countries. When it comes to coffee, for example, Estonians like their coffee fruity, Latvians more chocolatey and Lithuanians prefer a mellow taste – to generalise a little.

But the three nations do share more similarities than differences when it comes to following trends and being open to new tastes.

“In terms of food and coffee consumption the three Baltic nations like to be on the move and the importance of convenience is continuously growing,” Marta says.

She adds that the younger generations will also shape the market going forward because they consume somewhat differently to older generations. An example of this would be the rise of cold coffee-based drinks, single serve and the importance of sustainable choices.

“I am proud of the effort that the OOH team has put into Paulig’s Sustainability Programme in the Baltics, gaining a lot of followers and positive feedback.”

More about Rainer Tammet

Career: Rainer Tammet has made an impressively long career in Paulig, starting out as a Marketing Assistant back in 1994. He is a Civil Engineer by education and worked in Sweden and Finland during the early 1990s. From there, he progressed through various positions, moving from marketing to commercial side in the late 1990s. Prior to restructuring, the Baltics belonged to Paulig’s Eastern business area, so at its largest, Rainer’s responsibility covered as many countries as the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Russia.

Hobbies and family: Married with two adult children, Rainer loves winter sports and in fact represented Estonia in the Championships of Nordic Combined, which combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing. These days he doesn’t compete but still likes to ski – both cross country and downhill. During summer, he likes sailing and, particularly, barbeque where his favourite dishes are fish and vegetable based.

Last book you read:Step by Step: The Life in My Journeys by Simon Reeve.

More about Marta Piigli

Career: Marta Piigli holds a Master’s in Public Relations from Tartu University and MBA from Estonian Business School. Since the start of her career, her work has been connected to the foods industry. Marta has been building Estonian food and organic farming image with the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, popularising sustainability and energy innovation with the Estonian Climate and Energy Agency, and then joined the coffee solutions provider Vendor that later became a part of Paulig Group.

Hobbies and family: Marta is a Coffee lover. She is a World Barista Champion of Coffee in Good Spirits, 4th place in World Cup Tasting Championships, several times Estonian Cup Tasting Champion and Coffee in Goods Spirits Champion. She is also SCA certified in Roasting, Barista, Sensory and Green Coffee. Marta comes from a family of musicians; she sings and plays the piano. During her free time, she also enjoys playing squash, go fishing, sailing, surfing and skiing. She loves the nature, exploring vegetarian food novelties and studying wine, as well as travelling and spending quality time with her loved ones.

Last book you read: About the Complexity of Psychology by Jüri Allik.