Nestle is “covered in chocolate,” as the Russian saying about success goes. The leading international chocolate and food producer celebrated its 140th year in the country Wednesday.
“We believe that Russia has a huge potential in long-term investment, that is why we continue to invest in the development of the local market,” Nestle Russia and Eurasia chief executive Stefan De Loecker said at a news conference.
The company began exporting mostly milk products to the Russian market in 1871 on contract from St. Petersburg merchant Alexander Ventsel. Products continued to be sold on and off in prestigious stores during the Soviet Union.
After the Soviet collapse, Nestle acquired a chain of distributors and importers and has been operating in the country since 1995.
Over the last 16 years, the food giant, whose products include chocolate, milk, yogurt, bottled water, baby food, frozen food and pet food, has pumped more than a billion dollars into the economy. It owns some of the most recognized brands in the country, including Nescafe Gold and Maggi.
Nestle has 12 production facilities in Russia, one of which, located in Perm, is the biggest Nestle chocolate factory in the world.
In June the company announced plans to invest more than $50 million to build a new Maggi factory in the Vladimir region.
Last year the company opened an innovation center in Moscow where it will conduct consumer research such as product testing.
“Russia looks promising,” De Loecker said.