Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, the Russian producer of dairy products and fruit juice, has embarked upon a third line of business - bottled water.
The company yesterday announced the inauguration of its new bottled water production plant in the Novgorod region of Russia, which the company claims is one of the largest and most modern mineral water facilities in European Russia.
To date, the company has invested $7.0 million (€6.4m) in the plant, which takes the company's total number of production facilities in Russia to 23.
The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art German blow-moulding machines manufactured by SIG Corpoplast and Italian bottling lines made by SIG Simonazzi, capable of processing 360,000 litres per day.
The water source, well-known for its purity, was carefully selected for its location close to the northern border of the Valdai National Sanctuary, an environmentally protected region which is popular with Russian tourists. The water is being extracted from a well 132 metres deep, and unlike water in the Moscow region, is rich in fluoride and contains no iron or other foreign substances, WBD claimed.
Still and sparkling natural drinking water will be marketed under the Sanctuary Valdai brand in 0.5- and 1.5-litre PET bottles, and will soon be available in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Sergei Plastinin, CEO of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, said in a statement: "As always, we are keeping in tune with the times. The launch of bottled water production is a response to the changing lifestyles and habits of Russian consumers."
Wimm-Bill-Dann has a strong and diversified branded portfolio with over 1,100 types of dairy products and over 170 types of juice, nectars and still drinks.