Elopak is opening a major new factory in Saint Petersburg to pursue carton packaging customers in juice and dairy - two industries experiencing very different growth trends in Russia.
The 10,000m2 plant is due to open this summer and by 2012 it is expected to be producing one billion cartons for the dairy and juice markets in Russia and the CIS countries.
Elopak is targeting these markets at a time of uncertainty as the threat of inflation looms over the Russian economy.
Economic turbulence has so far has so far affected the juice and milk markets very differently.
In the dairy market, Elopak said the recession had little impact on milk sales which grew 21 per cent in volume in 2010, according to AC Nielsen research.
By contrast, the volume of juice sold grew 7 per cent in 2010 after dropping 10 per cent the year before.
This data points to a market recovery but does not reveal the threat of inflation – retail prices rose by some 20 per cent in the second half of 2010.
Elopak warned that such price inflation could hold back further market recovery.
“The future situation will depend a lot on inflation for food and other raw materials. If inflation stays high it will hamper growth of food markets in general,” said Victoria Ovchinnikova, Elopak’s marketing specialist in Russia.