Today I came across news of the latest Russian invasion of London and New York: the arrival of Baltika beer.
The arrival of Russian consumer consumer goods to Western markets is long overdue, and a very positive development for the private sector. Support this trend – within moderation of course. From a press release: “Baltika Beer Showcased at The Bar Show 2007 in New York City”
As American consumers are becoming more interested in specialty beers, mostly imported from Europe, Baltika sees a unique opportunity to lay claim to the emerging market. “The appeal of Baltika’s line of beers and its most distinguishing property is the combination of strength and light taste,” explains Dmitry Kistev, Baltika’s Director of Exports. “Where a strong Belgian lager is heavy, Baltika’s No. 9, while retaining the same properties, is easier to drink,” adds Kistev. “US, being the second largest beer market in the world, is strategically important to Baltika,” says Dmitry Kistev. The company plans to reach this market through taste trials, rather than investing in major advertising campaigns. The experience has shown that Baltika’s presence at shows, such as The Bar Show 2007, has created more interest in Baltika’s beers and an opportunity for American consumers to get to know the brand and its unique line of beers.
But Anton Artemiev, its president, was in no doubt about the significance of the licensing deal with Scottish & Newcastle, Britain’s biggest brewer. “The start of licensed production in western Europe of Baltika, one of Russia’s most popular brands, is a natural step in the process of integrating Russia into the world economy,” he said. Baltika is owned by Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), a 50:50 joint venture between S&N and Carlsberg, the Danish brewer. Interviewed recently in Edinburgh, Mr Artemiev said: “It is the first licence for consumer goods from modern Russia to a western company. “It is quite normal for it to be the other way around. We just hope there will be some more examples – but we are happy to start.”