People’s lifestyle, especially in urban areas, has changed a lot for various reasons, leaving them little time to have food at home. Demanding jobs requiring extra hours to be spent outside is one of the many reasons. And added to it is the enhanced buying capacity of people, which allows them to buy ready foods sold in shops.
Cashing in on this situation, many local chain shops have come into business catering to people’s need for food when they are outside. Their businesses are growing every day riding on increased demand.
Of such shops, Well Food, Mr Baker, Coopers Bakery, Al Arabian Cake and Sweets are manufacturing different food items which have become popular among their consumers.
With a mission to provide international quality affordable food in a hospitable environment, Well Group started its food chain journey in 2006 under the name “Well Food” in Chittagong district. In 2013, the food chain branched out its business in Dhaka and Sylhet districts.
It has 60 outlets in three districts, including 26 in Chittagong, 27 in Dhaka and seven in Sylhet.
Well Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Syed Nurul Islam, while speaking to Dhaka Tribune, said: “We had started ‘Well Food’ as a hobby, not to make money.
“But we became popular through our food items, both at home and abroad despite the fact that Well Food is only a small part (only 10%) of Well Group.
“Our focus is to provide quality food at affordable price and out target customers are mainly the upper and upper middle income group of society,” he said.
“Well Food makes around Tk 2.5crore per month. And the yearly turnover is about Tk30 crore,” Nurul said.
The food chain’s market share in Chittagong is almost 50%, in Dhaka it is around 30% and in Sylhet, it is 20%.
About 3,000 people are employed at Well Food now.
Food items of Well Food
The company has been manufacturing different food items under six segments. These are breads and buns, pastries, pound cakes, celebration cakes, fast food items and traditional sweets.
The average cost of breads and buns are Tk20-Tk115, pastries cost from Tk80-Tk125, pound cakes from Tk110 – Tk390, celebration cakes from Tk500 – Tk1,600, fast food items cost from Tk25 – Tk135, traditional sweets Tk50 – Tk1,260.
Well Food in Abroad
Well Group CEO also said: “We started our journey with an aim to create a brand image in home and abroad.”
“As we provide high cost products, it is tough to widen our business within a short period of time. But we are trying our best to make a real and loyal brand image of good quality food at high price,” he added.
“We have been exporting our food products in abroad for the last four years. At first we exported our products in UAE but couldn’t flourish there. Now we are exporting our food items in London, USA, Australia and India.
“But we do not have our own outlets outside of the country. We export our products through private importers and distributors,” Nurul added.
“From last one year, we have been getting excellent response of our business in North Eastern Region (Seven Sister States) of India.”
“Our yearly export amount is about $2 million dollars”, he added .
Future plan of Well Food
According to the company’s CEO, they have been working to make the brand as the top bakery in the country with an international image.
Right now they operate their business in the three major divisional cities. They will expand their business in the other districts after a market analysis.
The company is thinking to start their business in the Khulna at the moment. But it has become a challenge to operate this business as their products are not for the mass people.
“It’s really very tough to cope with the changing demands and tastes of the customers. We need more time to expand our business in other districts of the country as only high income people are our target customer,” he added.
“Though I am in charge of entire Well Group but I spend most of my time for this brand. I have a dream to make this brand the number one quality food brand in the Bangladesh with international image,” Well Group CEO Nurul further added.
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