Campina, the Dutch dairy group, is clearly expecting big things from its operations in Russia after installing a third production line at its facility at Stupino in the Moscow region and increasing production capacity by 50 per cent.
The company has had great success with its Fruttis brand of yoghurts in Russia, and Campina claims that the brand's growth has outstripped that of the yoghurt market as a whole. As a result, Campina has decided to invest in expanding production capacity in Moscow - it will now be able to process 100 million kg of milk into yoghurt and milk products each year.
The increase in capacity also requires more storage space, and Campina has also inaugurated a new air-conditioned warehouse with a floor area of 10,000 square metres at the Moscow plant. More than 300 employees now work at Stupino, which opened in 2000, making various types of yoghurt - both fresh and long-life varieties - as well as a range of milk products.
The Dutch group has so far invested some $100 million in its Russian activities, and also produces desserts and drinking yoghurts there.
"The Russian market has great potential," said Tiny Sanders, Campina's chairman. "Campina holds a strong position thanks to the substantial investments we have been making for years in the Campina Fruttis brand. We showed a willingness to invest in the local market at a very early stage. That, together with excellent distribution, enables us to serve the market better."
Campina Fruttis has been available in the Russian market since the early 1990s, when sales of yoghurt produced in Germany began in the Moscow region, and benefits from a strong distribution network and high consumer awareness.