A roll call of prestigious brands
While Ukraine is welcoming Western apparel, Russia and other Eastern European countries continue to see an influx of factories making fast-moving consumer goods, and not just in the major population centers. This year, French-based Carrefour – the world’s second biggest retailer – has opened two more supermarkets in provincial Russian towns. (Russia as a whole added 10 million square feet of shopping malls in 2007, with over 60 million square feet planned for 2008-2009.) Kellogg’s acquired no fewer than six production plants in Russia. Pepsico, after a major acquisition, announced that Russia is now its biggest growth market, while Eastern Europeans who prefer something more alcoholic can take comfort in the fact that the world’s biggest brewer, Inbev, future owner of Anheuser Busch, sold 22 million hectoliters of beer in the region in the first quarter of this year. All this Eastward movement of major brands helps to explain the phenomenal rise in label consumption throughout the Eastern European region, and particularly in Russia. This sharply rising trend was not reflected in the turnout for the Russian label show Etiketka (See coverage on page 68) which, although well reviewed by many exhibitors, was substantially smaller than the previous Moscow show two years ago.