Kellogg corners Russian cereal market

Jan. 18, 2008 at 3:01 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. firm Kellogg has cornered the Russian breakfast cereal market in a style Tony the Tiger would agree was "grrr-reat!"

The American cereal maker announced it has purchased United Bakers Group, which reportedly already has 90 percent of the Russian market. United Bakers products are marketed primarily under the Yantar and Lyubyatovo brands. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kellogg chief David Mackay described the acquisition as "an exciting strategic development for Kellogg." The deal gives Kellogg its first plants in Russia, a total of six scattered across the country as well as a large sales and distribution network.

Andrei Nikitin, a retail analyst with UralSib bank, sees Kellogg coming to the right place at the right time as, he says, Russians are shifting en masse toward light-and-fast meals for breakfast.

"Power-advertising by the likes of Kellogg and a new business culture have weaned Russians from their traditional breakfast meals, such as kasha," Nikitin said. "Many Russians now favor fast breakfast meals such as Kellogg Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies."

And, it seems, many are familiar with Tony the Tiger, Kellogg's cartoon spokesman that appears on Frosted Flakes boxes and on television. In Russia, he's called "Tigr Tony."

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