‘Russia is experiencing a culinary renaissance’: Kerry meets local tastes with first Russian plant

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kerry identifies shifting Russian preferences ©iStock
Kerry identifies shifting Russian preferences ©iStock
Irish ingredients supplier Kerry Group is opening its first production facility in Russia, an investment that the group says will enable it to better cater to local tastes and nutritional preferences.

Kerry has been present in Russia since 2006 and in 2014 the group opened a regional development and application centre. Speaking at the opening of Kerry’s first production facility in the country, CEO Edmond Scanlon said the investment was the “next logical step​” for the business in the region.

“Our business here has gone from strength to strength and as the Russian food industry has developed and expanded, so have we and so has our customer base. This facility means we can now deliver an even better service and get closer to our customers in this part of the world, while offering locally produced goods, using locally sourced raw materials.”

The new production and warehouse complex occupies a site covering more than 7,000 square meters and employs over 50 people. Production begins immediately with ingredients for the meat processing and snacks market, Kerry said.

At full capacity, the plant is designed to produce 26,000 tons of products per year to meet increased local demand for products that meet local consumer taste and nutrition preferences.

Leveraging local insight, global expertise

According to Eoin Martin, strategic marketing director of Kerry’s Russia & CIS region, Kerry is well placed to both understand local consumer tastes and leverage its global expertise to develop solutions.

“Whilst Russia is experiencing a culinary renaissance and celebrating traditional tastes, there is also consumer led demand for great tasting global cuisines… Our global footprint allows us to identify local tastes and share them across the organisation ensuring that our customers, no matter where they are in the world, can create authentic tasting dishes for their consumers,”​ Martin told FoodNavigator.

A local footprint will allow Kerry to address the “different needs”​ of the “diverse”​ Russian market, Martin continued.

Kerry has been able to identify some “key trends”​ based on research conducted with Russian consumers. Firstly, Kerry’s food industry customers need to “deliver great taste”​, Martin observed. Beyond this, they must respond to an “increasing desire for convenience products”​.

“Russia’s employment level is the highest it’s been for over 25 years. More people are working, have busy lifestyles and are looking for convenient and tasty products. In parallel there is an increasing focus on health and wellness. Nothing highlights this more for me than the traffic light labelling system that started to be phased in since June 2018,”​ Martin continued.

“Finally I would say it’s increasingly evident that consumers are seeking out value for money. They are using apps and websites to seek out products being sold on promo in retail chains, and we also see private label growing."

The new production facility, located in the Moscow region, will develop functional meat systems, coating systems and seasoning.

Products from the new facility will supply Kerry customers in the Russian market from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, as well as the countries of the Customs Union and the CIS: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan and beyond.

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