Jugos, bebidas, vinos y licoresSep. 29, 2014
Russian billionaire eyes fruit juice industry
Following the imposition of sanctions by the US and the EU, Gennady Timchenko, one of Russia’s richest businessmen, is to diversify into juice production.
Timchenko has announced that he will produce premium juices under the Mugo brand name at the plant that currently bottles his Aquanika mineral water brand. Estimated sales volumes have not been disclosed.
The new range will comprise apple, cherry and orange juices, packed in 33cl and 75cl bottles, and priced at RUB100 (USD3.00) for a 75cl bottle.
There is a possibility that apples and other raw materials for the new production will be conducted by Alma Holding, one of Russia’s leading apple producers from Krasnodar. in which Timchenko has bought a stake.
Aquanika is a relatively new brand in Russia, and was established when Timchenko built a new factory to produce it nearly four years ago. The company is currently managed by Volga Group, which is owned by Gennady Timchenko. The company also produces carbonated beverages, under the Ministry of Gazirovky brand. The company’s financial results are undisclosed.
According to Euromonitor International, last year Russian total retail sales of juices amounted to 2.88 billion litres and RUB159.1 bln (USD4.5 bln). By 2016, the market is forecast to have grown to 2.97 bln litres worth RUB167. 7 bln.
However, Russian analysts believe that Timchenko may face serious difficulties during the promotion of its new juice brand in the Russian market.
Stanislav Kaufman, one of Russia’s leading soft drinks analysts, believes demand for Timchenko’s new beverages may be considerably lower than predicted, due to the ever declining purchasing power of Russian consumers, in turn caused by the economic effects of the sanctions.