Before the regime change, József Felföldi had tried his hand in many businesses, from selling hamburgers to growing roses. He founded the legal predecessor to his company Felfoldi Llc. back in 1986. In the beginning, the company’s profile was quite diverse, and included everything from producing colourful, eye-catching greeting cards and wedding invitations to bath salts and toiletries. The production of sweets popped up in their portfolio shortly after its foundation: the first confections to find their way onto shop shelves were gum drops and lollipops. However, a true turning point in the company’s history did not come about until the owner bought five large copper cauldrons in the 1990s. It was only later that an expert in the area explained to him how he could use them to make dragées.
As József Felföldi recollects, the manufacturing process was such a feast for the eyes that once these “spectacular” cooking utensils were put into operation (the company now has a hundred of them) he immediately fell in love with candy making.
Given that the company owner had primarily set his sights on the international markets, he had to find a business model that would allow him to compete with multinational firms. As a small market player, his aim was to stand out with bold new ideas, such as liquid chewing gum sold in a toothpaste tube.
New product ideas are always popping into the company founder’s head: such as the Quick Milk drinking straws filled with candy beads – an idea he got when he noticed that his children did not particularly like to drink milk.
While he continues to push the boundaries of creativity, his dedicated management works on the development and market launch of products, as well as on creating the necessary financial background.
The majority of the current technical staff is made up of long-standing company employees – naturally not only office workers, as there are also former stonemasons and carpenters working in the factory. József Felföldi believes that all the modern and expensive equipment are worthless without loyal staff.
Product development is carried out in a 120,000 square metre hall, while the graphics on the display boxes for primary and secondary packaging are produced at their own printing facilities.
With regards to their strategy for the future, seeing as “organic” is becoming an increasingly popular buzzword, they are planning to move into products that are free from preservatives.
And finally, international expansion has proved to be the right move, and their products are currently sold not only in Europe, but also in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and South Korea. This is best illustrated by the fact that in England alone, they have one million customers each month.