Bulgaria's Ficosota Food is launching the construction of a 30 million euro factory for oven baked bread circles Bruschette Maretti, one of its landmark products. The investment comes just two years after the company, part of Ficosota Group of the Kyurkchiev brothers, built a special facility for its My Motto wafers. All production bases of the group are located in the city of Shumen, northeastern Bulgaria, and so will be the new one, Krasen Kyurkchiev, founder and co-owner of Ficosota, told the Capital Weekly.
Bruschette seem to be a market hit: according to Ficosota's information, annual sales will reach 100 million levs (about 50 million euro) this year. Once the new factory starts operating at full capacity, the product's turnover will reach 400 million levs.
"We currently produce 1,500 tonnes of Bruschette Maretti a month. The new factory will boost our capacity to 4,000 tonnes a month," Kyurkchiev said.
The tallest building
The company calls the future facility "Bruschette bakery" of "The big bakery". "That is so because the whole production process mimics a craft bakery," Kyurkchiev said.
The new factory will have a total area of some 15,000 sq. m, including production space, a logistics center for finished products, a warehouse and offices. The building will be called L'Alto ("high" or "tall" in Italian) because of its height of 25 meters. It will be the tallest production building of Ficosota so far, the investor explained.
The three-storied building will house the production facilities on the first two floors on a total area of 6,650 sq. m. The logistics section will occupy more than 2,000 sq. m, and the warehouse will be located on 3,325 sq. m on the third floor. The silos will store more than 125 tonnes of flour and 90 tonnes of liquid materials.
The factory will operate 24/7, with daily production projected to total 84 tonnes, or 1.2 million packets of Bruschette Maretti. The annual output will be 29,000 tonnes, or 414 million packets, the company said.
Ficosota Food's new factory will produce only Bruschette Maretti. "The whole process follows the production of bruschette in an authentic bakery but it will be automated to a maximum extent," Kyurkchiev said. "The challenge for us was to find a way to automate the craft process without industrializing it, i.e. to increase the scale and keep the authentic method of preparation with natural ingredients."
The equipment was designed and developed by a joint team of Ficosota Food and major producers from Italy and France. The machines are highly energy efficient and waste is reduced to a minimum. The building will be equipped with a photovoltaic system for electricity production. The design was prepared by ZOOM Studio and a contractor is expected to be chosen for the construction works. The big bakery is planned to be completed and start operating in early 2025. It will provide some 150 new jobs for operators, warehouse workers, technicians, engineers, managers, etc.
Ficosota Food projects 100 million levs of Bruschette Maretti sales in 2023. The volume will reach 130 to 140 million levs next year with the installation of some additional equipment. After the new bakery is launched, the capacity will jump to 400 million levs. "Such sales will be reached in 2026-27," Kyurkchiev said.
More than 90% of the sales are made abroad. "Our ambition is to make Bruschette Maretti a global brand. That is not just a dream, as the product is already sold in more than 70 countries on all continents and is the biggest bruschetta brand in the world," Kyurkchiev explained.
Sales of Bruschette Maretti rose 50% in 2022 and have increased at the same rate so far in 2023. The top market is Germany. Other major sales destinations include the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland and Romania.