Company bids to turn alcoholic beverage rakı into global brand
Elif Ergu - ISTANBULTurkey-based alcoholic beverage company Mey has in recent years been focusing on promotional campaigns to turn Turkish rakı into a global brand and it has already started to harvest the yields of this campaign in export figures, company CEO Galip Yorgancıoğlu has said.
Mey recently launched its “Unrush your World” campaign, which explains how rakı is drunk slowly with friends in a warm environment, in line with the rising “slow eating and drinking trend” across the world.
The joy of rakı mainly comes from its role as a catalyst for sharing delicious food and long hours of conversation, and it is this characteristic that the Mey campaign seeks to harvest.
“We have already started to see the benefit of these campaigns … Mey closed 2014 with the exports worth $36 million, as the largest exporter of the sector … We expect to increase our exports this year,” Yorgancıoğlu said.
He said his company aims to export a total of 10 million liters of rakı per year, doubling its exports in three years.
“Our rakı products are exported to 55 countries and sales to Greece are skyrocketing, despite the economic crisis there,” he added.
After Turkey, rakı is sold most in Northern Cyprus and Germany, but Mey aims to spread its popularity among non-Turkish origin drinkers.
“The consumption of rakı has been increasing steadily in mainland Greece and the Greek islands,” Yorgancıoğlu said.
Rakı products are found in 69 percent of all sale points in Germany, and 45 percent of sales points in the Netherlands.
“We plan to increase our penetration rate to 15 percent in Britain,” Yorgancıoğlu said.
Mey currently has a production capacity of 50 million liters of rakı and 12 different rakı brands.
Established in 2004 after the privatization of the state’s alcoholic drinks division, Mey operates as two separate companies in Turkey, one involved in manufacturing and the other responsible for sales and marketing.
Since 2011, Mey has been working under the umbrella of Diageo, an alcoholic beverage manufacturer trading in close to 180 countries with offices in 80 countries, according to the company website.