Imperial: innovating in the art of making chocolate since 1932
Within the scope of the initiative "COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, the president of COMPETE 2020 visited, on the 18th of March Imperial´s production unit in Vila do Conde.
For Rui Vinhas da Silva “Imperial is an excellent example of a company that thrives in a strongly competitive business environment, basing its strategic approach on a portfolio of strong brands of great notoriety and perceived quality. This is so in the domestic market but also in the international market. Imperial is a very well managed organization, it is market-leader even in product lines where it goes head to head up against market sector highflyers, including the likes of Nestlé”.
The president of COMPETE 2020 stresses that “Imperial shows a strong focus on R&D and innovation but it is the careful management and nurturing of its brand portfolio that is the cornerstone of its success. This company embodies a business philosophy that aims at value aggregation. This is done through product sophistication and processes that are difficult to replicate and thus constitute sustainable competitive advantages”.
For Rui Vinhas da Silva Imperial is “an excellent example of a market-oriented firm anchored on fine-tuned logistical processes and production efficiencies that are embedded on a constant search for state of the art technology and cut-throat knowledge as market-drivers and inducers of innovation”.
A Brief History of the company
Imperial is the leading Portuguese chocolate manufacturer and owner of major Portuguese brands in the sector such as Jubileu, Regina, Pintarolas, Pantagruel, Fantasias and Allegro.
The outstanding results it has achieved, clearly show the good performance by Imperial's brands in the Portuguese chocolate market. Regina is the leader in the chocolate-covered nuts segment and Jubileu holds a prominent position. Regina is also in second place in chocolate figures and chocolate bars in the impulse channel, due to the excellent performance of its chocolate umbrellas and fruit-flavoured bars. Allegro is still a landmark in the chocolate-covered toffees segment. Pantagruel is market leader in the cooking segment and Pintarolas has grown considerably and heads the Portuguese market in tubes of chocolate beans with a crispy sugar shell.
The company has been developing and cementing its international position by marketing its brands in different countries. It is currently present in more than 45 countries in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Imperial's contract manufacturing business enables its customers to subcontract the development and manufacture of its products.
The adaptation of its products to highly specific requirements allows it to operate in special market segments - sugar-free, Kosher and Halal chocolates.
Ongoing improvement and the excellence of their quality and food safety management systems have long been one of the company's strategic options and are present in its certifications - ISO 9001:2000, International Food Standard (IFS) and Research, Development and Innovation (RDI).
Imperial recently opened its renovated research, development and innovation laboratory. Its new image and utility have created an environment conducive to creativity and the development of new concepts and products. With the motto Chocolate is Our Passion, Imperial's Research and Development Unit is focused on customers, innovation, entrepreneurship, team spirit and integrity.
Imperial found in COMPETE, the support instruments that were suitable for its strategy of Reinforcement of Competitiveness of the Company for Differentiation of Products and Diversification of Markets.
Get to know the projects supported by consulting the Roteiro.(Road map)
COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value
Within the scope of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, began his visit to the food sector on the 14th of March, which involved 15 companies of a sector that is strategic for the country: the food industry.
The food sector is highly atomized, but is yet capable of a great degree of innovation and value aggregation to products, reflected in high value-added exports exports derived from new concepts and companies.
The itinerary of the visits sought to be as comprehensive as possible covering the wealth and diversity of the sector, with a view to analyzing the competitive advantages of each organisation. According to the 2014 data of INE (National Institute of Statistics), this sector contributes 14,8 billion euros to the national economy and a gross added value of 2,7 billion euros. It is the second largest employer in Portugal, directly employing more than 100 thousand people and indirectly about 500 thousand. In the last five years the growth rate of exports was higher than that of imports, which is essential in asserting food self-sufficiency as an objective as well as guaranteeing the sustainability of national consumption.
The president of COMPETE 2020 was accompanied in this visit by Dr. Isabel Braga da Cruz, Executive Director of Portugal Foods, the entity that closely collaborated in making the visits possible. Portugal Foods is an association formed by firms in the sector, as well as other entities of the national scientific and technological system in addition to national and regional entities that represent the various subsectors that make up the Portuguese food sector.