“I’ve been working in the tourist sector for many years. I’m up-to-date with latest trends and trying to find how to predict future ones. This way our product, Istrian breakfast, was initially intended for visitors and guests of houses in Truške. The initial feedback was extremely positive and that led us to designing a product and testing it on the market,” said Mateja Hrvatin Kozlovič, who was a guest on 17th Innotalks that was organised by ABC Accelerator and took place at Faculty of Tourism Studies Turistica in Portorož.
The innovative product Istrian breakfast – taste of the local environment is made entirely out of local specialities from local farmers from Slovenian Istria. The product is packed in ecological packaging and is delivered to the customers from June till the end of August. The product can be only ordered via the hotel in which the tourists are staying. It can be ordered via telephone or interned and it is delivered at the desired hour. The Istrian breakfast package also includes five different experiences, such as olive oil tasting, dried fruit tasting at the local eco farms, viewing of the centre in Koper and the walk through herb labyrinth with wine tasting. This way the team tries to convince tourists, that the cities are not the only destination and that there are many things to see in the provincial areas as well. Hrvatin Kozlovič added that their breakfast is a well-balanced meal that comes with detailed information on the calories it contains.
Would you prefer a classical one or the vegetarian option?
Istrian breakfast is offered in two varieties, classical and vegetarian. This way they aim to satisfy all the needs of the target clients – the tourists. According to recent statistics, most orders come from German tourists. The classical menu includes Istrian meat products, cow’s-milk cheese, jam, honey, dried fruit and herbal tea. It also includes homemade bread that is prepared with extra virgin oil and salt from Piran. Vegetarian option, on the other hand, includes cottage cheese as a replacement for meat and more dried fruit.
The breakfast is prepared exclusively in Turške region and has to be ordered a day in advance, preferably before 8 o’clock in the evening for the following day. Hrvatin Kozlovič added that she started with her project two years ago and in the process of making it they cooperated with four different faculties.
In the first phase they made an analysis of potential suppliers, in the second phase they made a graphic design of the product and planned logistics. All this took a joint effort of 30 people and they started selling their product last June.
Hrvatin Kozlovič stated that so far they have received excellent feedback from the providers of experiences which are a part of their packages. The vast majority was pleased as the customers usually bought additional products.
Istrian breakfast is being expanded to Portorož this season and experiences included in the package will be carefully planned to take full advantage of the facilities available. So far, however, they do not plan to expand their business model to other cities.
Winning a hackathon brought them a place in ABC Accelerator!
The biggest expense in their business venture was marketing, according to Hrvatin Kozlovič.
The problem with it is, she stated, that “it never ends and we didn’t take any shortcuts in production process”. They collected customer opinions via web questionnaires and considered opinions of other tourism workers as well.
At one point they decided to take part in a tourism-themed hackathon which they ended up winning. The main prize was free mentoring offered by ABC Accelerator.
“The winning idea was not realized yet, however, the victory at hackathon brought us many valuable pieces of advice from ABC Accelerator. This enabled us to launch it confidently,” Hrvatin Kozlovič said.
On this note she added: “Every new idea needs time to develop. It takes a lot of dedication. It is also invaluable to listen and take advice from someone whose day job is to develop different products”.
Istrian breakfast costs 24.90 EUR and is meant for two people. Currently they are planning to develop a family option for four persons. The team is also actively searching for a supplier of juices and butter. Moreover, they are thinking of adding coffee in the breakfast, which has been roasted in Slovenian Istria.