Lantmännen Cerealia acquires Russian crispbread producer Orient Products
The European food manufacturer purchased the Russian crispbread producer to further cement its footprint in that country, which, according to Krister Zackari, CEO of Lantmännen Cerealia, is the largest food market in Europe and the fastest growing crispbread market.
To Russia, with love
Lantmännen Cerealia has been exporting Finn Crisp to Russia for several years.
“Finn Crisp and Orient’s brands are very popular with consumers, which gives us a strong product range in Russia,” said Zackari.
Orient produces the Schedrie and Kruazett brands.
Honorata Jarocka, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, told BakeryandSnacks crispbreads are growing in popularity as bread consumption is on the decline across mature Western markets.
“Bread’s poor health perception (especially white bread), the growth of gluten avoidance and the expansion of alternative breakfast products that are portable and snackable has opened up opportunities for substitutes like crispbreads … and innovation activity in crispbreads has so far been more focussed on health,” she said.
“Between September 2014 and August 2017, naturalness remained high on Russian manufacturers’ agendas, with as many as 81% of crispbread launches featuring some kind of a natural claim, driven by GMO-free and wholegrain descriptors.
“Moreover, 57% of NPDs carried ‘suitable for’ claims, including kosher and low, no or reduced allergens,” added Jarocka.
Finn Crisp, commanding a 4% share, is the third largest brand within the global crispbread category in terms of innovation activity, behind Wasa (8%) and Ryvita (6%), according to Mintel data.
Lantmännen Cerealia also produces the Finish Vaasan Koulunäkki and Vaasan Pieni Pyöreä crispbread brands.
The business is part of the SEK 37bn ($4.6bn) Lantmännen Group, an agricultural cooperative owned by 25,000 Swedish farmers with operations in over 20 countries.
The Group develops products such as flour, breakfast articles, bread, pastries, crispbread, pasta and ready-to-eat meals.
Orient Products has its headquarters in Saint Petersburg and production in Sertolovo, outside Saint Petersburg, employing over 250 people.