Unimilk gives Danone a base to develop a comprehensive portfolio of products to meet the full range of Russian consumer demand.
Judging from a 3.8% rise in GDP, Russia has put the economic downturn behind it.
Last year Danone Fresh Dairy Products returned to the double-digit growth that drove its twentyfold increase in regional sales over the last decade for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan combined. Buoyed by the success of Activia, Actimel, Danissimo, Danacor and Rastishka, Danone CIS* commanded 26% market share, the highest sales in the fresh dairy products segment, even before its merger with Unimilk in late November. Unimilk posted 24% growth in 2010 and owns seven powerful brands, including Prostokvashino, the volume leader in the fresh dairy products market, putting the new venture in a strong leadership position. With combined regional sales of nearly €2 billion a year, Danone is now ideally positioned to grow in the market’s two main segments: traditional dairy products such as kefir and crème fraîche, and more innovative, high-growth dairy products. Although the CIS counts 264 million people — 142 million in Russia alone — per capita consumption of fresh dairy products is only 12 kilos a year compared with 20 in Europe.
*CIS: Commonwealth of Independant States