Coca-Cola HBC owns ten factories in Russia.  Photo: Artem Geodakyan/TASS

Coca-Cola HBC owns ten plants in Russia. Photo: Artem Geodakyan/TASS

“Once the company’s reserves are depleted, Coca-Cola HBC will no longer produce or sell Coca-Cola or other Coca-Cola Company brands in Russia,” the company said in a statement. Now, as it emphasizes, customers are “emptying stocks in warehouses.”

A few clarifications. This is a statement from the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Actually The Coca-Cola Company announced the suspension of activities in Russia back in March. But she dealt with us mainly in marketing. And the factories in Russia belong to just Coca-Cola HBC, which has kept silent until now and only raised prices. But, apparently, they did. And now what?

WILL THE FACTORIES CLOSED

Coca-Cola HBC owns ten plants in Russia – in Moscow, Shchelkovo, Istra, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok. In addition to Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Burn, Fuzetea, Schweppes, etc. are produced there. As well as BonAqua water and popular juices “Dobry”, “Moya semya”, Rich.

But these are not all possible losses. More than 7,000 people work at these ten enterprises (data from the official Russian website of Coca-Cola), and if we take into account all suppliers, subcontractors, etc., then one way or another, the current decision may affect the fate of about 66 thousand people.

There is no reliable information about what Coca-Cola HBC is going to do with Russian factories yet. The company itself has not yet clarified the details of the departure. Experts suggest that it may try to sell its industrial capacity to one of the top domestic producers of soft drinks. What will the Russian authorities do in every possible way to contribute – after all, it is not a shop of three people that closes.

– Such industrial facilities may be of interest to the same Ochakovo or Chernogolovka concerns, which, by the way, will have the opportunity to participate in a tender for the supply of new drinks to the former McDonald’s, now Vkusno i Tochka. The same can be said about other drinks and products produced by the Coca-Cola concern – from mineral water to juices, – suggests Yaroslav Ostrovsky, a specialist in the Strategic Research Department at Total Research.

Like with McDonald’s?

– The sale scheme, similar to McDonald’s, will not work here, – the expert believes. – If restaurants can be quickly brought back to their original form by slightly tweaking the design and changing the sign, then reconfiguring the plant’s equipment is a longer and more expensive process. The same is with the purchase of raw materials for a recipe that will differ from the American one. Therefore, in the near future without downtime, apparently, can not do. If we manage to quickly agree on the sale, most likely it will be at a very decent discount, as in other cases of exit of Western companies from Russia. Not a single outgoing brand has yet received more than 50% of the real market value for its assets.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO JUICES AND OTHER PRODUCTS

This question is, for obvious reasons, related to the previous one. And also while – in limbo. Coca-Cola HBC owns, in particular, one of the largest juice production plants in Russia in Shchelkovo near Moscow. It is owned by JSC “Multon” – originally a Russian manufacturer of juices and nectars (“Good”, Rich). Coca acquired it in 2005. In 2010, she also bought the My Family brand. These juices are also now produced by Multon, which in fact has become a “daughter” of Coca-Cola HBC.

On Friday, a day after Coca-Cola’s announcement, the only message on the official website of Moulton was: “The site is undergoing technical work. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.” The same is on the Dobry juice website.

We started producing Coca Cola in 1988

We started producing Coca Cola in 1988

A photo: EAST NEWS

WHAT WE REPLACE

There seem to be options. And it’s not just about domestic “Baikal” and “Duchess”. Our producers have been preparing since March and now they are almost lining up with drinks that, in taste and design, should resemble the original Cola and Fanta. Here are the offers of only the largest manufacturers.

– Funky Monkey from “Megapak” in Cola and Orange variants (with the taste of “Cola” and “Fanta”, respectively). Produced in Vidnoye, they promise that the products will go to stores almost this week. According to the deputy chairman of the government near Moscow, Georgy Filimonov, domestic counterparts will be 10-15% cheaper. At the same time, they are practically indistinguishable from “real” cola and forfeits – the developers checked this using blind tests.

– “Kola Chernogolovka”. They say it’s delicious – although it smells a little different from real cola. But these are details. Chernogolovka has its own recipe – according to the manufacturer, it contains only natural ingredients: caffeine, caramel color (for color), sugar, artesian water.

– Cool Cola, Street and Fancy from Ochakovo (to replace cola, sprite and fanta). The taste is similar, the composition is the same, but the domestic Street has more sugar (Sweeteners were used in Sprite). The impressions of the KP correspondent who tasted the drinks can be read here. The decision is logical, because Ochakovo already produced fanta in Soviet times (see “From the history of the issue”).

Experts suggest that the “real” Coca-Cola will not completely disappear from our sales – it will be imported in some quantities from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other EAEU countries with which we have no customs border. And Coca-Cola was not going to refuse deliveries to these countries.

WHAT’S WITH PEPSI NOW

The main alternative to Koke is, of course, the products of its eternal competitor Pepsi. Back in March, PepsiCo announced that it would keep production in Russia of only essential goods – dairy products (House in the Village, Cheerful Milkman) and baby food. And the supply of Pepsi, 7Up, Mirinda will curtail. So the company remained in Russia, but without Pepsi. It was reported, however, that PepsiCo intends to expand the range of its purely Russian brand “Russian Gift”. Now only kvass is produced under this brand. Perhaps there will also be lemonade. So to say, “Pepsi” and “Mirinda” in a different way, with the sale only in Russia.

FROM THE HISTORY OF THE QUESTION

– For the first time, as stated on the official website of Coca Cola, the company’s drinks appeared in the USSR on the eve of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Coca Cola and Fanta have become the official drinks of the Olympics. Therefore, in 1979, at the Moscow Beer and Non-Alcoholic Plant (now it is Ochakovo), the production of Fanta in glass bottles began (the “children of the USSR” remember them well). Coca Cola was not produced in the USSR, it was brought from Europe for the Olympics, in aluminum cans with a Cyrillic logo (produced for Bulgaria).

When the Olympics ended, Coca Cola disappeared again in the USSR. And the release of Fanta continued.

– The production of Coca Cola began in 1988. The basis for the drink was imported from abroad, and bottled at the Moskvoretsky brewery. They produced small batches – mainly for foreign tourists.

– McDonald’s made Coca Cola accessible to ordinary Russians. She was on the menu at the first McDuck that opened in 1990 on Pushkin Square.

– In 1991, a representative office of Coca Cola was opened in Moscow. And in 1992 – the first factories of the company, in Stavropol and Volgograd. In 1994, the factory in Moscow was solemnly opened, and a year later US President Bill Clinton honored it with a visit.

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