ÇİĞKÖFTEM, THE BRAND OF FIRSTS IN THE INDUSTRY, GROWS WITH NEW INVESTMENTS

The raw meatball industry is growing rapidly in Turkey. What would you like to say about the services that make Çiğköftem different in this competition?
As EM Group, which started its operations by producing raw meatballs for chain markets in 1993, we opened Turkey’s first concept raw meatball shop in Beşiktaş in 2005. It is pleasing that this step has turned into a 15 billion TL industry today. We have pioneered our industry by fitting many firsts into 28 years. We introduced raw meatballs to Europe by opening our first franchise branch in Belgium in 2009. Later, we opened branches in England, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France and Azerbaijan and we are the founder of the raw meatball industry in 7 countries in total.
If we look at the product firsts we brought to the sector, we produced Vegan-Vegetable Stuffed Meatballs for the first time in Turkey in 2015 in order to increase the export volume and introduce Turkish flavors to the world, and today this product is offered for sale in 8 countries. We offered Falafel, which is highly preferred due to its high protein content, first in its traditional form and in 2020 as Hummus Stuffed Falafel, a first in Turkey. In summary, Çiğköftem is a company that takes very rapid action against consumer trends.
What strategy do you follow to further expand your brands?
As a brand that attaches importance to development since 1993, we are taking Çiğköftem to the future with firm steps. Despite the pandemic, we invested more than 10 million TL for additional machinery, equipment and capacity increase and developed new products. In the short term, our goal is to be present in all 81 provinces of Turkey and to increase the number of countries in which we are established abroad from 6 to 10. Here is an example application for this goal: 50 percent free every Friday, the industry’s most ambitious campaign. We give our consumers half of the raw meatballs they buy as a gift.
Çiğköftem, which brought firsts to the raw meatball industry in Turkey and Europe, has recently expanded its product range by investing more than 10 million TL in additional machinery, equipment and capacity increase, despite the pandemic. Stating that they want to be present in all 81 provinces of Turkey and increase the number of countries they serve abroad from 6 to 10, Çiğköftem General Manager İbrahim Aktaş explained their goals.

TIME TO TRADE

We started a social responsibility project called “It’s Time for Trade, Not Crisis” so that we can have a stake in the Turkish economy. Within the scope of the project, we will provide basic installation equipment, with a total value of 2 million TL and up to 40 thousand TL per branch, to investors free of charge. We aim to start opening the shops of our entrepreneurs in May.

So, what are the elements that make a difference in your products and concept?

We want our customers to feel like they are in a warm family environment. We renewed our positioning in 2021, focusing on the warm, positive color of orange in our stores and our logo. We produce all the equipment ourselves with our integrated structure for 360-degree customer satisfaction, thus giving us the advantage of distinguishing ourselves from the industry. You have to do premium quality work, especially for shopping malls abroad. We use CE certified and European standard materials in our equipment. We are one of the very rare companies that use +4 degree cooler in countertop display cabinets, this is very important for product preservation. These features enable Çiğköftem to open the most difficult doors. For example, we are the first Turkish brand to enter the Centro Shopping Mall in Oberhausen, one of the 3 largest shopping malls in Europe. Our point of sensitivity in our products is to produce quality products that we can feed to our own children with peace of mind, and to ensure that every meal we eat is healthy and happy.

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