13 Dec 2018 18:18

Valio begins butter production in Russia

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) - Finnish dairy products concern Valio has started up production of butter in Russia under the Valio brand, ending the halt in production that began in August 2014 when Russia enacted an embargo on some food products.

Until 2014, the Valio-brand butter had a 25% share of the market in St. Petersburg and over 14% in Moscow. "We are confident that the new product will enable us to regain these positions in future," Yelena Kipeneva, senior vice president of the company's Russian subsidiary, Valio LLC, is quoted as saying.

The butter will be produced under the supervision of specialists from the Valio R&D center at the production facility in Moscow region. In recent years the company has developed and optimized the recipe and technology for butter production in Russia. Product will be m marketed in the premium segment.

"After the embargo was introduced, the Russian consumer had to find substitutes for accustomed products, often settling on less expensive options or on special discount goods. In recent times, we have noticed the reverse trend: demand for high quality products is recovering. More and more often, consumers are making choices based on natural ingredients, taste factors and consumer appeal, which they are ready to pay a fair price for," Kipeneva said.

Valio owns 13 plants in Finland, two in Estonia and one in Russia. It increased capacity at its Russian enterprise to 15,000 tonnes a year in 2017. Overall investment in the facility exceeds 67 million euro. In addition to the company-owned facility, Valio is developing contract production in Russia.

Valio LLC boosted revenue to 6.2 billion rubles in 2017 from 5.4 billion rubles in 2016, according to the SPARK-Interfax analytical system.