Greece Remains in the Eurozone, Germany an Unexpected Beneficiary

Dragées Hatziyiannakis has Survived and Prospered in the Greek Candy Business by Remaining True to Traditional Values While Embracing Innovation

Remarkable expansion into international markets in the middle of severe economic headwinds

© 2015 R. Mena / DVeg
Dragées Hatziyiannakis has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015. The Greek candy maker has shown steady and remarkable growth, especially in the past ten years, and has expanded into international markets. Expansion in an increasingly competitive global marketplace is tough, but doing it in the context of the recent economic crisis, and in particular in view of the difficulties experienced by the Greek economy, is remarkable.

Reports of the demise of the Greek economy have been greatly exaggerated.

In February, 2015 Alan Greenspan said Greece would leave the euro and that the common currency would collapse. In March, George Soros said that helping Greece financially was a “lose-lose game” and that the odds of Greece leaving the eurozone were 50/50. The result was that investment in Greek debt was considered so risky that rates on its bonds went as high as 19%. Today they are about half that amount. But there is another important side effect of the large fluctuation in Greek bond prices. A recent study performed by a team at the University of Halle has concluded that over the past five years, the German government has saved approximately 100,000,000,000 € in interest on its own debt because of the financial turmoil in the south. What this means is that even if the Greeks default on their entire debt, the Germans will come out ahead.

The fact that markets are responding more favorably to the Greek debt crisis now than they were during the summer does not mean that the trouble is over. Recently, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras followed Pope Francis to the United States, seeking an infusion of cash that will help Greece emerge from the austerity measures imposed upon it without quite so much pain. In a speech to the United Nations discussing the role of debt relief in worldwide financial systems, Tsipras did not miss the opportunity to point out that Germany benefited from large scale debt relief in 1953.

Moving Forward for 65 Years

Although the economic news from Greece has been such that some observers and investors feel that they have been on a fiscal roller coaster, one company just outside the Greek capital has been a beacon of stability, and has even prospered. Dragées Hatziyiannakis started as a family business in 1950 with the production of dragées (sugar coated candies like Jordan almonds or M & Ms) near Piraeus. Since those days in the middle of the last century the company has grown to become a major wholesaler in Greece as well as the rest of Europe, America and the Middle East. The company has opened a second facility in northern Greece and is expanding its product line.

More than 65 years later, family values are still at the heart of everything the company does. The company attributes its growth and success on a focus on its fundamental principle of quality. Dragées Hatziyiannakis insists only on the highest quality, carefully selected raw materials from officially certified producers in Greece and abroad, capable of meeting the highest culinary requirements. After that, the candy makers at Dragées Hatziyiannakis use cutting edge technology with both traditional with innovative methods to produce dozens of varieties of dragées filled with fruits, nuts and chocolate.

© 2015 R. Mena / DVeg

Dragées Hatziyiannakis has been remarkable for its combination of innovation and tradition to improve market share. Through advanced technology, the company is able to produce on short notice candies that have unique and individually designed logos, and is able to incorporate flavors as ordered by the customer, producing a level of customization which is hard to find in candy wholesaling. On the other hand, it is obvious that the company maintains values that are steeped in tradition; according to its website, “the Greek tradition respects the creator, the man who creates little masterpieces using his zest and experience. In our case, they have to do with taste. This is what we look for and the criteria we use to select our people. The love for their job, their devotion to it in combination with the family feeling developed among our employees is our true power.” The company dedicates a significant amount of resources to training its people both in Greece and abroad in the latest techniques.

The result has been continuous growth in spite of the economic challenges faced by the Greek economy in recent years. Also, third parties have noticed, recognizing Dragées Hatziyiannakis on numerous occasions for its quality and business practices. The company has attained ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification as well as ELOT 1416 certification for food safety management. The Hellenic Ministry of Development gave Dragées Hatziyiannakis the national Award for Business Excellence, ICAP Group has named it “Strongest Company in Greece” and it has received recognition for Climate, Sustainable Development and Corporate and Social Responsibility.

Recently, Dragées Hatziyiannakis has also been honored with the Greek certification of Business Excellence, adheres to the EFQM Commitment to Business Excellence Model, and just received the 2014-15 National Champion award of the "Customer Focus" category at the European Business Awards 2014/15. This year they were certified according to the BRC Global standards (version 6), with an A. Products from Dragées Hatziyiannakis have received several awards for quality and flavor, and awards for packaging from the United States, Germany, France, Greece and Finland.

The BID committee was particularly impressed by the company’s ability to prosper during very tough times in Greece while at the same time being recognized along several criteria of quality. For these reasons, Dragées Hatziyiannakis has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.

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