Unilever announced the opening of a new ice cream factory in Konya, Turkey; following an investment of over €95 million.
The new factory, which aims to be the first Unilever ice-cream factory in the world with LEED Certification, is another example of how sustainability is at the heart of Unilever’s business model. It reuses rain and surface water, recovers heat, and is zero-non-hazardous-waste-to-landfill by design.
The Konya factory, which will produce renowned brands such as Cornetto, Max and Twister, is Unilever’s 35th ice cream factory globally, and will be the model for all future Heartbrand factories around the world.
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer, said:
“Turkey is an important growth market for Unilever. We have a long history in the country – having been in business there for almost 100 years and opened our first factory in 1952. Konya has become our eighth manufacturing site in the country, as we continue to invest in growing our Turkish and regional business. This new factory is a testament to our commitment to drive sustainable growth and make more people smile with our ice creams.”
Unilever entered the Turkish ice cream market in 1990 and has grown its business to a marketing-leading position with a current market share of over 70%. The new factory will contribute to the Turkish economy, initially employing around 300 people.
Ice cream produced in Konya will be for domestic use, but also to export to the Middle East and North Africa. Current annual production capacity is 80 million litres, with the option to expand to 200 million litres.
Sigismondi also points out that the increasing domestic consumption and the opportunities to grow exports are good indicators of the significant potential for expansion of the factory. He also explained that the reason why Konya was selected for the factory investment as follows:
“We decided that Konya was the most suitable place for our investment for a number of reasons, such as access to raw materials, good infrastructure and logistics, the availability of qualified workers and lower earthquake risks, as well as and the good support of Konya’s local administration.”