Thick or thin, mealy or firm-fleshed, pale or golden, the potato is on every table! Lutosa has made the potato its cornerstone at the heart of each dish. With over 43 years of experience in the manufacture of french fries and potato products, Lutosa continues to grow with the aim of offering delicious products to its customers. In 2022, our production capacity reached 645,000 tons. Find the complete history of Lutosa in the category “Our company” on the website. Lutosa dedicates 95% of its production to export to more than 140 countries. This is thanks to a dedicated global sales force and excellent expertise in the various regional markets.
If openness to the world is one of the main values of Lutosa’s corporate culture, it is no coincidence. Thanks to our international presence, we develop solutions adapted to the needs of customers and their markets. From fries to röstis, including mashed potatoes, all our products are available for export. We let you browse the “Our products” page on the website to choose the products that make you want the most!
We make it a point of honor to maintain a relationship of trust with our customers and partners. This is why we go out to meet customers by participating in trade fairs organized in the different regions that are interested in our products. If you missed the Gulfood show which took place from February 20 to 24, 2023 in Dubai, do not hesitate to take a look at our LinkedIn page where we highlight our presence at the various fairs.
François Vanhaecke, Commercial Director Export of Lutosa, tells us more about the different regions and their specificities in an interview.
Sales Export Director With Lutosa since 1992.
François started as sales manager for France.
In 2002, he became sales manager in Spain.
In 2006, his responsibilities were extended to Africa.
And in 2014, Latin America entered its fold.
Finally, since November 2021, he has been Export Sales Director.
How is Lutosa structured on the different markets?
“Today, if we take the geographical distribution of our sales, we are present on the 5 continents, that is to say Europe and major exports. Each country has its structure. In larger countries, we have subsidiaries that take care of distribution. For other countries, a person takes care of the business directly on site and invoicing is managed by an administrative support team in our offices in Leuze-en-Hainaut. »
How is the export and import of products handled in certain markets?
“Every market is different. If we take the example of Africa, the commercial approach is different depending on the country. We put priority on the Lutosa brand. In addition, we are fortunate to have powerful marketing support which makes our brand even stronger in our markets. »
Can you tell us about emerging markets? How are these countries doing?
“Emerging markets are an important point of the Lutosa strategy and they are part of our growth strategy. Especially since customers are very attached to the brand, they place a lot of value on brands, more than on Europe. On export, a brand that communicates gives a lot of value to the products, which makes it possible to create a link with the consumer. »
On which segments is Lutosa present?
“It also varies by region, especially since for new markets, it is not always well defined. For example, Congo, a country in which Lutosa is already well present with +- 35% market share. There are many restaurateurs who do not buy their fries from a wholesaler as is the case in Europe, but they buy their fries from the local supermarket. So the supermarket also acts as a wholesaler.”
Following the various crises recently experienced such as COVID, oil supply problems and rising prices, are some regions having more difficulty getting their heads above water? What important points did you notice?
“The consequence of these crises are very significant price increases. At the beginning of the increases, there was a slowdown in the export market because customers were a little shocked by the price increases, but afterwards, they quickly internalized the prices. Sales have returned to their usual level thanks to the brand as customers have confidence in the brand. Also, the market has increased everywhere, everything has become more expensive and the fries are still an inexpensive product. But the consequence of all this is that customers are even more demanding on quality. This explains why we must be more and more vigilant about the quality of our export products because the consumer does not give us a gift. He agrees to pay the price but in return, the quality must always be there. »