It’s the costliest spice on earth. The rich around the world have loved it for millennia. Countries like USA love it so much that even imports it from Iran. Iran produces 95% of the world’s saffron. India, along with Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco and Ajerbaijan, produce the rest. Those who know saffron trade say Iranian saffron is bought by traders in countries like Dubai and then shipped to other parts of the world, including Canada and then to the USA. Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant’s carpels.
Greek saffron, or Krokos Kozanis as it called in Greek, (krokos = saffron, Kozani = area in Greece where it is cultivated), contains substances which, according to independent laboratory test results, ranks saffron highly. This saffron is cultivated only in one area in Greece. Regarding the herbal teas made with saffron, this is a worldwide innovation, a product which allows consumers to savour superb aroma and taste, while taking advantage of saffron’s (and other herbs) beneficial health attributes.
For this particular product (herbal tea), and its trade prospect “AgroTypos.com” talked with the General Manager of the Greek company “Kozani Krocus Products SA”, Mr. Aggelos Markou. The company “Kozani Krocus Products SA” was founded in 2009 and in recent years is seeking to “build” a new beverage market in partnership with the Cooperative of Saffron producers of Kozani and the Korres company.
According to Mr. Aggelos Markou: «the company managed to present increased financial performance over the seven years, despite the crisis and the fact that Krocus is one of the most expensive drinks».
Mr. Markou what are the products of the company “Kozani Krocus Products SA” and which is your markets-target?
Our products are herb beverages in dried form with the addition of saffron. In total we have seven flavors in dried form (organic and non-products). We export to 26 countries. In each country our aim is to find a national distributor who is able to cover all the “channels” of our interest (supermarkets, delicatessen, organic shops, pharmacies, etc.). We try to expand the category to which our product belongs and attract new consumers to whom we will offer a new experience.
When was the company founded and who are involved in it?
The company “Kozani Crocus Products SA” was founded in 2009 and it is basically in partnership with the Cooperative of Saffron producers of Kozani and the company Korres. We cooperate with the company Korres because, over the years, it presents a very good and lasting process as regards the acceptance of its products both in Greece and abroad. Practically the largest shareholder of 55% share belongs to the Cooperative and 45% to the company Korres, which deals with the management process.
How do Greek consumers respond to your products?
Hot drinks, such as tea or saffron are not part of the Greek consumers’ habit. However, our company has managed to present increased financial performance over the seven years, despite the crisis and the fact that we produce one of the most expensive drinks. Abroad there are also too many markets opening with perspective.
What are your future plans?
Nowadays our capacity reaches 600,000 herb beverages annually and for the next three years we aim at their doubling. Countries where saffron and herb beverages form a strong consumer habit are Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, America, Canada and the Arabic ones. Abroad the main selling of our products is made through organic shops and delicatessen, selected supermarkets etc.