Coca-Cola eyes up Kvass

Coca-Cola is reported to have plans to enter the Russian kvass market. Production of the traditional local beverage, Kvass has become one of the fastest-growing soft drinks sectors in the country.

Coca-Cola is reported to have plans to start producing kvass – a traditional Russian drink.

The company has turned to domestic producers to explore options on how best to do this.

One of the most popular drinks in Russia, kvass is a treat enjoyed by all generations.

And now Coca-Cola is looking to enter the lucrative Russian kvass market.

Greek-based Coca-Cola HBC has already invested US$ 1.5 BLN in Russia, with 14 production plants and 60 distribution centers, handling soft drinks, juices and water.

Moving into kvass would be a new step and talks are reported to be underway with a number of established kvass producers, to make the venture a success.

“The Russian soft drinks market – it's big and it's growing.  Kvass is really the fastest growing sub-segment within soft drinks category.  Last year, according to our data estimates, it grew more than 40%.  And we expect further growth of up to 50% this year,” commented Andrey Sterlin, Managing Director, Business Analytica, Moscow.

Coca-Cola says the company will not be entering the kvass market this year, but it has reportedly registered three new brands with the Russian patent office.

“Coca-Cola has over 300 brands registered in Russia, including kvass-flavoured Fruk-time.  Kvass is a national Russian drink, and as far as I can recall, a foreign company has never attempted to enter the market with its own version of kvass. Time will tell how successful Coca-Cola can be,” added Nikolay Bogdanov, Partner, Gorodissky & Partners, Moscow.