Márk Egervári, Managing Director
Biopont Kft. was founded in 1997. The company was founded by Viktor Németh, whose philosophy of life led to the creation of the company, says Managing Director Márk Egervári. The founder was a practitioner of naturopathy, deeply committed to a healthy lifestyle. He tried to consume products that meet these requirements. Unfortunately, many of the products were not available in Hungary, so they had to source the missing products from abroad. Purchases started with small quantities at first and, as a healthy lifestyle and the demand for healthy food became more widespread in Hungary, the volume of purchases increased. The company first opened a small shop and later started to manufacture products on a contract basis. The next 10 years saw a period of intense growth, with more and more large retail chains starting to distribute the products, and the company reached a turnover of HUF 1.5 billion. In addition to the BIOPONT brand, which is the hallmark of organic products, the VEGA- BOND range of products made from natural ingredients was launched from the very beginning to serve the needs of vegetarian and vegan consumers.
The export share of Biopont Kft.’s total production is 25%; the biggest market is Germany, but they also sell a lot to Poland and the Nordic countries. There is also collaboration with New Zealand and South Korea. Biopont Kft. also manufactures private label products for its customers both at home and abroad.
Product development is a very important task for Biopont Kft. The new products are in demand by buyers for the super- market chains and by consumers alike. Biopont Kft. produces more than 200 types of products. The increasing demand for gluten-free food is a growing trend so, at the beginning of 2019, the central factory in Ercsi was completely converted to gluten-free. Foods containing gluten are produced at the company’s site in Kalocsa.
Márk Egervári has been running the company since 2008, previously working for an IT group. The founder had gradually brought in investors since 2009, which helped to reduce the company’s debt. Today, the founding owner’s stake is 20%, 75% is held by investors and the rest by management. The investors are private individuals, professional investors, mainly engaged in agricultural production and contract farming and formerly suppliers of raw materials to Biopont Kft. In this way, a kind of vertical integration has emerged, taking products from the field through processing to the shelves.
The company purchased the current site and manufacturing plant in 2014 using a bank loan facility. After the renovation, it became suitable for centralising production, which had previously been scattered across several parts of the country. The four thousand square metre production hall is located on three hectares. The site is constantly being improved, with the installation of a gluten-free corn mill in 2017, followed a year later by the completion of the company’s 1,400 m2 logistics warehouse. The main profile of Biopont Kft. is the production of organic and gluten-free snacks, mainly the extrusion and the production of salty snacks. The company has a strong focus on automation, with several such investments currently underway.
The current ownership has no intention of selling the business; the strategy adopted is for further organic growth. The banking background is good and financing for development is secured.
The strength of the company is that the Biopont brand itself is reliable and stable. The large product portfolio is an advantage when negotiating with retail chains, and the company has a very good listing. As such, competition arises in various areas, but the company also produces different products for several of its competitors. During the pandemic, they also helped each other in the procurement of raw materials. Restrictions and lockdowns, especially the “panic month” in March, doubled normal sales in that month, with staple foods in particular sell- ing well. Exports, however, strengthened even more than the domestic market (it is difficult to say how much the pandemic played a role in this) but the export boom has continued since then, although the rise in packaging material prices and transport costs has increased production costs.
The company employs 50 people and, through investments and the creation of a logistics centre, it has created all the conditions for future dynamic growth. Key positions are filled by professionals who have been with the company for a long time and know the company’s activities. Biopont Kft. does not only deal with food, but it also distributes a range of more than 30 essential oil products, Naturol, which is constantly evolving and 2-3 new products are added to the portfolio every year. The company also distributes cosmetics, organic laundry detergents, rinsing agents and dishwashing detergents.
Biopont is in an advantageous market position. “There were cases where a retail chain reduced its organic food assortment, but our products remained on the shelves at the expense of the chain’s private label products because they generated higher turnover”, reports the company’s CEO. The pandemic, especially in March last year, showed that retail chains that had a wider range of products could come out of the crisis better. The company does not currently plan to create its own brand shop. “We have very good relations with retail chains and wholesalers, and we would essentially be creating competition for our customers with our own shop”, says Márk Egervári, Managing Director.
Biopont Kft. strives to source and process raw materials from Hungary. Whenever possible, the company gives preference to Hungarian suppliers. Even if it costs more than imports, as it is more important to keep supplier prices stable and strengthen Hungarian suppliers through long-term collaboration.
The philosophy of the company has not changed since its foundation. They believe that sustainably produced raw materials and food are not only important for our environment, but also for our wellbeing. Through their products, they aim to make available and promote a more fulfilling and conscious lifestyle.