Millions of Litres Ready to Go! - Nordic Koivu is Hoping the World Opens Up Again Soon
Nordic Koivu, one of the most internationally successful companies in North Karelia, has made huge investments in product development during this challenging year and has focused on growing its domestic market. Susanna Luostarinen, co-founder of Nordic Koivu and its Executive Vice President, is optimistic about the future and predicts strong growth for the company in both corporate and consumer sales.
For the first time in the company’s history, this unusual year has made us reduce the amount of birch water harvested.
The birch in the forest are unaffected by global pandemics – they’ve just carried on producing their birch water every year, just as they always have for thousands of years. But the people who commercially collect the birch water have, of course, had their lives disrupted.
Luostarinen says that, in spite of some severe spring frosts, the birch water harvest this year was as good as ever – as it has also been over the last few years. But unlike previous years, due to the Covid pandemic, the company had to actually leave some of the birch water unharvested for the first time in the company’s history:
“Covid has naturally had a big impact on market demand. Large businesses in particular have been very cautious in their own assessments of the future. Normally by January, we already have plenty of pre-orders for birch water which we then harvest in the spring, but this year we had none at all. Due to this decline in demand, we had to limit the amount of birch water we processed this season. We discussed this with each forest owner in person, and we are now looking at this being a transition period so that next year will be a bigger birch water harvest than usual.”
A Completely New Family of Consumer Products for the Domestic Market
The pandemic has not undermined the ambitions of a company keen to invest in their business. Nordic Koivu’s management decided to take advantage of the momentary slowdown in demand to invest in resources – especially in product development and marketing – to grow the company’s domestic market.
“We decided to take advantage of this quiet period to make considerable investments in development”, declares Luostarinen – explaining what has made this past year so different. “For example, up until now we’ve never really invested in the domestic market before, as nearly all our birch water normally goes abroad for export.”
The most important development in this unusual period has been the preparations for launching a whole new family of consumer products on the domestic market later this summer in 2021. Susanna Luostarinen can’t help but glow about how this soon-to-be-released family of products came to be:
“Alongside pure birch water as a raw material for the beverage and cosmetics industries, we wanted to develop a consumer-friendly product family at an affordable price that could be sold directly in shops. The starting point for this product development was to design birch water drinks suitable for different purposes and situations. The end result is a completely natural drink family, whose flavours – inspired by the Finnish forest – will, for now, remain a secret.”
Strong International and Domestic Growth
Thoughts of this exciting new product for the domestic market and the prospect of COVID finally drawing to a close have combined to arouse Deputy CEO Luostarinen’s hopes for the future.
“I believe there really will be strong growth! The first condition for this to happen is to see through this pandemic, to make sure that neither our market nor trade are disrupted. We have already seen demand begin to recover. Increasing orders in Europe and elsewhere – both in terms of our consumer products and customers in the beverage industry – indicate a generally positive mood. It seems that this phase of the pandemic and its consequences will eventually pass and then we will not only be in full swing again, but because of our investments, even better prepared for the world when it opens up again.”
Millions of liters of birch water flow out into the world from Finland every year – especially to meet the growing needs of the beverage and cosmetics industry!