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Russian dairies see profits in drinking yoghurt

13-Jun-2005

Dairies not manufacturing premium-range yoghurt are missing out, with new products hitting this lucrative market every month, reports Angela Drujinina.

In the last year, the sales volumes of premium-class yoghurts increased with more than 10 per cent, and experts evaluate the volume of this market to be 600 tons a month. The leading brands are Danone (20 per cent) and Wimm-Bill-Dann (27 per cent).

Representatives of the Dairy's Union say that"the market of premium milk products is very young and is not saturated - so far, it has less than 1 per cent from the total turnover of dairy market".

Yoghurt is a product with high added value; it is more profitable than spur cream or kefir, and as a result, market participants are increasing their manufacturing volumes.

Unimilk Company for example recently launched a new product - drinking yoghurt with juice - as a means of increasing its Liasson brand product portfolio. "Liasson" products target the "premium" segment of the market.

The line has three flavours - apple, lemon and carambola, orange and mango, and cherry, orange and pomegranate. The beverage is bottled in bottles of 600 g and 250 g. The company is also planning to manufacture curd deserts under the brand name.

Earlier this year, the Voronejsky dairy launched a new department dedicated to manufacturing premium-class drinking yoghurts under Eralash and San Cruis brand names. The French company Transfer also worked on the project, and the dairy also received a €3 million loan from Sberbank.

Voronejsky believes that the children's dairy food market remains undeveloped, with an annual turnover of about $100 million. The company believes that the Eralash brand can therefore make a serious claim for leadership.

Similarly in April, Danone decided to develop its product line of Danissimo and to launch a new flavour, Danissimo Tropical Fruits. The company also launched a new product, Activia with prunes.

"Everybody in Russia knows about of prunes' benefits for digestion. This is why products containing prunes are very popular with Russian citizens, who take care of their health. This is why in the Activia line there are three products now - yoghurt, curd and drinking Activia, claims Danone's marketing department.

Experts from the dairy department of Wimm-Bill-Dann consider that the Russian yoghurt market is growing by 15 to 20 per cent each year. In Ukraine, this index is 25 to 30 per cent per annum.

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