Baltika begins bottled water production

Related tags Bottled water Russia Baltic sea

Baltika, the leading Russian beer brand, is to launch its own brand
of bottled water, Khrustalnaya, in a bid to win a share of the
fast-growing mineral water market in Russia.

The owner of Russia's leading beer Baltika​ has big plans for the brand. Baltic Beverages Holding is already preparing to roll out the beer in a number of western European markets, and this week announced that the company would begin marketing a new brand of bottled water in the Russian market.

BBH is a joint venture between Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle, and owns breweries throughout Russia, Ukraine the CIS and the Baltic countries.

The water brand, Khrustalnaya, has been available in limited quantities in the St Petersburg region for some time, but this will be the first time the brand has been given nationwide distribution, according to Russian press reports.

The water will be produced at Baltika's breweries in Tula and Khabarovsk and will be sold mainly in Moscow, St. Petersburg, central Russia and the Far East.

Baltika's move comes just a few months after the leading Russian dairy company, Wimm-Bill-Dann, announced​ that it would begin nationwide distribution of its Sanctuary Valdai brand of bottled water.

The bottled water market clearly has significant potential in Russia, where the quality of tap water is often poor, but the problem has always been distributing brands throughout such a large country.

But the emergence of a number of truly national players in the food and drink sector is making nationwide distribution much easier, providing the opportunity not only to extend sales of what were once simply brands but also to create new brands which can be rolled out across the country from the outset.

With Russian incomes increasing, and consumer aspirations growing, the potential for bottled water sales growth is substantial. The irony is that brewers such as Baltika could find themselves suffering the same fate as vodka makers and losing market share: beer overtook vodka as the fastest-growing drink in Russia during the 1990s amid growing fears of alcoholism, but increasingly health-conscious Russians could now swap beer for bottled water.

Related topics R&D Soft drinks

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